I didn't think the story of Iranians raping virgins in prison before execution could get worse.
I was wrong.
Last month, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, a close spiritual adviser to Ahmadinejad, answered questions from followers.
"Can an interrogator rape the prisoner in order to obtain a confession?" was [one] question posed to the Islamic cleric.These quotes are from Iranian dissidents, but they do not seem inconsistent with what Mesbah-Yazdi has said in the past. He is considered the most extreme major cleric in Iran today, and has sanctioned the use of atomic weapons as well as the death penalty against anyone who criticizes Islam. In addition he has called to eliminate elections in Iran, calling the people "ignorant sheep," and he says that if Iran has a war against the infidels he would want the Iranians to take civilians as slaves and convert them to Islam.
Mesbah-Yazdi answered: "The necessary precaution is for the interrogator to perform a ritual washing first and say prayers while raping the prisoner. If the prisoner is female, it is permissible to rape through the vagina or anus. It is better not to have a witness present. If it is a male prisoner, then it's acceptable for someone else to watch while the rape is committed."
This reply, and reports of the rape of teen male prisoners in Iranian jails, may have prompted the following question: "Is the rape of men and young boys considered sodomy?"
Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi: "No, because it is not consensual. Of course, if the prisoner is aroused and enjoys the rape, then caution must be taken not to repeat the rape."
A related issue, in the eyes of the questioners, was the rape of virgin female prisoners. In this instance, Mesbah-Yazdi went beyond the permissibility issue and described the Allah-sanctioned rewards accorded the rapist-in-the-name-of-Islam:
"If the judgment for the [female] prisoner is execution, then rape before execution brings the interrogator a spiritual reward equivalent to making the mandated Haj pilgrimage [to Mecca], but if there is no execution decreed, then the reward would be equivalent to making a pilgrimage to [the Shi'ite holy city of] Karbala."
One aspect of these permitted rapes troubled certain questioners: "What if the female prisoner gets pregnant? Is the child considered illegitimate?"
Mesbah-Yazdi answered: "The child borne to any weakling [a denigrating term for women - ed.] who is against the Supreme Leader is considered illegitimate, be it a result of rape by her interrogator or through intercourse with her husband, according to the written word in the Koran. However, if the child is raised by the jailer, then the child is considered a legitimate Shi'a Muslim."