Iran’s media mentions the reformist and moderate government, but the rule of the country is extremist. Iran has the highest rate of executions per capital and it is the world’s leading exporter of terrorism. 

In 1989, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a senior cleric at the time, became president. He has been labelled a “reformist” despite his role as leader of the country’s armed forces during the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War. He was also in a top position during the 1988 massacre that claimed the lives of over 30,000 political prisoners. More recently he has been named the “father of Iran’s nuclear weapons”.

The West were also quick to call Mohammad Khatami a “moderate” and a “reformist”. He approved of the 1999 violent crackdown on student uprisings. 

The next president was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a troublemaker that continued with the nuclear weapons drive and instigated trouble in Iraq and other nations in the Middle East. 

International sanctions were becoming stricter and Khamenei realised that the country had to do something. Thus, in 2013, another “reformist” appeared in the form of smiling mullah Hassan Rouhani. 

The Obama administration has tried to persuade the West that Rouhani brought moderation to the Iranian government. But how can it have missed the evidence that proves otherwise? For example, he boasted about lying during the 2003 nuclear negotiations in Paris. He is a President that has over 3,000 executions under his belt (more than any of this predecessors had). And he was secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council.

Rouhani continues to back the Syrian dictator Assad and refuses to abide with ceasefire agreements. 

The Iranian regime has taken advantage of the concessions given by the Obama administration. The Trump administration is set to deal with Iran in a much tougher way. With some hope, the Trump administration can show its support for the Iranian people and work towards giving the people the democracy they so desperately want and deserve. 

Last week 23 former officials of the US government wrote a letter advising Trump that the best hope for the Iranian people is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). This huge organised opposition group has support from political leaders and figures from all over the world. It calls for an end to appeasement and calls for a tougher approach when dealing with the murderous regime.