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Rouhani betrays ethnic non-Persians in cabinet selection

Rouhani breaks pledges he made to non-Persian ethnic groups
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has betrayed a pledge he made to Arab sheikhs in the presidential election campaign to allocate at least 10 per cent of cabinet positions to ethnic Arabs.

The competition for the Arab vote among the presidential candidates witnessed a range of promises. Official results for the Ahwazi Arab region saw Mohsen Rezaee win the vote with Rouhani coming runner-up.

Instead of fulfilling his pledge, Rouhani has made a number of controversial appointments of establishment figures who are implicated in crimes against humanity. They include Moustafa Pour Mohammadi, the "Butcher of Evin", becomes the Minister of Justice. He was in charge with executions, assassination and the torture of many political prisoners in Evin prison where Zahra Kazemi, the Canadian of Iranian origin, was tortured to death in 2003. In 1987, he was the Attorney General of the Revolutionary Court in Al-Ahwaz (Khuzestan), which is implicated in crimes against the Ahwazi Arabs. He also served as Assistant to Ali Fallahian, the Minister of Intelligence who was wanted by Interpol for terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires.

Hailing from the north of Iran, the 'pragmatic conservative' Rouhani sought to attract non-Persian vote with a list of 10 pledges to address ethnic discrimination, in accordance with neglected constitutional provisions. These included the right to learn in the native tongue, as stated in Article 15, and promoting a meritocratic economy based not on ethnicity or religion but personal strengths in order to leverage the best local human resources.

Since his election, Rouhani has largely abandoned these pledges and appears to be maintaining the campaign of persecution and execution against Arabs.