In his eight-year tenure as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani cracked down on peaceful protesters and killed at least 1,700 demonstrators and bystanders.

Hassan Rouhani's Eight Year Presidency

More than 4,500 prisoners, including political activists, women, juvenile offenders, and members of ethnic and religious minorities, were hanged. He misled the people and encouraged them to invest in the bourse. Then, he stabbed millions of people in the back and used their properties to compensate for massive budget deficits.

Through his mismanagement, he left millions of people vulnerable amid natural disasters, including the Kermanshah earthquake in November 2017 and flash floods in the provinces of Fars, Golestan, and Lorestan in April 2018.

He exploited Iran’s embassies to back and orchestrate terror attempts against dissidents. Authorities in Albania and France expelled Tehran’s diplomats and embassy staffers. Senior diplomat Assadollah Assadi is also serving a 20-year prison sentence in Belgium for a foiled bomb attempt against a rally hosted by the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in France in June 2018.

Rouhani also squandered national resources and sanctions relief on improving oppressive apparatuses, advancing the range of ballistic missiles, nuclear-bomb-making projects, exporting terrorism, and fueling ethnic conflicts.

Furthermore, Rouhani put Iran on auction and handed the country’s national territories to foreigners. He gave Iran’s right over the Caspian Sea to Russia; Chabahar Port to India; Iran’s rights in the Persian Gulf, mines, and low-price electricity to China.

In 2020, he shipped several flotillas of low-price gas to Venezuela while he had ordered security forces to kill 1,500 protesters who had dared to protest gas price hikes in November 2019.

In a nutshell, Rouhani and his cabinet did whatever it took to secure the theocracy against the volcanic situation of society and growing social protests on the one hand and international pressure on the other hand.

However, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei eventually removed Rouhani and his “reformist” allies from power. In the June 2021 Presidential election, Khamenei purged the election race from “reformists” and “moderates.

Khamenei intended to keep power at all costs through mass killers such as Ebrahim Raisi, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. Nonetheless, the constant protests in Iran show the people have grasped that Khamenei and his regime are the main barriers to a free, democratic, secular, and non-nuclear republic of Iran.

The recent protests in Khuzestan, which immediately extended to Tehran and other cities, display society’s readiness for making fundamental change and moving toward a free Iran.