Monday, March 3, 2008

Court Orders Husband to Give Wife 124,000 Roses

Usually any wire story that begins with "An Iranian court..." ends up being horrific news, more often than not about some woman unjustly punished for, well, being a woman. But for once, this morning, I was happy to read a piece via Raw Story about a wife prevailing over her husband - albeit in a very bizarre way.

A woman, identified only by the first name of Hengameh, filed a complaint against her husband to collect her dowry, which, by Iranian law, a wife can claim at any time during the marriage. According to the article, the woman's lawsuit was precipitated by how stingy her husband is - apparently so stingy that he would even refuse to pay for a cup of coffee when they went out together.

Finding in the woman's favor, the court ordered the husband to pay his promised dowry: 124,000 roses. Although the verdict seems like a purely poetic punishment for romantic hyperbole, it is serious stuff. To ensure that the man complies, the court has seized his apartment - worth $64,000 - until he delivers all 124,000 roses.

Not unexpectedly, the man is now crying poverty, claiming that he can't afford to give his wife more than 5 roses a day (roses cost an average $2 a piece in Iran). But he might not have much of a choice but to fork over the 100,000+ long-stemmed apologies. A man who fails to hand over the dowry he pledged at marriage can be sentenced to prison.

On a related note, those interested in learning more about Iran's recent history and the country's treatment of women should watch the Academy Award-nominated film Persepolis, The Brooklyn Optimist's vote for the Best Picture of last year.

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