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Accused of Molesting Children, Iranian Diplomat Leaves Brazil

An Iranian diplomat based in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia, was accused of molesting underage girls at a swimming pool on April 14, 2012. The Iranian official was questioned by police following complaints from parents, and was eventually released after invoking diplomatic immunity. While Iran's embassy denied the allegations, and said they were the result of a “cultural misunderstanding”, netizens both from Iran and Brazil didn't take long to react.

According to a video report [pt] on Brazilian TV, witnesses said that the diplomat had been pretending to swim around the pool in a “duck-diving” manner. While underwater he allegedly fondled four girls between the ages of nine and fifteen, police said. Some of the girls began screaming and their parents confronted the man. After being questioned by police, the diplomat left the country.

Screenshot from a Brazilian TV report.

Screenshot from a Brazilian TV report.

Iranians were astonished to hear the news and criticized the Islamic regime for imposing a strict gender separation in the country, while diplomats of the country enjoy swimming in a mixed swimming pool. They also ridiculed the excuse of “cultural misunderstanding”.

Azarakan writes with irony about “cultural misunderstanidng” and says [fa]:

I think the islamic republic is right about cultural difference because this regime has raped its own people for many years without shame… have you heard that one of the Islamic regime's representatives was caught for his dirty activities? Can the regime escape the pressure of international public opinion this time?

In Brazil reactions came up on Twitter. Magalhães A.S, questioned [pt]:

@tovaga: Justiça e grande justiça, para que servem? É justo que o diplomata iraniano com “imunidade diplomática” abuse de crianças do DF? Só no Irã

@tovaga: Justice and great justice, what for? Is it fair that the Iranian diplomat with “diplomatic immunity” abuses children in DF [Federal District]? Only in Iran
Grandfather says, 'How many times I told you not to swim in this pool, there is a diplomat here.' Cartoon by Mana Neyestani in Mardomak (used with permission)

"Grandfather says how many times I told you not to swim in this pool, there is a diplomat here". Cartoon by Mana Neyestani in Mardomak (used with permission)

Conservative journalist Reinaldo Azevedo, on his blog, also critized [pt] the allegation of “cultural differences” in the note from the Embassy – wondering how such an incident would be solved in Iran – and added:

É muito atrevimento a embaixada de um país que vive sob uma ditadura religiosa, que trata a divergência na base da bala e do porrete, que discrimina as mulheres, que as condena ainda ao apedrejamento, criticar a imprensa de um país livre.

It is very bold for an embassy of a country living under religious dictatorship, which responds to divergence with bullets and sticks, that discriminates against women, that condemns them to being stoned, criticizes the press in a free country.

From Iran, Jomhouriat writes [fa]:

The Brazil scandal displays the fall of the Iranian regime's morality. This disaster is just a window for the world to learn about behaviour of representatives of the regime… in our prisons there are many cases of torture and rape.

This post was co-authored by Sara Moreira

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