Sam Dastyari, the Senator representing New South Wales, China, and the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society, says that he will not be caught up in the dual nationality business that has seen the Greens torpedoed.
No, sirree, says Dastyari. He was scrupulous in this.
Sam knows the law having failed to complete a law degree himself, and he also engaged two lawyers, one in Australia and one in Iran to make sure that he was squeaky clean.
Cost him over $25,000, it did, he says.
This was not the legal bill referred to when he declared that Yuhu Group (pronounced Yoo hoo, Group”) – a subsidiary of a state-linked operation based in China – had helped settle a legal matter for him.
Never mind that; how did these lawyers of his manage to have the Mad Mullahs of Iran accept Sam’s renunciation of his Iranian nationality. The Mullahs are not keen on renunciation – it’s a kind of insult, you know.
We asked Noor Mohammed Pilgarlic, expert in Iranian Law (as he had failed his exams too) and also Lakemba’s finest Kabob Koobideh maker (the most popular kabob you can find on the streets of Iran) to provide an understanding.
“It is about twenty miles from easy,” Dastyari informed us, “and is covered by lots of conditions under Article 988 of the Civil Code.
But the killer that prevents anyone renouncing citizenship is that you must have done your National Service, it’s there in black and white in condition #4 of Article 988.
There are exemptions from having to do Nasho:
For example, if Sam was the only son and his dad was over 60 or 65 and therefore Sam is the breadwinner – hmm, that didn’t apply, thought Sam and his lawyers.
Or if he had “demonstrated exceptional scholastic achievement,” – that’s out too, Sam considered. Sam did get a BA from Macquarie in Arts/Politics, but dipping out in Law sort of made his scholastic achievements less than “exceptional.”
“Are you now, or have you ever been member of the Basij?” Sam was asked, “That gets you an exemption.”
Impossible, he was only two year old when he came here and the Basij, being a volunteer paramilitary force, and one of the five forces of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, usually prefers volunteers to be shaving age at least.
Another exemption requires Sam drop about $20,000 in a bond with the Mad Mullahs and pretend he wanted to study abroad. That would exempt him from Nasho – mostly under the directive that it is better to let the pain-in-the-arses leave the country permanently. They confiscate the dough if you never return.
That dog wouldn’t run. Sam was long gone from Iran.
Well, have to forget that – his lawyers told him – How about this “Those with physical or mental health problems or disabilities including “schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, manic-depressive tendencies and other serious mental illnesses” don’t have to comply with the National Service requirement.” Any good?
Leave it out, said Sam. You want to see headlines like “Psycho Sam?”
Here’s one, they said, Article 33, paragraph 8, of the regulatory code that governs medical exemptions from military service notes that “moral and sexual deviancy, such as transsexuality” is considered to be grounds for a medical exemption for Nasho.
The trouble is that you can’t just claim it, the lawyers warned, you have to provide evidence, and Human Rights Watch has reported that in order to “prove” their sexual orientation or gender identity, men must undergo “numerous” “humiliating” physical and psychological tests and exams, which may be costly, and they may also encounter administrative barriers, such as “few doctors” to perform such tests and doctors that refuse to perform them without parental accompaniment. They add that gay and transgender Iranians who are exempted from military service “are not immune from harassment and abuse” and that doctors have reportedly pressured gay men seeking exemption to apply for exemption as transsexuals.
Sam exploded – what am I paying you blokes for – you go from bad to worse – do you think I’m crazy? Don’t answer that; it’s a rhetorical question.
Just breaking in here, one here sees the giant chasm between the cultures of Iran and Australia. Iran being backward and bigoted don’t want queers in the Army, Australia being enlightened and tolerant does.
Well, here’s one, a lawyer said looking up from his notes, “according to the most recent resolutions, foreign resident draftees who have left the country before 2004 and have been living abroad for a minimum of 2 years (which you prove by showing them your passport) are eligible for buying themselves out of Military Duty and thereby obtaining an Exemption card, upon paying the sum of 100,000,000 Rials” – that’s about six grand. “The exemption expires in 2012.”
It is not recorded anywhere what Sam said about that, and there may be other exemptions. Iran is a country where there are laws, and laws, and other laws.
But the fact is that Sam has announced that he has applied to renounce his citizenship of Iran, and can probably prove it.
That only leaves the question – when did he do it?