Iranian President Ahmadinejad statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran puzzled many people, and none more than folks who have first-hand familiarity with that country. Thus, the Washington Post reports that, according to Iranian American scholars, “Persian culture has historically included the practice of powerful men who keep young boys for sex but are not considered gay.” Moreover, “younger Iranian Americans [say] there is a gay culture in today’s Iraq, although it is suppressed by Shiite authorities.”
So why did Admadinejad make his claim, one that is absurb on its face as applied to any nation? According to Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, director of the Persian Sutdies Center of the University Maryland, “he probably meant to say that there are pedophiles in Iran but that the country does not recognize homosexuality as an orientation.”
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