He hangs poets from a scaffold. Update from a reader, who cautions:
I don’t know if the hanging story is true or not, but my guess is Rouhani didn’t have much to do with this. One account from a rights group I found said the intel ministry carried it out, which would be under the Supreme Leader’s purview, not Rouhani’s. That doesn’t excuse the act, of course, or Rouhani’s place in that system, but that’s not the same as him “ordering” it.
I am an Iranian-Canadian graduate student and this is the first time I’m e-mailing the Dish. I think it is important to note that the President of Iran (Rouhani) does not order executions. That is in the domain of the Judiciary branch of government (run by Sadeq Larijani under the supervision of Ayatollah Khomeini). The correct title for this post should have been “The Other Side of The Islamic Republic”, as there is still a lot of human rights violations in Iran and the President has very little say in preventing them. To blame these vicious executions on Rouhani is naive as it ignores the internal power dynamics within the country. I’m not saying Rouhani has no responsibility for trying to stop or reduce these cases, but to outright blame him for ordering the executions is not fair.