Key Points

So said Iranian environmentalist Niloufar Bayani in early February before Iran’s Revolutionary Court, rejecting spurious charges of “corruption on earth” — a nebulous, all-inclusive allegation that Tehran often deploys to justify prosecuting regime opponents. Coerced confessions are a hallmark of Iran’s judicial system, but Tehran’s latest miscarriage of justice is unusually self-defeating.

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The Trump administration should echo Rehman’s call for UN access to the country – and reiterate both to the UN and to Iran that economic pressure will continue unless and until Tehran takes meaningful steps to reform.

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Washington should obviously sanction Raisi as well as Astan Quds Razavi. Consistency certainly compels such actions, as does remembrance and justice.

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The comforting notion that skilled diplomats bearing gifts and not baring their teeth can seduce and reform those who threaten us may be the most important thing we know that simply isn’t so.

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