Giulio Terzi

Terzi: EU Must Hold Iran Regime Accountable for 1988 Massacre

Giulio Terzi

Hon. Giulio Terzi, the former Foreign Minister of Italy

Former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi has written an op-ed urging the European Union to hold Iranian regime officials accountable for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mainly Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) members, and supporters, in Iran because no one has been brought to justice in the past 30 years.

Terzi wrote that this impunity is the result of Western governments’ silence over the crimes of the regime and appeasement of the mullahs.

At a conference in July 2018, Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said that the international community was made aware of the massacre almost as soon as it began, but Western governments refused to say anything to stop or expose the crime against humanity.

Terzi wrote:

“The world should have grown more and more receptive to that message as it witnessed the public conduct of the Iranian regime. But somehow, that conduct has never overcome the Western world’s misguided optimism about the potential for political reform within the Islamic Republic. That optimism was perhaps never on clearer display than following the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, which paved the way for the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action two years later.”


He highlights that this is something that “seriously undercuts” Europe’s commitment to human rights, especially when the Regime is covering up more evidence of the massacre with each passing year and conducting more crimes like it. Survivors and relatives of its victims are demanding accountability, justice, and closure, which means that the world should listen.

Terzi said:

 “Both Khamenei and Rouhani are committed to upholding the legacy of the 1988 massacre, which primarily targeted the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) and sought to stamp out any serious challenge to a dictatorial system that was then still struggling to secure its hold on power. In March of this year, Khamenei appointed one of the leading perpetrators of the massacre, Ebrahim Raisi, as the new head of the judiciary. And Rouhani has twice appointed members of the 1988 ‘death commissions’ to the position of Justice Minister.”

This means European leaders should use international pressure to bring those who took part in the massacre of the MEK members and supporters to justice or they will only further “embolden the regime’s domestic terrorism” and therefore cannot claim a commitment to human rights.

Terzi said:

“It’s clear that their efforts will continue even if the only endpoint is the Iranian regime’s overthrow. But it would be a shameful start to relations with a new, democratic Iran if none of its prospective international had heeded the call for justice for all those who died at the hands of a system that denied democracy to the Iranian people for so long.”

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