Cartoon 61: The Handshake
As Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani arrived in the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly, the major diplomatic issues of the day were Iran’s nuclear policy, its international relations, and regional disputes. Though hopes were high that Rouhani and US president Barak Obama would meet in private to discuss these, one of the major issues overshadowing Rouhani’s time in New York was the situation of prisoners of conscience in Iran.
Leaders from several countries brought up concerns with Iran’s continued imprisonment of activists, journalists, opposition leaders, and dissidents. Both the UK and the US have repeatedly raised concerns about Iran’s human rights crisis.
Before Rouhani arrived in New York, Iran released a large number of prisoners of conscience, acknowledging that the world cannot separate Iran’s human rights crisis from its nuclear program and other mutual concerns.