In a November 24, 2019 op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Homeira Hesami of the Iranian-American Community of North Texas argued that the international community lacks a complete picture of the Iranian regime’s response to the nationwide protests that are raging throughout the country. Because Internet access in Iran is still limited to government officials and state-run media, the world has only had a glimpse of the crime against humanity that is currently taking place.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, BlackPast John Kenneth Blackwell who served as the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio (1979–80)
The Iranian regime’s foreign policy has increased in its brazenness, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attacking or seizing commercial vessels in the Gulf, bombing Saudi oil infrastructure, and continuing its aggressive policies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, but Professor Ken Blackwell warns that the US should not decrease pressure on the mullahs.
#IRANIAN REGIME USES TERRORIST PROXIES TO CARRY OUT OPERATIONS WORLDWIDE.@gobadi–#MEK spokeperson:“The expansion of the regime’s conduct in the region did not stem from its strength &prowess. Rather it was the consequence of the weak approach of the intnl community.”#FreeIran
He wrote: “The regime’s recent actions cannot simply be interpreted as a response to rising levels of pressure from the US. Its abuses both at home and abroad have been getting worse for quite some time. And they have done so not because of newfound foreign pressure but because of the predictable absence thereof.”
The regime’s crimes have been overlooked in favor of appeasement for four decades now, the most heinous of which was the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners who refused to disavow the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the main Iranian opposition. The massacre was the subject of an extensive exhibition at the NCRI’s international conference in July, where Rajavi noted that even after they brought this evidence to the West, they remained silent.
Blackwell wrote: “America is known to be the foremost defender of human rights around the world and has taken on the scourge of terrorism head-on. Human rights abuses and terrorism are the two pillars of the clerical regime’s strategy for survival… As long as Tehran is not held directly accountable for more than 30,000 deaths, the regime will be emboldened to carry out more violations with impunity. Why would Tehran see any reason to scale back its malign activities, unless the US leads the way by making it clear that its standards for regime behavior have changed?”
He advised that the only way to do this is by holding the regime accountable for its past crimes and bringing those responsible to justice. They must be shown that their actions have consequences. He further noted that while the “maximum pressure” policy is a step in the right direction, economic sanctions are not enough on their own. Instead, the regime’s crimes must be referred to the UN Security Council.
Blackwell wrote: “A proper investigation of the massacre will undoubtedly lead to a conviction in the International Criminal Court for a number of high-ranking Iranian officials, including the current Justice Minister and the current judiciary chief. The US should clearly send a message that Iranian officials are not immune from their wrongdoing. The Iranian people will see that the world supports them as never before and will rise up to demand, once and for all, a new, democratic government. The American administration needs to bring Tehran’s human rights violations into focus to force the regime to rethink its aggression.”
In the rebuttal, Safavi made seven points which we will address briefly, but you should read it in full.
Safavi began by explaining that the MEK has spent 40 years fighting for democracy against the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world and, as a result, has been severely attacked by those who advocate appeasing the mullahs.
He said: “Unable to openly defend the religious dictatorship in Iran, these apologists instead demonize the regime’s democratic alternative to justify appeasing the current regime.”
Safavi noted that the article quoted former State Department official Daniel Benjamin, who was the main opponent to the MEK’s legal battle against the false terrorist designation levied against it in the 1990s to appease the mullahs.
This is not the first time NBC has sought a quote from Benjamin. Last year, when European law enforcement agencies foiled the regime’s terror plot against the MEK in Paris, NBC echoed Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif by calling the plot a “false flag” and then quoted Benjamin as saying that nothing was simple and shifting the blame to the victims.
Then, Safavi quotes the US State Department’s recent release about the Iranian regime’s malign activities during nuclear negotiations and after the signing of the nuclear agreement as proof of Iran’s evil actions, especially against the MEK.
Safavi wrote: “The dozens of honourable and bipartisan American figures who support the MEK and the Iranian Resistance represent the conscience of humanity against the evils of the theocratic rulers of Iran. Targeting these personalities, including America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who have distinguished careers, is part of the clerical regime’s vilification campaign against the MEK, which is sadly echoed by supporters of appeasement vis-a-vis the regime like Daniel Benjamin.”
Safavi explained that Benjamin had while working as the State Department’s Counterterrorism official “inexplicably” refused to implement the orders of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to delist the MEK, meaning that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to do it herself.
500000 Iranian, supporters of MEK, took to street participating in a peaceful rally against suppression imposed by the Iranian regime on Jun 20, 1981, in Iran
Safavi then easily dismissed claims that the MEK has no base in Iran, citing that over 100,000 of its members have been executed, yet they still continue to donate money to the MEK, hang up their posters, and fight for freedom.
Safavi wrote: “Such a movement could not have survived, much less continuously expand, for more than five decades without an extensive popular base. Why would an organization that lacks social support become the clerical regime’s main existential problem?… Hours after the publication of the NBC article, the clerical regime’s state-run media outlets, including the Fars news agency tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), embraced it and translated it into Farsi. Serving the godfather of terrorism and arming it with more fodder to suppress the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance is utterly shameful.”
A wall in Farhang Hosseini alley filled with selling and buying advertisements for body organs.
Thousands of people in Iran are being forced to sell their body parts, including livers, lungs, bone marrow, blood, kidneys, and corneas, on the growing black market, according to opposition activists.
The Iranian activists, who are living in exile, said that the economic strain in Iran is why thousands of people are desperate enough to sell their organs, which can go for up to $50,000.
NCRI spokesman Shahin Gobadi described this as an “untold catastrophe” and a “systemic problem”.
He added: “The tragedy of Iranians, especially the youths, selling their body parts to survive or to address their own basic needs or those of their families in a country like Iran that has seven percent of the world’s natural resource is an untold catastrophe.”
The dossier includes photos of graffiti, where people have advertised their organs on buildings near hospitals, and a website which advertises the buying and selling of organs via “organ brokers”, who prey on the desperation of both buyer and seller. Messages on this site include:
“Hello, I want to see my kidney under the market price”
“Willing to sell kidney due to financial problems”
“Urgent sale of kidney”
“I need the money urgently, I am willing to come anywhere in Iran”
Most of those selling their organs are aged 22-34 and are encouraged to submit their blood group, mobile number and personal details to the broker.
The NCRI spoke to one dealer, who said that organ brokers can earn up to $56,000 a month, who admitted preying on the poor and even the families of “brain-dead patients” in hospitals.
The dealer said: “Most of those who sell their kidneys are from the lower strata of the society. I find them through friends who live in small towns or poor suburbs. Subsequently, they are satisfied and the price is set. Of course, they are introduced as the donor and the acquaintance of the patient to make the job easier.”
Kidneys are the most in-demand, with blood plasma and livers being more expensive. Here is the price per body part on the black market:
Kidneys – $5k to $10k
Livers – $50k
Corneas – $20k
Bone marrow – $10k
Tehran is reportedly the center of the organ trade, with an alley known as “Kidney Street” and the area is tagged with numerous A4 sheets of paper counting personal details of people selling their organs.
Gobadi said that the Iranian Regime had pillaged the country’s resources and spent billions running “proxy wars” in Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria.
He said: “It is very telling that the painful trend of selling body parts continued and even intensified following the signing of the Iran Nuclear Deal, which released more than 100 billion dollars and enabled the regime to sell more than two million barrels of oil on a daily basis. As the Iranian Resistance said at the time, this windfall was not spent on improving the abysmal living conditions of the Iranian people.”
He continued: “Through embezzlement, theft and astronomical pillaging of these resources, the Iranian regime’s leaders have devoted most of these resources to suppression at home and export of terrorism as well as financing terrorist groups, fomenting proxy wars in the Middle East and working to obtain weapons of mass destruction.”
A large crowd of over 15,000 Iranians, supporters of MEK in Berlin, show their solidarity with Iran uprising, during the Free Iran rally- July 6, 2019
Recent changes in the White House caused many reactions with different attitudes. Some still seeking appeasement policy toward Iranian regime took the advantage of this event to show their opposition to a firm policy vis-à-vis the world’s most active state sponsor of terror, religious fascism ruling Iran, and attacking the democratic opposition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) to justify their support for the terrorist regime of Iran.
Jason Rezaian, a well-known advocator of an appeasement policy, in his Sep 10 Global Opinions column in Washington Post wrote: “The shake-up creates the first real opportunity for Trump to pursue a policy of engaging Iran.”
He challenges the Rezaian’s allegation about MEK and its popularity in Iran writing:
” How does Rezaian know of the true level of support that the MEK enjoys inside Iran under a totalitarian state? What is his measure of sufficient evidence for the MEK’s popularity in a society as complex and repressed as Iran? And how did he conclude that the MEK is reviled by Iranians in a country of over 80 million!? Who are his sources? The Iranian regime and its lobby in the west who want to insinuate that there is no viable alternative to the ruling theocracy and therefore, it must be engaged.”
Free Iran Rally in Berlin- Nearly 15,000 thousands of supporters of MEK, took to the streets in Berlin to show solidarity with the uprisings in Iran.
” Rezaian’s absurd claim that MEK “can claim no popular support” loses muster in face of the facts on the ground. Outside Iran, where Iranians can express their views without the fear of being persecuted, tens of thousands of MEK supporters held major rallies in five major European capitals, Paris,Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm, London and in Washington, DC to call for regime change. Indeed, the three-hour-long rally and march from the State Department to the White House, not only snarled traffic in the nation’s capital for several hours, but it also caught the attention of the mainstream media, save for the Post. Even the White House noticed the elaborate and well-organized rally. “What we want to do is stand with the Iranian people, thousands of whom gathered outside the White House on Friday, and tens of thousands of which, took to the streets last year in communities across Iran, we want to stand with them” Vice President Mike Pence told CBS’s Face the Nation on June 23, 2019.” Mr. Gobadi added.
The Spokesman of the MEK in Paris, argues that advocators of appeasing mullahs, including Rezaian, hardly can understand this reality that the religious dictatorial regime in Iran is in a strategic dead-end.
In conclusion, Mr. Gobadi writes: ” The era when the mullahs could forestall the crisis of being overthrown by relying on appeasement is over. The Iranian street will determine the fate the mullahs, especially since all the propaganda by the likes of Rezaian about Rouhani’s moderation has turned out to be hollow. And if past is prologue, the mullahs’ disastrous 40-year reign has proven that no amount of political and economic concessions will moderate the behavior of this regime. The troglodyte clerics only understand the language of decisiveness and “maximum pressure.”
A shorter version of Mr. Gobadi’s response to Razaian’s allegations appeared in the Washingtonpost.com on September 16.
Guard of honor at MEK headquarter in Albania-July 2019
The Iranian Regime has denied basic human rights to the Iranian people, especially women, for 40 years now, but the pro-democracy movement has remained strong and active, despite vicious reactions by the Regime.
On occasion, this resistance has been visible to the world, such as for the 2009 protests against the rigged election and the nationwide uprising in January 2018. In every uprising, protest, and pro-democracy movement, women have been at the forefront and, according to women’s rights advocate Dr. Maria Ryan, that is no accident.
She wrote for The Hill on Thursday, September 12, 2019, that the mullahs have targeted Iranian women with “repressive, misogynistic laws and execution”, explaining that a female soccer fan died from self-immolation last week because she expected to be jailed for attending a football match.
Ryan wrote of that event: “I met many brave women who survived the mullahs’ brutal crackdown. Many said they had suffered in torture chambers for long years. They shared their stories with me, their personal suffering and the loss of loved ones.”
She continued: “They explained that, while living in Iran, they were not able to choose their own clothes or their professions; a girl as young as nine years old could be married, they said, and a man could have multiple wives. They were forced to leave Iran and were promised safety in camps inside Iraq, they recounted to me, only to be targeted by bombs and gunfire. Several of them said they lost many of their friends to these attacks.”
Ryan said that daily life had become so difficult for many Iranians that growing numbers are turning to drugs to dull the pain or selling their organs to make ends meet. She said that, despite this, the women she met “inspired” her with their “determination, loyalty, patriotism and faith”.
She explained that the NCRI and its members want basic freedoms and are preparing to serve as an interim government if the Iranian people overthrow the mullahs.
Ryan said: “Whether or not you believe that regime change in Iran is truly just around the corner, I am absolutely convinced that with such women in the ranks of the resistance, the change will come to Iran.”
“The Iranian regime was a major topic of discussion during the G-7 Summit in Biarritz last month. But neither France nor any other European country should be helping the murderous regime to acquire a larger presence on the international stage. Tehran’s support for terrorism goes beyond the Middle East and threatens both Europe and the U.S.,” wrote Amb. Ereli.
Referring to the recent terrorist activities of the Iranian regime, particularly, the bombing plot against the great gathering of the Iranian opposition (NCRI) in Paris last year, Amb. Ereli added,
“In the summer of 2018, two Iranian operatives were stopped in Belgium, as they attempted to carry high-explosives to a rally that had been organized outside Paris. Tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates from throughout the world had gathered there for a conference. Many of the hundreds of international dignitaries were prominent figures in politics, security, and academia from France, the US, and dozens of other countries.”
“The plot was neutralized, as were at least five other incidents stretching from Albania to America. The Paris bomb plot led immediately to the arrest of an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, who was found to be the mastermind. A French intelligence investigation determined that he had been acting on explicit orders directly from the highest levels of the regime. Moreover, he was using the cover provided by his diplomatic status and Iran’s embassies abroad to disguise the regime’s terrorism. Germany extradited Assadi to Belgium, where he and three of his agents are now awaiting trial.” Mr. Ereli added
Amb. Ereli argues that Zarif’s invitation to G7 demonstrated the international community’s indifference toward Iranian regime’s terrorism and gave the regime’s globetrotting propagandist an opportunity to put a smiling face on intolerable actions and to whitewash a 40-year history of terrorist financing and human rights violations.
“The French attitude could be an undermining the US imposed sanctions on Zarif and the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)”, he noted.
The former State Department Spokesperson also highlighted the role of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in exposing the Iranian regime’s terrorism, which, in his words, explains the hostility of Iranian regime towards the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)
“This has always been the position of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which explains why the Iranian regime is determined to eliminate this group and its members. In addition to the attempt to blow up the NCRI’s rally outside Paris and attacks against the MEK’s headquarters in Albania last year, the government of Iran executed an estimated 30,000 MEK political prisoners in the summer of 1988. The fact that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly acknowledged the role of the MEK in organizing the anti-regime protests that rocked all parts of Iran in 2018 is a telling admission of the group’s ability to rattle the regime.”
Instead of embracing Zarif, the mouthpiece of the terrorist regime of Iran, the international community must hold him and other terrorist officials of mullahs accountable for their crimes and as Mr. Ereli noted
“If Mr. Zarif must appear at international gatherings, he should be challenged aggressively over his government’s ongoing record of criminal activity. Anything less will encourage Iran to act with increasing impunity, with devastating consequences.”
The Iranian regime diplomat-terrorist, who was the mastermind behind last year’s terror plot to bomb MEK’s Free Iran rally in Paris. Assadollah Assadi was arrested by German police and later extradited to Belgium for trial.
“One of the main challenges is how to deal with the Iranian regime and its bellicose behavior,” wrote Terzi. He cited the regime’s increasing aggression toward commercial shipping vessels in the Middle East, including the seizure of a British-flagged vessel in mid-July.
“The United Kingdom responded appropriately by directing its warships in the region to shadow such vessels for the foreseeable future. But Europe has seemed hesitant to recognize the Iranian threat as extending to them,” Terzi wrote.
“The EU may be able to fool itself into believing that the naval activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been directed only against the US and Britain, even though seized and damaged tankers have born the flags of various countries including Norway and Japan. But no such self-deception can be justified when it comes to the threat of terrorism originating in or backed by Tehran,” he stressed.
The former Italian Foreign Minister explained that at least six terrorist plots and assassinations by the Iranian regime were foiled by Western authorities in 2018. The targets ranged from opposition groups in the United States to the MEK’s headquarters in Albania.
Terrorist Plot on 2018 Free Iran Gathering
The most significant of the regime’s 2018 terrorist plots involved an Iranian-Belgian couple who were arrested with 500 kilograms of TATP explosives. The couple acting under the orders of regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi, were enroute to the annual Free Iran gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Villepinte, France where they planned to set off the explosives.
The Free Iran gathering was attended by 100,000 Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) supporters, as well as hundreds of high-ranking politicians and dignitaries from around the world. Terzi was in attendance.
Regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi was arrested for masterminding the attack and eventually extradited to Belgium, where he and three accomplices are currently awaiting trial. The plot was planned by officials at the highest levels of the regime, wrote Terzi.
“Had the plot been successful, it would have not only taken place on European soil but would have almost certainly claimed European lives. If one is aware of this incident, one cannot deny that the Iranian threat to the international community is genuine, severe, and far-reaching,” Terzi emphasized.
“To be more precise, no one can deny this conclusion in good faith. But that won’t necessarily stop any given policymaker from denying it anyway. In advance of Iran’s Foreign Minister visiting Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly told his security chiefs to keep silent about last year’s terror plot. Now, in the wake of visits to Europe by the top diplomats from both Iran and the US, it is up to the incoming EU leadership to determine whose attitude toward Iran carries more weight: those who are explicitly covering up its crimes, or those who aspire to hold it to account,” he continued.
“The answer to this question will yield both short and long-term consequences. In the first place, it may determine whether the diplomat-terrorist who masterminded last year’s Paris bomb plot is actually punished in accordance with the charges he is now facing in Belgium. And the message of his prosecution may, in turn, set the stage for a proper, multilateral response to further Iranian terrorism, at a time when the regime is threatening Western entities like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, subjecting them to ‘sanctions’ that might better be understood as fatwas,” Terzi argued.
Continuing attempts by the regime in Iran to intimidate @FDD, an American think tank—a THINK TANK—must be condemned by all freedom-loving people around the world. The U.S. does not take these threats lightly, and will hold the regime and its “apparatuses” to account.
“Speaking more broadly, decisions in the coming days may determine the future of US-EU relations. The Europeans need to recognize the need for confronting Iranian threats and guaranteeing that the regime faces consequences for criminal behavior,” Terzi concluded.
Assadollah Assadi, the Iranian regime’s diplomat terrorist, that was arrested last year and is now in Belgium prison, for masterminding the failed terrorist attack to bomb MEK’s annual gathering in Paris.
The Iranian regime poses a threat to global security which cannot be ignored by the international security, writes Ambassador Ken Blackwell in a column published on the Townhall website on September 2nd. In his new column, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission argues that policymakers have not factored in the threat posed by the Iranian regime, citing the multiple foiled terrorist attacks on European soil last year as evidence of the international community’s refusal to take serious action despite serious threats.
The annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Villepinte, France attracted 100,000 MEK supporters. July 1, 2018
“It also nearly attracted two aspiring bombers, who were fortunately stopped on their way to the gathering on June 30, 2018,” wrote Blackwell. “Shortly thereafter, a senior Iranian “diplomat” named Assadollah Assadi was also arrested and identified as the mastermind of the plot,” he continued.
“The operation leading to these arrests was a testament to European authorities’ awareness of the persistent threat emanating from Tehran. A subsequent investigation by French intelligence left no doubt about the fact that Assadi and his Iranian-Belgian assets were acting upon orders from the highest ranks of the regime,” Blackwell explained.
Blackwell pointed out that the Paris plot was not the first attempt by the regime to target the MEK. Three months prior, regime operatives attempted to attack Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania. At least four other terrorist plots by the regime were uncovered in 2018.
Assadollah Assadi the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) station chief in Vienna-also the head of MOIS for all Europe-was the mastermind & caught delivering a powerful bomb to two other Iranian agents on the day of June Paris event. Germany expelled Assadi to Belgium to stand trial. pic.twitter.com/ATw4SaYwy5
Blackwell argued that the EU did not take sufficient action in response to the terrorist attempts in 2018. “The EU only saw fit to impose limited sanctions on the Iranian secret service and a handful of its known agents. But even this gesture was ultimately undermined by a broader European strategy that involves the continuation of conciliatory policies for dealing with the regime,” he wrote.
He also noted that Assadi is not the only regime diplomat working as a terrorist operative, writing: “[Assadi’s] arrest prompted a spokesperson for the Belgian police to affirm that almost all Iranian diplomats play a role in the Iranian secret service.”
Blackwell further stated that Iran’s own officials have acknowledged the link between paramilitary and diplomatic entities within the regime. “In a recent interview with Iranian state media, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi declared that the Foreign Ministry, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security all pursue the same objectives,” he wrote.
Blackwell emphasized that even the U.S. which has imposed strict sanctions on the Iranian regime should go further. “Comprehensive sanctions on the IRGC were a long time coming, but now they should be extended to also include the entire Ministry of Intelligence and the entire Foreign Ministry, rather than just Mohammad-Javad Zarif, the regime’s foreign minister,” he argued.
“Bombings, assassinations, and hostage-taking are all part of the Iranian regime’s DNA, and no major government institution can be thought of as isolated from the use of terrorism as a form of statecraft. So the only way to fully address the relevant threat is by isolating the regime as a whole, pending a far-reaching change in its behavior or its imminent collapse,” Blackwell continued.
“If the U.S. hasn’t gone far enough toward this goal, then the nations of Europe have even more ground to make up. In the wake of last year’s thwarted terror plots, an appropriate policy would involve dramatically expanding economic sanctions as well as expelling Iranian diplomats. But in the case of France and certain other EU member states, such a strategy cannot realistically be adopted until those nations’ leaders recognize the fact that much of the world is facing persistent danger from the Iranian regime’s undiminished malign activities,” Blackwell concluded.
In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners across Iran. The massacre was carried out based on a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
In the summer of 1988, 30000 political prisoners were massacred in Iran. The massacre was carried out based on a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini
“Whoever at any stage continues to belong to the Monafeqin (the regime’s derogatory term to describe the PMOI/MEK) must be executed. Annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately.”
He went on to add:
“… Those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the MEK/PMOI are waging war on God and are condemned to execution… It is naive to show mercy to those who wage war on God.”
More than 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in a matter of a few months. The vast majority of the victims were activists of the opposition PMOI/MEK.
Many members of the death committees, which ordered the mass killings in different cities, are now senior Iranian regime officials, including the Judiciary Head Ebrahim Raisi and regime Justice Minister Ali Reza Avaei.
Many members of the death committees, which ordered the mass killings in different cities, are now senior Iranian regime officials
The majority of those executed were either serving prison sentences for their political activities or had already completed their sentences but had not been released… While the Iranian regime has brazenly boasted about this massacre, it has not provided any information as to how many prisoners were killed or where the victims are buried.
In an article about the massacre, the British Daily, The Telegraph, wrote:
“CHILDREN as young as 13 were hanged from cranes, six at a time, in a barbaric two-month purge of Iran’s prisons on the direct orders of Ayatollah Khomeini, according to a new book by his former deputy.
More than 30,000 political prisoners were executed in the 1988 massacre – a far larger number than previously suspected. Secret documents smuggled out of Iran reveal that, because of the large numbers of necks to be broken, prisoners were loaded onto forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half-hourly intervals.”
Amnesty International’s statement reads:
“Thousands of the victims’ deaths remain unregistered and, across the country, there are thousands of missing bodies buried in unidentified mass graves. For more than 30 years, the Iranian authorities have failed to officially acknowledge the existence of these mass graves and concealed their locations causing immeasurable suffering to families who are still seeking answers about their missing loved ones.”
Philip Luther, the Middle East, and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International added:
“The families of those secretly killed in the 1988 prison massacres are still living through a nightmare. They and many others in Iran are haunted by the thousands of missing bodies, which have cast a specter over the country’s justice system to this day,”
said Philip Luther.
“UN member states must use every opportunity, including the upcoming review of Iran’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in November, to press the Iranian government to identify mass graves and reveal the fate and whereabouts of all victims of these tragic events.”
“The massacre in 1988 was the horrifying scene of such historic confrontation. But it was not the end. Despite its excruciating pain and agony, it was the beginning of a new confrontation which still continues and will ultimately write the fate of the Iranian nation with the word, freedom.
From this vantage point, one can see that the 1988 massacre is tied to Iran’s freedom and future. It is entwined with the stoned rights of human beings in Iran, with the resistance for freedom and equality, with the betrayal of foreign proponents of appeasement, with the disgraceful cowardice of those who surrendered to the regime, and of course, it is tied to the regime’s overthrow.”