The “Moderate” Islamic Republic of Iran

It is anything but:

Iran has gone on an execution binge in the past two weeks, hanging some 40 people, including 19 in one day, according to international human rights groups inside and outside of Iran.

Iran hanged a total of 19 prisoners on Tuesday, including one who was executed publicly, according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), which tracks the Islamic Republic’s flawed judicial system.

Forty executions have taken place since the beginning of January, including 33 in just the past week, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

Iran, which human rights activists say is one of the world’s leaders in the abuse of prisoners, hit an all time execution peak in 2013 when it killed some 529 citizens.

The rate of executions has spiked under the leadership of President Hassan Rouhani despite his claims to be a “moderate” reformer.

It is worth noting that a lot of people believed that because Rohani is a pragmatist, it means that he must also be a “moderate.” But this is not the case; pragmatists can also be hardliners who have found more convenient ways in which to implement hardline goals. Regular readers will recall my skepticism regarding Rohani’s supposed moderate tendencies. I wish that skepticism were misplaced, but alas, it appears that it was not.