Repression in Iran increased under 'moderate' Hassan Rouhani: Washington columnist. (NCRI).
“Hassan Rouhani is not Mikhail Gorbachev, and this is not a perestroika moment. Iran is not opening up or becoming more Western or somehow more liberal.” And “the nature of the Iranian regime has not altered at all,” writes U.S. columnist Anne Applebaum.
In a column published this week in the Washington Post, the writer said:
“the level of repression inside the country has grown since the ‘moderate’ Rouhani was elected in 2013. The number of death sentences has risen. In 2014, Iran carried out the largest number of executions anywhere in the world except for China. Last year, the number may have exceeded 1,000 … many of whom are juveniles or convicted on dubious evidence."“Political pressure and religious discrimination have increased, too. Women who don’t wear veils are still vulnerable to arrest and sentencing. The penalties for apostasy, adultery and homosexuality are still high, up to and including capital punishment. Cultural dissidents are under pressure, too, even more so since the sanctions-lifting deal was announced.”
After presenting a brief record of violations of human rights in Iran since Hassan Rouhani’s has taken office, the writer argues the regime in Tehran is not a reliable diplomatic partner because it is among the ‘regimes that need violence to repress their citizens.’
The writer also believes: “In the current circumstances, foreign investment is far more likely to enrich the existing elite. If so, the result will be greater repression, more effective disinformation and, of course, more money for the export of the ideology of the Iranian revolution to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.”
“Change has come to Middle Eastern diplomacy. But change has not come to Iran. And until it does, Iran will remain a source of instability and violence all across the region.”, the writer concludes. More here.