The Western media has, once again, spoke about how Rouhani is a moderate and how it was a victory for the people of Iran that it was him and not one of the hardliners that won the election. However, this is nothing but nonsense. Hassan Rouhani’s first term is proof that he is anything but a moderate.
During his first term there were more than 3,000 people executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the first few days of his second term there have already been several executions. Iran’s spread of terrorism has become out of control and there have been several test-firings of ballistic missiles. There is no moderation in these actions.
Several news outlets reported that around 75% of eligible votes were made, but this is false. For one, there is no chance of getting an unbiased review because of the social turmoil in the country. The people are supressed beyond belief and are punished, imprisoned, tortured or even executed for their political beliefs.
The New York Times attributed Rouhani’s victory to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers and his new priorities.
Yet Rouhani has not changed his priorities – he remains focused on the objectives of the Supreme Leader. It is probable that Iran will receive more warnings from international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. The UN special reporter for human rights said: “Moderation ends where the noose begins.”
Apologists of the Iranian regime are seemingly very forgiving of Rouhani’s record because they believe that he is going to keep the promises he made during the recent election campaign, even though he was far from keeping his first term promises.
During the campaign Rouhani challenged his rival Raisi for his involvement in the 1988 massacre. Raisi was part of the so-called death commission that oversaw the execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners. However, the fact that he directly challenged Raisi on this does not mean that he has suddenly become moderate – he quite simply saw a way to attack his political opponent.
As Rouhani’s second term starts, an IRGC commander has confirmed that there are military plans in the pipeline. They are provocative projects that are once again proof that the spirit of the nuclear deal is being disregarded.
So again, where can we find this moderation that many have mentioned?