The election of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran in 2013 led to some expectations of domestic improvements, but most reports by international media outlets and NGOs indicate that that has not been forthcoming and that Rouhani has steadily lost support from many of the Iranian activists who greeted him as a potential reformer.
Since his election, the rate of executions in Iran has increased dramatically, with approximately 1,000 carried out in 2015. The period of his presidency has also been associated with a crackdown on the rights of women, as evidenced by parliamentary efforts to encourage civilian responses to supposedly improper veiling, and also by speeches from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urging women to avoid public life in favor of filling their traditional roles as wives and mothers.
In response to the renewal of Shaheed’s mandate, UN Watch issued a statement saying, “Change won’t happen overnight, as the Iranian state is based on principles that discriminate against women, ethnic and religious minorities, gays and numerous others. Yet this important step keeps the item prominently on the international agenda and gives hope to oppressed citizens in Iran.”
The opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran welcomed the renewal of Special Rapporteur’s mandate and called on the Human Rights Council and the Special Rapporteur to refer the dossier of Iranian regime’s crimes to the Security Council and to have those ordering these crimes against humanity and their perpetrators to be brought to face justice. The NCRI satatement said: “This is the only way to confront a regime that stands as the number one violator of human rights in the world with 120,000 political executions and seven deadly attacks on Iranian refugees in camps Ashraf and Liberty that constantly and systematically tramples on UN resolutions and denies visits to the Special Rapporteur and other mandate holders.”