"To be clear, there is certainly no dearth of critiques to be made of the Iranian government. It greatly represses progressive activists, labor organizers and women protesting sexist laws."
Well, Mr. Ben Norton, those very same comments could be directed at the very least at one of the two parts of the US duopoly. No revision even necessary. And more truthfully, since our masters own the duopoly as a whole, and they are opposed to progressive causes, labor organization, and laws promoting gender equality, those remarks characterize our professional political class as a whole.
I would also say that, considering all of the hateful things done to Iran by the US and the UK, and all that they have been threatened with in the last 20 or so years, that the Revolutionary Republic of Iran has acted with great restraint and dexterity.
I would also like to direct an insult at the Saudis and all of the other Sunni sheikdoms in that sorry-assed part of the world. An insult that they can truly understand and fume about: all of you Princes, Kings, and Sheiks are all women - weak, cowardly, frightened women. You have to hide behind the cover of the US to keep from competing with Iran on an even playing field. You're afraid that the Iranians will eat your lunch, and maybe they will. They have certainly survived under great duress while all of you pampered and perfumed princes can' t even manage with all of the lavish military and money gifts from Uncle Sugar Daddy. Dogs have more dignity than you have.
I am not a sexist and don't regard women as weak, cowardly, or frightened. But in the paternalistic backward societies of the Sheikdoms they will certainly understand that insult.