According to Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on Iran, the human rights situation in the country has grown worse since the election of Hassan Rouhani. The UN expert pointed to a surge in executions and noted concern that the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program may overshadow the ongoing abuses within Iran. Shaheed, noted that since the 2013 election of Rouhani , the so called “moderate” president, “the overall situation has worsened.”
Shaheed held a press conference on Monday, presenting his latest report on the human rights situation in Iran to the UN Human Rights Council. Shaheed pointed to the fact that that Iran continues to have the highest execution rate in the world, while imposing restrictions on journalists and political activists. He underscored the ongoing and systematic repression within the regime against against women and minorities. Shaheed noted that the regime “continue to harass, arrest, prosecute and imprison many members of society who express criticism of the government or publicly deviate from officially sanctioned narratives”.
According to the report written by Shaheed, 753 people, including 25 women and 13 minors, were executed in Iran last year, the highest total over the last 12 years. There have been more than 252 executions in Iran since the start of 2015, which brings the total number of individuals executed in Iran since January of 2014 to more than 1,000. Shaheed called on Tehran to “declare immediately a moratorium on executions”.
The report dispels the ongoing myth that Rouhani is a “moderate”, and has improved the human rights situation in Iran. It also underscores the crucial reality that the ongoing push for nuclear deal has overshadowed the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran. The Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) welcomes the latest findings by the UN special rapporteur and calls on the the United States and the international community to make human rights a priority in their nuclear talks with the Iranian regime.