„For years the international community has been forced to believe in the existence of ‚moderates‘ and ‚hardliners‘ in Iran. Those advocating such a point of view have been calling for support of ‚moderates‘ to improve the human rights situation in this country. This accord with Iran was presented as the beginning of a new era which would lead to respect for human rights in Iran and an end to the mullahs’ meddling in the region. That assumption has been at the heart of Western policy vis-à-vis Iran for decades.
However, a very close look is needed at the record of the last three or so years during the tenure of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, dubbed as a ‚moderate.‘ More have been executed under his watch than during the entire eight years of firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reign. Rouhani has never expressed any criticism regarding these executions and indeed he defends the death sentence as the rule of God.“ (Heshmat Alavi: „The Need For A New Approach On Iran“)