One observation made by non-governmental sources of the state of human rights in the Islamic Republic is that it is not so severe that the Iranian public is afraid to criticize its government publicly to strangers.In Syria "taxi driver[s] rarely talk politics; the Iranian[s] will talk of nothing else." A theory of why human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic are not as severe as Syria, Afghanistan (under the Taliban), or Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) comes from the American journalist Elaine Sciolino who speculated that Shiite Islam thrives on debate and discussion ...Iranian officials have not always agreed on the state of human rights in Iran.
with some European countries and the United States." In a 2007 speech to the United Nations, he commented on human rights only to say "certain powers" (unnamed) were guilty of violating it, "setting up secret prisons, abducting persons, trials and secret punishments without any regard to due process, ....
" Among the explanations for violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic are: The legal and governing principles upon which the Islamic Republic of Iran is based differ in some respects from the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The peaceful demonstrations and protests of the Khatami era are no longer tolerated: in January 2007 security forces attacked striking bus drivers in Tehran and arrested hundreds of them.
In March police beat hundreds of men and women who had assembled to commemorate International Women's Day.
The Islamic revolution is thought to have a significantly worse human rights record than the Pahlavi Dynasty it overthrew.