Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our Prison Doors are Open

…You can go in, you just can’t go out…

We got into a taxi. The driver immediately started speaking in an animated way with my husband. I couldn’t hear him from my place in the backseat, but I could see him gesturing. He would take both of his hands off the steering wheel to make particular points. Mind you, we were on the highway with cars zipping by at high speed on either side. What’s even worse is that after three years in Iran, I wasn’t even nervous; just amused.

When we got out, I asked Keivan what he was talking about. “Ahmadinejad’s press conference at the Foreign Policy Institute.”

“I thought he was talking about crazy driving habits. He seemed a bit excited.”

“He was saying that Ahmadinejad was asked why he is talking so much about international law when he doesn’t implement it in Iran. He answered that America has 200 million people and some high number of prisoners, but Iran, with 70 million people, has far fewer.”

“That’s because so many are executed,” I half-joke.

“That’s exactly what the driver said. I told him that it was because Iranians just cannot count.”

The driver is one of many people to talk to us about the press conference which neither of us saw or even read about. Everyone felt that AN's responses to the questions about the prisons were farcical.

“He asked the journalists who they thought they were to ask him such questions,” a friend tells us at dinner. “My god, they’re journalists. That’s their job.”

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