MEK Iran: The West Kept Silent About the 1988 Massacre, But this Mistake Needs to be Fixed
Many have described the 1988 massacre in Iran as the most horrific crime against humanity in recent decades. The Iranian regime, during one single summer, killed 30,000 political prisoners after the then-Supreme Leader issued a fatwa.
The process was brutal, with political prisoners being asked about their political views. If they answered “wrong”, the “death commissions” sent them to their death. Most of those that were killed were members or supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
The incident was not a secret – many diplomats and policymakers in North America and Europe were told about what was happening in Iran. But most of them kept silent and turned a blind eye, believing (or so they said) that the level of dissent in the country was nothing to cause concern.
Unfortunately, nothing has really changed in this respect. Many leaders around the world have just let the Iranian regime do what it does without challenge. Many have even said that it is better to avoid upsetting the Iranian regime because it will bring moderation to the forefront.
However, this has not happened. There is not a shred of moderation in the Iranian regime. In fact, the silence from the West (which has been deafening) has only emboldened the regime to continue with its human rights abuses. Trying to appease the Iranian regime has come at the expense of the lives of the general public in Iran.
The 1988 massacre was the regime’s attempt to decimate its opposition. The regime saw the (PMOI / MEK Iran) as a big enough threat to warrant such an atrocious crime. And not only has no one ever been held to account, but the officials that actively participated in the crime and sent people to the death chambers have also risen through the ranks, with several holding high-level government jobs.
The only known official that spoke out against the massacre was Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the former heir to Supreme Leader Khomeini. He was, of course, punished for this. He never became the Supreme Leader and he died under house arrest.
Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former vice-president of the European Parliament and current President of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), points out that it is impossible to know what way a certain country will go, but the mass murder of tens of thousands of political opponents should have made it very clear.
Dr. Vidal-Quadras rightly points out, “any Iranian official who balked at criticisms of that crime would have immediately exposed himself as being just as unworthy of foreign engagement as Ayatollah Khomeini himself”.
In the past three decades, it has become more than obvious that the Iranian regime’s systematic abuse of political prisoners, not to mention the numerous executions, has proven that moderation is not possible. We cannot turn the clock back to 1988 and the aftermath, but Western governments can correct their grave mistakes by taking immediate action to save every political prisoner or opponent from the regime.
#Iran: All Factions of the Regime Were Involved in the #1988Massacre
ُThe impunity serves as the basis for the current crackdowns on dissent, including the mass murder of activists last November. #NoImpunity4Mullahs https://t.co/Hdfsl0KAuc
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) September 16, 2020