Tagged Hassan Rohani

A Modest Improvement in Internet Freedom in Iran

Instead of banning websites completely, the Iranian regime is now just censoring their content. Sure, Iranians will only see redacted versions of websites, but at least they’ll see them. I guess this is supposed to mean that everything is both hunky and dory in Iran now. How very wonderful all of this is. Utopia has finally been achieved in Iran. Must be the effects of all of that political liberalization. Nota bene: Some people might think that this blog post is featuring sarcasm rather heavily. I can’t possibly imagine where they would get such an idea.

“Moderate” Governments Don’t Jail People Over Facebook Postings

Just thought I’d throw that opinion out there: An Iranian court has sentenced eight people to jail terms ranging from seven to 20 years for crimes including anti-regime propaganda posted on Facebook, an opposition website has said. Kaleme, which did not cite a source for its report, said the sentences were delivered last week giving the eight Facebook users a combined 123 years in jail. They were charged with “insulting the supreme leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and the authorities, anti-regime activities, sacrilege and spreading lies,” Kaleme said. There was no official confirmation of the court ruling and AFP could not…

Torture in Iranian Prisons

Needless to say, this is both entirely obscene, and entirely unsurprising, given the nature of the current regime in Tehran: Political prisoners in Tehran’s Evin prison have allegedly been subjected to humiliating physical abuse, including being forced to run a gauntlet of guards armed with batons, it has emerged. Iran‘s president, Hassan Rouhani, has been silent despite chilling details being revealed by prisoners and their families about how Thursday’s disturbances marked a dark episode in one of the country’s most notorious prisons. Dozens of inmates held in Evin’s ward 350, including journalists, lawyers and opposition members, were injured, with some suffering skull fractures,…

What Iranian “Reformers” Hath Wrought

Presumably, this is what we are supposed to expect from a government that allegedly is more enlightened than it used to be: At least 80 people and perhaps as many as 95 have been executed in Iran already this year, a surge in the use of the death penalty that has dampened hopes for human rights reforms under President Hassan Rouhani, the United Nations said on Friday. [. . .] In September, dozens of political prisoners were released, raising hopes that he would also improve human rights in a country that ranks second after China on Amnesty International’s list of states with the highest use of capital…

Quote of the Day

As Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani was dangling from a noose two weeks ago, desperately grasping for his last breath of air, one wonders what he would have thought about Western leaders who call President Hassan Rouhani a moderate.  What exactly is moderate, Shaabani could have thought, about a regime which brands a poet an “enemy of God” and strangles him to death? —David Keyes. Maybe it is worth mentioning anew that Hassan Rohani may not be a moderate.

Reform Cannot Come Fast Enough to Iran

I’m sure that Iranians will be the first to tell you as much: In a rare expression of regret by an Iranian official, President Hassan Rouhani has said that he is sorry for any troubles with the distribution of a food ration to the poor, following reports that three people have died waiting for the goods in subzero weather. Local media have reported that the three died in recent days while standing in line in freezing temperatures. Authorities were quoted as saying that they had pre-existing heart problems. Most provinces in Iran have experienced unusually low temperatures in recent days. Rouhani told…

In Other Shocking News, the Nuclear Deal with Iran Is Not Working Out

Fareed Zakaria has been visited by an epiphany: In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani forcefully asserted that Iran would not destroy its nuclear centrifuges “under any circumstances”. Rouhani’s comments come just days after the U.S. and Iran began to implement a deal which the White House claims will scale back Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration claims the goal of the deal is to prevent a nuclear Iran, yet Rouhani’s comments show Iran views the deal much differently. Reacting to Rouhani’s position, Zakaria told CNN that the Iranian President’s comments struck him as a “train…

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…

Hassan Rohani: Really NOT a Moderate

So, much of the media is making a fuss over the possibility that we might actually have an Iranian president who acknowledges the Holocaust and all of its horrors–including the horrors specifically visited on Jews. It’s amazing that we are still debating whether the Holocaust happened, and it is even more amazing still that there are those who are positively rejoicing at the possibility that Hassan Rohani may potentially be not quite as antediluvian as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but given all of the fatuous nonsense that we had to put up with during the Ahmadinejad presidency–including, but not limited to Holocaust…

Deeds. Not Words. Deeds.

Ray Takeyh is right on the money when he reminds us what we should expect from Hassan Rohani before we go around calling him “a reformer”: Rouhani’s attempt to refashion Iran’s image and temper its rhetoric should be welcomed. After eight years of Ahmadinejad provocations that often unhinged the international community, a degree of self-restraint is admirable. However, judge Tehran by its conduct and not its words. It is not enough for Rouhani to condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Is he prepared to withdraw the Revolutionary Guard contingents that have done much to buttress Assad’s brutality? It…