Iran's nuclear program is under the global-political microscope, but its human rights record has been virtually ignored, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly lamented.
But on Friday, one daring reporter revealed he had traveled to Vienna to force the issue back onto the negotiating table – by signing a fake deal with a fake ayatollah, asking diplomats awkward questions about their favorite political prisoners, and sarcastically congratulating Iran on reducing executions from one per hour to one per 2.5 hours.
Daily Beast reporter David Keyes embarked on the journey to "cause as much trouble as possible" over the fact that human rights are being sidelined during the talks.
"With or without nukes, the Iranian regime denies 80 million people freedom of speech, press, association, religion, and sexuality – not to mention women’s rights," he stated in an article on his experiences. "Diplomats of a regime which hangs gays, jails bloggers, and tortures human-rights activists should never be able to step foot outside their embassies without a torrent of protest."
Keyes noted that previous nuclear deals, including the ill-fated 1994 North Korea deal, failed to bring moderation to an extremist country – and failed similarly to further human rights issues in the process.
Gil Ronen contributed to this report.