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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York, Sept. 27, 2013. In a speech Jan. 14 in Khuzestan province, he said that Western powers have agreed to drop sanctions and recognize the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York, Sept. 27, 2013. In a speech Jan. 14 in Khuzestan province, he said that Western powers have agreed to drop sanctions and recognize the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
(John Minchillo/AP)

Azadeh Moaveni

Another newspaper crackdown: Where is Rouhani the reformer?

When President Hassan Rouhani took office last fall with a sweeping mandate for change from the Iranian electorate, Iranians concerned with press freedom, an easing of censorship, and the return of a lively media climate initially took heart. Rouhani appointed a liberal-minded, influential politician as minister of culture in his “Government of Hope and Prudence,” journalists began speaking of more energetic energetic newsrooms, and top officials took to social media as though it wasn’t actually illegal.