Iran's Human Rights Haven't Improved Under Rohani, Says U.K.

The British Foreign Office says there has been no sign of institutional change for minorities in Iran since Rohani's election, despite promised reform.

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Under the leadership of President Hassan Rohani, Iran has failed to carry out promised human rights reforms and change for the better is unlikely, the British Foreign Office said in a report released Monday.

"There was no substantive improvement in the human rights situation in Iran between October and December 2013," the report states.

It added: "The Iranian government continued to make positive public statements on civil rights issues, but there has been no sign of institutional change to improve the human rights situation, including for minority religious and ethnic groups, journalists and human rights defenders, prisoners and women.

The British report applauded a draft charter of citizens' rights that Rohani – widely referred to as a moderate – released during his campaign for the presidency, but said that this is not enough.

"Although this is a welcome exercise, without changes to the law or the approach taken by the judiciary and security forces, there is unlikely to be any real change," the report continued.

Relations between Iran and Western powers began to thaw after Rohani's election last June and culminated in the signing of an interim nuclear agreement in November 2013.

That deal got underway on Monday January 20, as Iran began halting some of its most sensitive nuclear activity and Western powers suspended some of the sanctions leveled against the Islamic Republic.

Iran's President Hassan Rohani, Dec. 7, 2013.Credit: AP

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