Posts Tagged ‘1988 Massacre’

1988 Massacre,Ehsan Qaraee,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Ehsan Qaraee whose father, an MEK activist was executed during the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

The Iranian Regime’s Crimes Must Be Exposed

Ehsan Qaraee whose father, an MEK activist was executed during the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

A screen-shot of the Express UK daily reporting on the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK supporters), by highlighting the story of one of these victims, Ehsan Qaraee

The world is waking up. The brutal and heinous crimes committed by Iran’s religious dictatorship was exposed in a heartbreaking report on the Express-News website.

The August 16, 2019 report written by Sam Stevenson sheds lights on the horrifying story of Iranian dissident Ehsan Qaraee. The civil engineer and human rights activist’s parents were taken away from him when he was a child. His father was later murdered by the Iranian regime.

The article writes: ” The relentless crackdown on political opponents of Khomeini’s regime culminated in what has been described as a political purge in 1988, known as the 1988 massacre. The majority of those killed were supporters of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran [MEK] although supporters of other factions were executed as well.”

Speaking of his experience, Mr. Qaraee told Express-News that his father was murdered by the regime and claimed that his mother was savagely tortured in front of her one-year-old daughter’s eyes.

Mr. Qaraee said, “My parents were both teachers—my father was a historian and my mother was a math teacher.”

He continued: “For me, I would like some recognition from especially the UK Government that this crime was a crime against humanity. And I would like that the UN establish a committee—a truce committee—and that they investigate this crime.

“Because all of those who committed these crimes—all of those who were in ‘death committees’ all around the country—they are still in power.

“We are talking about Ebrahim Raisi who is the head of the judiciary system in Iran—or Mostafa Pourmohammadi who is Justice Minister.” Mr. Qaraee added.

Speaking to Express-News, Amnesty International’s lead researcher on Iran, Raha Bahreini, said: “For three decades, families and survivors and former prisoners have been struggling for truth and justice and they have documented this horrific crime in order to counter the narratives of denial and distortion the Iranian authorities have been perpetuating.”

“We have relied on this legacy of documentation and tried to use the new evidence that has emerged in order to further the struggle of the families and survivors for truth and justice,” Raha added.

Appeasing the mullahs, policymakers in the West tried to turn a blind eye toward what was happening in Iran during the last four decades. However, it is no longer possible for the Iranian regime and its lobbyists to cover or deny their crimes. The Iranian opposition and the MEK are determined to bring the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Iran to justice. It is time to unfold the untold story of thousands of Iranians who have been the victims of the regime’s brutality.

Staff writer

 

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1988 Massacre,Ashraf 3,Human Rights,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

photo of 1988 massacre in Iran

MEK- Iran: Families of Victims of 1988 Massacre Still Waiting for Justice

photo of 1988 massacre in Iran

A photo exhibition of some of the 30000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists), executed in just a few months in Iran by the order of Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the ruling dictatorship in Iran. Paris, September 2017

This summer marks the 31st anniversary of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the Iranian regime. The mass executions, which targeted MEK members and supporters, took place over the course of a single summer on the order of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini. To date, none of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity have faced justice.

Last December, Amnesty International published a report about the 1988 Massacre and the regime’s attempts to prevent the families of the victims from seeking justice. The report, entitled “Iran’s Blood-Soaked Secrets: Why Iran’s 1988 prison massacres are ongoing crimes against humanity,” contains new details of the regime’s ongoing crimes against those who seek justice for those who were murdered in 1988.

The Amnesty International report states:

“Between July and September 1988, the Iranian authorities forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed thousands of imprisoned political dissidents in secret and dumped their bodies, mostly in unmarked mass graves.”

“Since then, the authorities have treated the killings as state secrets, tormenting the relatives by refusing to tell them how and why their loved ones were killed and where they are buried.”

Growing Awareness

The regime spent years denying that the massacre took place, but several high-ranking officials have recently made public remarks in defense of the executions due to widespread condemnation from the international community.

exhibition in Ashraf 3

International dignitaries visit the exhibition in Ashraf 3, MEK’s headquarter in Albania, witnessing the evidence, facts, and photos of some of the victims of the 1988 massacre

Awareness of the 1988 Massacre has grown largely due to the MEK’s efforts to seek an independent investigation into the crime. This summer the MEK held several large rallies in world capitals and organized a five-day conference at Ashraf-3, its headquarters in Albania, which was attended by hundreds of prominent politicians and dignitaries from more than 450 countries. Survivors of the massacre shared their testimony, and human rights activists called for the perpetrators to be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Political Prisoners Speak Out

The British website Express interviewed several former Iranian political prisoners and activists about the regime’s crimes against humanity.

A former political prisoner and human rights activist, said, “I was in prison for many years just for the freedom and now it’s my turn to speak up and be the prisoners’ voice.

“Iran is an old country with a great background on human rights but under the Mullahs they lost everything not only dignity but also their national capitals.”

Human rights activist and author of the anti-regime blog Freedom Star, Mr. Dalvand, said: “For three decades, the international community has been silent over the massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

“As a result, the mullahs have continued with impunity to violate human rights in Iran, launch terrorist operations, and wage catastrophic wars in the Middle East and other countries.

“Now, the time has come to end this silence.”

Those who opposed the regime in the 1980s faced torture, imprisonment, and execution.

Former political prisoner Hossein Fathi and his wife lost 14 members of their family to the regime’s executioners. He told Express: “I witnessed the torture and they tortured me by lashing. They hung me from the roof and tried to kill me.”

Ahmad Ebrahimi was detained in Gohardasht prison during the same era. He said: “They kept us in the dark: we didn’t know what was going on or what was going to happen.

“And we were taken blindfolded where all of us—150 of us—were taken to an interrogation room and asked about our views towards the regime.

“If we did not say we supported the regime, they would kill us straight away.”

Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International’s leader researcher on Iran, called on the United Nations to “finally hear the cry of families and survivors.” Bahreini added: “We believe this serious human rights situation in Iran is tied to the impunity that the Iranian authorities have been able to enjoy since the 1980s for the crimes against humanity that they have committed.”

Staff writer

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Giulio Terzi

Former Italian Foreign Minister Says Regime Can No Longer Deny MEK Iran Is a Threat

Giulio Terzi

Hon. Giulio Terzi, the former Foreign Minister of Italy

In an editorial published on the Issues & Insights website on Thursday, former Italian Foreign Minister Ambassador Giulio Terzi discussed recent admissions by high-ranking officials within the Iranian regime that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI / MEK) poses a serious threat to the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran.

Terzi described an August 5th press briefing held by the spokesman for regime President Rouhani’s cabinet Ali Rabiee in which Rabiee openly mentioned the conflict between the regime and the MEK.

“This represents a departure from the government’s normal policy of remaining silent on that issue in order to downplay the threat that the MEK poses to the theocratic system,” wrote Terzi.

Unmitigated Confidence

The MEK has fought against the mullahs’ tyranny for four decades in its efforts to bring freedom and democracy to Iran. As the largest resistance group in Iran, it has established a well-organized plan for Iran’s democratic future, which is formally stated in Iranian opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan.

“The MEK has expressed unmitigated confidence that the current regime is nearing its collapse, which will pave the way for that vision,” wrote Terzi. He cited that sentiment as the central theme of last month’s Free Iran gathering at Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania. The five-day event was attended by hundreds of prominent politicians and dignitaries from all over the world and focused on “transforming Iran into a democratic country led by the rule of law, respect of human rights and democratic freedom,” wrote Terzi.

Terzi argued that Iran has yet to experience this kind of freedom. The Islamic Republic governs through the principle of velayat-e faqih, or absolute rule, of clerical leaders. Anyone who opposes Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is excluded from the ballot in political elections.

A Turning Point

The MEK has challenged this rule through protests and boycotts of the polls, often at great personal risk. Boycotts at the polls during the 2016 election were followed by a massive anti-regime uprising in December 2017, which spread to 142 cities and every province in the country. The regime did an abrupt about-face and acknowledged the MEK’s role in the Iran protests, contradicting years of their own propaganda that claimed that the MEK lacked influence inside Iran. “This was arguably the turning point undermining the regime’s oft-repeated claim that the MEK is incapable of presenting a serious challenge to the clerical dictatorship,” argued Terzi.

1988 massacre

MEK members massacred by Pourmohammadi

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, an advisor to the head of the regime’s Judiciary Chief, also made recent comments about the MEK. Pour-Mohammadi was a member of Tehran’s Death Committee, which sent thousands of political prisoners to their executions during the 1988 Massacre, which claimed 30,000 lives during a single summer, most of whom were MEK members. Victims of the massacre included girls as young as 15 and pregnant women.

In a recent interview, Pour-Mohammadi once again defended what human rights defenders have called a crime against humanity and called for the elimination of the MEK. “We have no ambiguity about the MEK,” he said. “We are at a time of war. Now is not the time for talk. Now is the time to fight them.”

Tehran’s Greatest Adversary

Terzi stressed that these words make it clear that “the MEK is Tehran’s greatest adversary, and it has not only evaded all efforts to destroy it but has actually grown so much in power and influence that it was able to organize and lead a nationwide uprising just last year.” He went on to urge the world to pay attention to the words regime officials say at home because if they do, “it will become clear that they are afraid.”

This fear provides an opportunity for the international community and the Iranian people, emphasized Terzi. The regime is vulnerable and firm policies by the Western world would be effective in helping the Iranian people take back their country.

“It is now much more difficult for the mullahs to deny that there is already an alternative to their theocratic system and that popular resistance is their Achilles’ heel,” concluded Terzi.

Staff writer

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MEK supporters holding signs reading "Stop Executions Iran"

MEK-Iran: Iranian Regime Executes at Least Seven Prisoners in Just over a Week

MEK supporters holding signs reading "Stop Executions Iran"

MEK supporters hold signs calling for a halt on executions in Iran, during Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France in January 2016. Under “moderate” Rouhani at least 3800 people have been executed in Iran on various charges.

Reports from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) sources inside Iran reveal that at least seven prisoners have been executed by the Iranian regime since August 7th.

According to a similar report, two prisoners were hanged on Saturday, August 10th, in Mashhad’s Central Prison. The state-run Khorasan daily briefly reported the executions on Sunday but did not name the prisoners. The paper wrote that a full report would be available in a few days.

The regime is notorious for its secretiveness surrounding executions. Many executions are never reported at all, making it difficult to track the true number of deaths at the hands of the Rouhani’s regime.

In another report, the executions of five prisoners in Gohardasht Prison in the city of Karaj is reported on Wednesday, August 7th. The prisoners were identified as Mohammad-Reza Shekari, Yousof Zakeri, Majid Arabali, Hossein Panjeh-Maryam, and Bahram Tork.

Prior to their deaths, the condemned men, along with several others, were transferred to solitary confinement to await execution. This is common practice in Iranian prisons and is a signal that execution is imminent. After the hangings, some of the other prisoners were returned to their original cells. Others were left to wait for their turn with the hangman.

39 prisoners were hanged in Iran during the month of July, including four women. One hanging took place in public.

The executions took place in Birjand, Gohardasht, Karaj, Kashan, Khondab, Mahshahr, Kelardasht, Urmia, Noor, Mashhad, Mahabad, Zanjan, Minab, Bandar-Abbas, Borujerd, Shiraz, Tabriz, Gorgan, Dezful, Rasht and Kermanshah.

Rally to call for justice for the 1988 massacre in Iran1988 Massacre

MEK supporters in Geneva, call for justice for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran (mainly MEK activists)- September 2017

Iran’s Human Rights Record

Iran executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. The country is responsible for half of the world’s executions. Since President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013, more than 3,800 people have been executed by the Iranian regime.

 

The United Nations has condemned the Iranian regime for its human rights violations on 65 separate occasions, but the mullahs have not changed their behavior. Rather, they have escalated their campaign of suppression and intimidation against their own people. The regime uses the death penalty as a tool of oppression to silence dissent from its people, and it will continue to do so as long as it can act without fear of consequences.

The MEK’s Political Platform

The MEK has asked the international community to recognize the right of the Iranian people to rise up against their oppressors and overthrow this brutal regime. The people of Iran want a country where voicing dissent is not a capital offense.

 

The MEK’s political platform includes strong opposition to the death penalty and a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture.

The brutal crimes of the mullahs will only end when the people of Iran take back their country. The international community can support their efforts by cutting financial ties with the terrorist regime and blacklisting its agents. They can also join the call for an independent investigation into war crimes committed by the regime during the 1988 Massacre.

Staff writer

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1988 Massacre,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

MEK Iran Critical Role According to Iranian Regime

MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

The “Mothers” demonstration, on May 2, 1981, when over 200,000 supporters of the MEK, took it to the streets of Tehran to protest the killing of 2 teenage girls (MEK supporters), who were shot dead for distributing information behind a stand in one of the streets in Mazandaran. Young MEK supporters have formed a chain in front and side rows to provide protections for the mothers (in the middle).

In state-run media and in official statements, senior Iranian officials have recently made unprecedented remarks about the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), its impact on society, and its role in international policymaking.

A Change in Regime’s Strategy on MEK

For years, it has been the state policy to keep silent about the MEK and its impact, both domestic and global. The recent salvo of remarks and statements reflect a change in the regime’s strategy in this regards. The new approach stems from an unprecedented MEK presence in domestic affairs. Popular support and the public awareness of MEK’s activities have left the regime incapable of continuing its practice of denial.

Official remarks have defended brutal suppression against the MEK and have also expressed anxiety about the MEK’s progress and its role in organizing and galvanizing protests against the regime. Senior officials warn about “major events” that could still be forthcoming.

Acknowledging MEK Role in Mobilizing Protests Inevitable

The officials are fully cognizant of the fact that after years of a massive demonizing campaign against the principal Iranian opposition and systematic repetition of the claim that the MEK has no serious presence or role in Iran, acknowledging the real presence of the MEK in Iran is politically costly. However, it is evident to them that in light of the political state of affairs in Iran, they are bound to pay a price for inspiring their forces and to boosting loyalist morale.

A creator of three state TV serials targeting the MEK said in an interview on July 28: “The current strategy vis-a-vis the MEK is not one of silence. A lot of people are interested in making movies and serials about this organization and its members. And a number of other people have also made serials about them… Prior to Armaghan Tariki (i.e. one of the TV serials), no TV serial was made in this regard. But after that, the managers of state TV showed a lot of interest. In reality, this organization has exposed our nuclear issues on 18 occasions in recent years and a lot of the sanctions are consequent of their activities. All of these resulted in the fact that the authorities and managers concluded that it is necessary to make movies and serials about the Monafeghin.” [Monafegin, meaning hypocrites, is the pejorative term that the regime uses to describe the MEK.]

The following are some of the authorities’ recent remarks on the MEK:

1988 massacre

Photos of the MEK activists who were massacred during the 1988 massacre. Pourmohammadi was one of the members of the death committee responsible for the massacre.

Mustafa Pourmohammadi, Interior Minister in Ahamdinejad administration, Minister of Justice in first Rouhani administration, a key figure in 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists) in Iran

Mosallas (State-run media), July 24, 2019

“MEK has destroyed our image all over the world. During the past 40 years, there hasn’t been any calamity against the Iranian regime that the MEK hasn’t played a key role in. We haven’t evened out our accounts with the MEK yet. We will make our points and statements [about 1988 executions] subsequent to making our accounts even. It is a serious matter…. Many of our missions in the Iran-Iraq War failed due to the MEK. They found out about our operations, exposed them and as a result, we failed…. Now, should I answer for why I fired a mortar by mistake or did something wrong? All the MEK members are criminals and must be put on trial. According to all international laws they must be punished and face the maximum penalty. We have not even our accounts. It is not the time for these words. Now it is time to exterminate them.  The MEK is the worst enemy of this nation [Read the religious extremism ruling Iran]. Today, they must be held to account and be brought to justice. We must uproot every one of them. Unfortunately, due to the current atmosphere of the society and foolishness of some, it is us who have become accused. Rather, the criminals must answer. What are these remarks that some are making in our country?   Some repeatedly talk about history. This is the context of history.” Referring to the exposure of the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners that the regime had tried to hide for decades and now is coming to light as a result of the organization’s popular support.

Interviewer: Was this also the issue of criticism by Mr. Montazeri?

(Hosseinali Montazeri was the heir to Khomeini in 1980s. He was dismissed by Khomeini in early 1989 and sentenced to house arrest due to his protest against the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988. An audio file was revealed three years ago about a meeting between Montazeri and key figures implicated in the massacre in Tehran, including Pourmihammadi. In this tape, Montazeri stated explicitly that this massacre will be recorded in history as the worst crime of the Islamic Republic.)

Pourmohammadi: “It was unfortunate, but the tape was released anyway. Many of the individuals who purport transparency, in reality, they are doing it on behalf of the enemy of course! Otherwise, what was the reason for revealing that audio file?  The context of the discussion was already written and was available. What was the reason for the audio file to be revealed after all these many years? …I believe the MEK case is clear. We have no doubt, no question, and no ambiguity in the case of MEK. Now is a time of war with the MEK.  It is not the time to talk. This is an important point for us. It is the time to uproot hem. It is time to paralyze, exterminate and try them…It is time to do this sort of work. It is not the time to answer these criticisms or to provide legal responses or things of this nature[the 1988 massacre of MEK supporters].”

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

Abdolreza Rahmanifazli, Interior Minister

State TV, July 29, 2019

“The current situation should not make us negligent so as to ignore the protests, not see the disenchantment or prevent it, not provide a proper response and assume that these do not exist. Any incident can lead to a major development. We have to be vigilant.”

Mahmoud Shaeri, commander of 71st Division (aka as Ruhollah Division) during Iran- Iraq War

South-e- Qazvin (state-run site), July 28, 2019

“The MEK is still potential and current threat for the Islamic Republic. Their movement is alive. The MEK has been the basis for all of the sanctions against us. If the MEK was not around, the West still would have imposed sanctions on us; however, the MEK provides them with first-rate and accurate information”, referring to MEK’s numerous revelations of regime’s nuclear weaponry and Ballistic Missiles program, and their terrorist activities in the region, as well as the violations of human rights at home

While underscoring that the MEK is still the most active and the most powerful opposition group against the regime, Shaeri stressed that the reason for the continuation of MEK activity is its deep, calculated and judicious actions.

He pointed out that the measures exposing the MEK have not been appropriate for two reasons:  “First, we portray them as a cowardly enemy and as a result we discount them. We must consider the enemy serious because they are still motivated and work against the Islamic Republic with proper organization and structure. Second is the danger of MEK infiltration inside the regime, which is the main obstacle in confronting them.”

MEK – Iran Protests Rise by %233 During The Month of May

Assadollah Nasseh, the Deputy Commander of Najaf- Ashraf IRGC base in the Iran- Iraq War (responsible for the central and northwest front), Deputy Commander of IRGC counterintelligence, Commander of the IRGC 10th Division, Deputy to the Inspector General of the regime Armed Forces after the Iran-Iraq War

Ofoq (state-run TV), July 29, 2019

“We must be vigilant and should realize that the enmity of the MEK is so profound that it will never give up on us…Everything that takes place in the world against us, we must know that it is the result of their lobbying effort somewhere, or a price that they have paid, or is the result of intelligence that the MEK has provided. On the issue of missiles, we witness that it was based on the information that they provided to Americans. Regarding human rights, they makeup dossiers and files and provide them to Europeans and they put pressure on us in this way. They use all the leverages against us. We should be aware of this and should be vigilant.”

MEK Role in Street Protests and Strikes

Esmail Kousary, Deputy Commander of IRGC Sarollah Garrison (the main IRGC unit responsible for the suppression of the 2009 uprisings in Tehran) and Mehdi Hasheminejad, a senior official of Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)

State TV, July 29, 2019

Head of Habilian Association, Hasheminejad, head of the MOIS division responsible for emanating negative propaganda and lies against MEK:  “The presence of 1500 people round the clock in three shifts indicates that they had planned the protests and this was done in service of the global arrogance. As our officials pointed out, planning of the enemy played a key role in the unrest that took place in our country in 2018.  So, our attitude must recognize the enemy and its targets, so that we will be able to counter them.”

MEK-Iran: Our Iran Released Summary of 2018 Protest Movement

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Maryam Rajavi addressing MEK members during 1988 Massacre Conerence

Maryam Rajavi Calls for Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Speech to Free Iran Conference

Maryam Rajavi addressing MEK members during 1988 Massacre Conerence

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), speaking at the conference “Calling for Justice for the 1988 Massacre” – Ashraf3 the MEK’s compound, Albania- July 15, 2019

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition speaking at the conference “calling for justice for victims of the 1988 Massacre” said that Khomeini, the Iranian regime founder’s intention for ordering the 1988 massacre was to uproot the MEK.

The final day of the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI /MEK)’s headquarter in Albania, on Monday, July 15th, was devoted to the topic of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the Iranian regime.

Background

In the summer of 1988, Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the execution of all MEK members imprisoned in Iran. He formed three-member Death Committees in prisons across the country to carry out trials that lasted only minutes. Prisoners were executed in groups and buried in mass graves.

To date, none of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity have been brought to justice. Many of those responsible have gone on to hold high-ranking positions within the regime.

On Monday, survivors of the massacre shared their testimony of the brutal crime against humanity, and political dignitaries, human rights activists, and members of the NCRI and MEK discussed the urgent need to hold the perpetrators of the mass executions accountable for their crimes. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi delivered the keynote address.

Mrs. Rajavi’s Speech

“The massacre of the MEK and the other combatants and political prisoners was a blood-drenched encounter between the Middle Ages and tomorrow’s generation: the generation that created the 1979 Revolution, who represented a nation resolved to have a society based on freedom and equality but ran into the monster of religious tyranny and invasion of pillage and repression. The massacre of 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,’” said Mrs. Rajavi.

“Khomeini’s intention in ordering the 1988 Massacre was to uproot and obliterate the MEK…The most intense killings began in Evin and Gohardasht Prisons and were specifically aimed at MEK members,” she said.

Mrs. Rajavi stated that the 1988 Massacre was carried out in 110 cities in Iran and that those cities have become hotbeds of protests and uprisings. “It is no accident,” she said, that these cities are now the scenes of resistance by Iranians of every ethnicity, religion, and sector of society.

“The people of Iran are united for the regime’s overthrow and achieving freedom,” she emphasized. “Our society has such a fervent fire in her heart, leaving Khamenei at an impasse. So the regime’s overthrow is the definite and certain fate of the mullahs,” she added.

“The time has come for the United Nations to form an international fact-finding mission for the 1988 Massacre, and the world to recognize the right of the people of Iran to resistance and struggle to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship,” said Mrs. Rajavi.

“I call on all Iranians in Iran and abroad to help advance and expand the Call for Justice movement for the victims of the  1988 Massacre. This is the movement of the oppressed, the suppressed and the bereaved,” she stressed.

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Justice for the 1988 Massacre victim's rally-Geneva

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

Justice for the 1988 Massacre victim's rally-Geneva

Protest Rally, Place des Nations, Geneva,26/02/2019 – Hundreds of Iranian exiles supporters of the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), carried Iranian flags and banners opposed to the Iranian regime in a rally on Tuesday February, 26,2019 in front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva to protest grave violations of human rights in Iran, particularly the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK members).

The final day of the Free Iran Conference was dedicated to seeking justice for the 30,000 victims of the 1988 Massacre and their families. A number of dignitaries gave speeches on Monday, but the most memorable words came from survivors of the massacre. Their words are summarized below.

Kobra Jokar

“I spent six years in prison. The Revolutionary Guards arrested me while I was pregnant. I was taken to Evin Prison and the torture chambers. I was transferred to Ward 209. In the cell, I saw four torturers torture my husband in front of me. They also tortured me in front of him,” said Ms. Jokar.

“A few days later, they executed my husband with 75 others. The torturer said his intention was for him to never see his child. When I gave birth to my child, they took me to a hospital and quickly brought me back to prison even though I was very ill. I personally knew 50 MEK pregnant women who were executed, including Masumeh, the sister of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” she said.

“In prison, they would not give milk and food for the kids, and my cellmates would provide their sugar rations to me to give something to my baby. There was no doctor or medication for the children. In the public ward, there were only 15 minutes of warm water every other day, which we had to use to give the children a bath. Many of these children had lost their parents,” Ms. Jokar continued.

“The torturers even interrogated the children. They strapped a six-year-old girl to a chair in a dark room and said they would leave her there if she did not reveal the names of her mother’s friends,” she said.

“I managed to escape prison in 1986. All of those ladies who shared the cell with me were executed in the 1988 massacre,” Ms. Jokar said.

“The roots of our hopes and faith in our leaders helped us overcome the dark times in prison and to fight for freedom,” she concluded. Ms. Jokar remained stoic throughout her testimony but many in the room were visibly moved by her words.

Hengameh Haj-Hassan

“I was a nurse in Tehran. In 1981, I was arrested and imprisoned in Evin Prison and Gohardasht Prison along with many of my colleagues. We were charged with helping the people who were injured by the IRGC,” said Ms. Haj-Hassan.

“In prison, we were subjected to severe tortures. Insomnia, packed cells, sleeping in coffins were what we had to endure,” she said.

“I was in a cage for seven months. These were small partitions where you could only squat. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t even cough or sneeze. If we moved, we were tortured. Our eyes were blindfolded. My eyesight has been degraded and my back was injured. I was operated on five times and yet I still have not recovered,” Ms. Haj-Hassan continued.

“When we came out of the cages, our friends didn’t recognize us. Inside the cage, we had to be prepared for any torture at any moment. The torturers used any excuse to torture us,” she emphasized.

“The torturer told us that we would die here. We were only given three minutes per day to go to the bathroom. We couldn’t even brush our teeth. The food they gave us was scarce and very dirty. At night, when we were allowed to sleep, they would turn on loudspeakers and play the regime’s mourning songs,” she added.

“The torturers sought to break our will and force us to turn our backs on our struggle. I decided that I would not tell the enemy the name of the Mojahed. My friend Shekar was arrested with me, and she was executed in 1988 after suffering torture and the cage,” she stressed.

“I decided to prepare myself for hard days. I scheduled all my moments every day. My program was I started to remember all the songs and the contents of the Mojahedin books and the martyrs’ biographies that I already had read and started to repeat them. I had a physical exercise program. We weren’t allowed to move, but I exercised in my mind. I nursed patients in my mind,” she explained.

“At night, when we couldn’t sleep due to the loudspeakers, I trained myself to shut down those noises and take myself to pleasant places in my memories,” she added.

“The hardest times were the feeling of loneliness. I thought of God, and I thought of my leader, Massoud Rajavi. I spoke to him, and this way, I didn’t feel alone anymore,” Ms. Hassan continued.

“The torturers thought they would break our will through torture. However, they only made us stronger, as we understood that this proved what we were doing was right,” she emphasized.

“In prison, we considered ourselves PMOI representatives, and we deemed it our responsibility to defend their values. When I came out of prison, the first thing I did was to re-join my organization. This is a path that will continue until the end,” Ms. Haj-Hassan concluded. Her speech drew chants and applause from the audience.

Homa Jaberi

“I was in the regime’s prisons for five years and I witnessed many tortures. I was arrested in 1981 because I had participated in a peaceful MEK protest and spent many years in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Evin prisons. When the regime wasn’t able to break the will of the MEK woman through torture, they created a compound called the ‘residential units,’” said Ms. Jaberi.

“This was a secret compound. I was there for 40 days. From the first day, I was tortured brutally with whips and physically beaten. They took all of us to a room, blindfolded us, and told us that they would kill us until that night. They tortured us for hours until midnight,” she stated.

“My hands were swollen from the whiplashes. My face and body were bruised. The regime’s torturer said, ‘This is your hell. No one will hear you here. You will all die here.’ They kept us awake for many days and didn’t let us sleep,” she continued.

“Some of my friends were kept in this place for six months. We weren’t even allowed to scream under torture. Every command was given with whip lashes. For instance, if they wanted to tell us that we could sleep, they would do so by whipping us,” she added.

“After 40 days, I was taken to Evin Prison. Some of my friends had lost their mental balance. Some of the prisoners would not even speak of the tortures they had suffered. They said that the torturers made them make animal noises and insult themselves. Some had been raped,” Ms. Jaberi explained.

“I have faith that with the leadership of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, we will free Iran. It was this faith that helped me overcome the tough conditions of the prison,” she concluded to cheers and chants from the audience.

A video clip about the 1988 Massacre was shown to the conference attendees. MEK members held up photographs of loved ones who were martyred in the massacre. Some held more than one photograph. Mrs. Rajavi wiped tears from her eyes during the presentation.

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre

Majid Saheb Jam

“I was imprisoned for 17 years. My crime was supporting the MEK. I witnessed many human rights violations. The 1988 massacre was a premeditated and well-planned crime. Some of the people who were directly involved in this crime still hold high positions of power. The regime has done everything in its power to hide its crime. It didn’t even tell the families of the victims the whereabouts of the burial places,” said Mr. Sahebjam.

“During the massacre, the judges only asked one question, in a short trial that lasted only a few minutes. They asked, “What are your charges?” Uttering the word ‘Mojahed’ was enough to seal the fate of the prisoner and send him to the gallows,” he added.

“The prisoners in the regime’s dungeons bore the scars of torture on their bodies. The 1988 massacre was an opportunity for the regime to hide the evidence of its horrible crimes. I personally know at least 20 families who have lost two of their children to the executioners of the regime,” he went on.

“Many of the prisoners were aged 14,15 and 16 when they were arrested. These people were later executed by the regime,” he stressed.

“During the 1988 massacre, dozens of MEK supporters had served their sentence. However, they were kept in prison because they would not repent their support for the MEK. They were executed in 1988 because of their dedication to freedom and human values,” Sahebjam concluded.

Mostafa Naderi

“I spent 11 years in prison, five of those years in solitary confinement. During the 1988 massacre, I was hospitalized because of torture. I was unconscious in the clinic when they called my name for execution, and this is how I survived,” said Mr. Naderi.

“After the executions, when you were taken to the cells, they asked for your name and checked in a notebook. In the notebook, all the names were crossed, which meant they were executed,” he explained.

“In the beginning, they said nothing of the executions, claiming the prisoners were going for family visits. In many smaller cities, not even a single person survived to tell the story of the massacre,” Mr. Naderi added.

“In prison, I was severely tortured. After eight months of torture, I and five other prisoners were taken to a mullah who said we were enemies of God and would be executed that night. They took us to the place of execution. They tied our hands and we heard the guns being loaded. They fired, but they show a meter above our heads. We suffered a traumatic experience. One of the prisoners fainted and another lost his eyesight,” he said.

“The 1988 massacre was planned from two years before. However, the massacre continues to this day. We must stop this,” Mr. Naderi concluded.

 

Mahmoud Royaei

“I spent 10 years in the regime’s prisons. Many of my friends were teenagers when they were arrested. They spent many years in prison and were finally executed. People who had served their sentences and their families were waiting for them. However, they never got to see them,” said Mr. Royaie.

“One of my friends was executed five years after his sentence was finished. He was taken to the gallows just as he defended the name of Mojahed. Many of the prisoners’ families died after hearing that their loved ones were executed. The father of one of my friends had a cardiac arrest when he heard about his son’s execution. So you could say the regime even executed our families,” he said.

“Some of these families are still staring at the pictures of their loved ones and crying after 30 years. Some of the parents lost their sanity when their children were executed,” Mr. Royaie added.

“The regime even executed the disabled and handicapped. Yet these prisoners stood tall when they went to the gallows. One of my friends had lost his mentality due to the tortures. However, when they took him to the judge, he stood tall and said, ‘I’m a Mojahed.’ He was executed,” he recalled.

“The 1988 massacre was a national disaster, but it is also the pride of our nation. Today, people who weren’t even born then are calling for justice. The members of the 1988 ‘Death Commissions’ are members of the government today,” Mr. Royaie said.

“When I think about those brave prisoners, I am humbled. With the justice movement, I feel that they’re here with us, in Ashraf 3,” he concluded.

Staff writer

 

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Regime Advisor Defends 1988 Massacre, Vows to “Eliminate MEK”

Ayatollah Montazeri's revelation

Ayatollah Montazeri, regime’s ex-Supreme leader’s heir, ina taped message revealed the extent of the massacre of the MEK supporters, calling it “the greatest crime committed in the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn” the mullahs ruling Iran for.

In a July 24, 2019 interview with the state-run Mosalas magazine, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, Advisor to the Iranian regime’s Judiciary Chief and former Interior and Justice Minister defended the regime’s mass execution of 30,000 political prisoners in the 1988 Massacre and further vowed to carry on the regime’s efforts to seek out and kill MEK members until the group was eliminated.

The 1988 Massacre

Pour-Mohammadi was appointed to Tehran’s Death Commission in the summer of 1988 by regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini. The Death Commissions were tasked with carrying out Khomeini’s fatwa decreeing that all MEK political prisoners in Iran must be executed.

More than 30,000 political prisoners were executed over the course of the summer of 1988, most of whom were MEK members. To date, none of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity have been brought to justice. Many of those responsible for the executions have gone on to serve as high-ranking members of the regime.

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi’s Interview with Mosalas Magazine

Pour-Mohammadi made a number of shocking statements about the 1988 Massacre, along with direct threats to the MEK, some of which are translated and excerpted below:

Question: A major accusation against the Islamic Republic, which is usually picked up by foreign news organizations, relates to the issue of the ‘Hypocrites’ [MEK] and the manner in which the Islamic Republic dealt with the MEK, the height of which was in 1988. You were in the Foreign Intelligence Department and had a role in this affair. You can explain how you were involved.

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi: Look, your enemy is lying. It is making accusations. It is resorting to any evil act. It has no barrier. It is coordinating in detail with your enemies and does not hesitate to carry out any action against you. Imagine we are in the middle of this. Do you expect us to simply announce all our operational plans and those issues that they can use to their advantage and clobber us with every day? So that they sideline and cover up 100 of our logical and correct statements in the media, and expose two of our points which we accept are our weaknesses so that they can present an important point of history using just two or three issues and events, and cast this image in the public mindset? This is certainly not the right thing to do. They are blowing their propaganda horns and concentrating on this story.

When the criminal, traitor enemy [MEK] is carrying out operations as a brigade of the enemy [Iraq], are we really expected to talk about legal debates and civil and humanitarian protections when we are in the middle of a war, and say, ‘this happened here’, ‘that happened there’?..

Mostafa PourMohammadi, member of the “Death Committee” during the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists) who were slain by a direct fatwa from the Iranian regime’s supreme leader, Rouhollah Khomeini.

Question: So the context of this saga was the war that was taking place.

Pour-Mohammadi: … Can you have an enemy that is worse than that? They destroy your image all around the world. There has not been a single case of such destruction in the past 40 years, other than those in which the MEK has had the leading role. We have not yet settled the score with the MEK. We will discuss these matters after we eliminate them. We are not joking. They need to come and answer for their crimes and treachery. … And now you want me to come forward and answer, in legal terms, why I threw a grenade into the wrong place or acting incorrectly? The MEK are all criminals. They must all be prosecuted in court. Under any law in this world, all of them have killed people and have waged war, and they must all face capital punishment.”

Question: Even those who were in prison [at the time]? Except for those who repented?

Pour-Mohammadi: Look! When you commute a sentence, on a temporary basis, for a criminal terrorist in prison, and then he behaves like he is taking part in the depth of the conspiracy and is cooperating [with the enemy], are you supposed to be dimwitted and simplistic and let him carry out any operation? Who would do that?

Question: Those who were executed were all collaborators?

Pour-Mohammadi: Look. These were the minimum legal protocols that were adhered to. No one doubts this. We were told to accept the word of even those who falsely repented. But when someone is involved in an operation plot, has plotted his escape, is planning to take over Jamaran [Khomeini’s home] the next day, kill the Imam [Khomeini] and his entourage, and take over the state broadcaster and all government centers, and has received an operational plan telling him where to go; are we supposed to be simplistic and say: ‘No, you weren’t on the frontline. You were backup forces. You were spying. You were a mechanic [for their] vehicles.’ Huh? Is that what we were supposed to say? Whoever is in the enemy lines is the enemy. What are we supposed to do to the enemy? We are supposed to fight the enemy. We have not yet eliminated them. Now’s not the time for such talk. Now’s the time to root them out. Today as well, the MEK is the most treacherous enemy of this nation. They need to come and answer and stand trial. We have to deal with each and every one of them…

I think the issue of the MEK is clear. We have no ambiguity about the MEK. We are at a time of war. Now is not the time for talk. Now is the time to fight them, now is the time to subdue them. Now is the time to conduct prosecutions. It is time to put the criminal world that defends terrorism in its place. Now is not the time to give legal answers and say for example, ‘this judge acted well’, ‘this judge acted poorly’ or to ask whether this file was closed properly. Yes, perhaps the Judiciary might have many weaknesses, and it might make a mistake now and then. Are we supposed to defend our mistakes? But, the issue is not about a mistake having been made. This whole issue is immaterial and does not merit attention. But, I think once, God willing, we get rid of the MEK, then these matters will become more clear with greater detail.

Statement from Amnesty International

Amnesty International issued a statement in response to Pour-Mohammadi’s interview expressing alarm at the lack of accountability from the perpetrators of the 1988 Massacre and the continued threats to the family members of the victims of the crime. The statement read, in part:

“The organization is particularly concerned about comments by Mostafa Pour Mohammadi accusing those advocating for truth and accountability of ‘terrorism’ and ‘collusion’ with Iran’s geopolitical enemies, and warning that they shall face prosecution. These comments, coupled with the appointment, in March 2019, of Ebrahim Raisi, who, like Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, was involved with the mass extrajudicial executions of 1988, to the position of the head of the judiciary, put survivors, family members of those executed and human rights defenders at increased risk of harassment and persecution simply for seeking truth and justice.”

Staff writer

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List and particulars of 1988 massacre in Iran

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

List and particulars of 1988 massacre in Iran

List of thousands of PMOI / MEK martyrs executed during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran- A photo of the exhibition at Ashraf3, during the 5-day conference in solidarity with the Iranian resistance- July 2019

The final day of the Free Iran Conference was dedicated to seeking justice for the 30,000 victims of the 1988 Massacre (mainly MEK supporters) and their families. A number of dignitaries gave speeches on Monday, but the most memorable words came from survivors of the massacre. Their words are summarized below.

Kobra Jokar – Former Political Prisoner

“I spent six years in prison. The Revolutionary Guards arrested me while I was pregnant. I was taken to Evin Prison and the torture chambers. I was transferred to Ward 209. In the cell, I saw four torturers torture my husband in front of me. They also tortured me in front of him,” said Ms. Jokar.

“A few days later, they executed my husband with 75 others. The torturer said his intention was for him to never see his child. When I gave birth to my child, they took me to a hospital and quickly brought me back to prison even though I was very ill. I personally knew 50 MEK pregnant women who were executed, including Masumeh, the sister of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” she said.

“In prison, they would not give milk and food for the kids, and my cell mates would provide their sugar rations to me to give something to my baby. There was no doctor or medication for the children. In the public ward, there were only 15 minutes of warm water every other day, which we had to use to give the children a bath. Many of these children had lost their parents,” Ms. Jokar continued.

 

“The torturers even interrogated the children. They strapped a six-year-old girl to a chair in a dark room and said they would leave her there if she did not reveal the names of her mother’s friends,” she said.

“I managed to escape prison in 1986. All of those ladies who shared the cell with me were executed in the 1988 massacre,” Ms. Jokar said.

“The roots of our hopes and faith in our leaders helped us overcome the dark times in prison and to fight for freedom,” she concluded. Ms. Jokar remained stoic throughout her testimony but many in the room were visibly moved by her words.

 Hengameh Haj-Hassan

“I was a nurse in Tehran. In 1981, I was arrested and imprisoned in Evin Prison and Gohardasht Prison along with many of my colleagues. We were charged with helping the people who were injured by the IRGC,” said Ms. Haj-Hassan.

“In prison, we were subjected to severe tortures. Insomnia, packed cells, sleeping in coffins were what we had to endure,” she said.

“I was in a cage for seven months. These were small partitions where you could only squat. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t even cough or sneeze. If we moved, we were tortured. Our eyes were blindfolded. My eyesight has been degraded and my back was injured. I was operated on five times and yet I still have not recovered,” Ms. Haj-Hassan continued.

“When we came out of the cages, our friends didn’t recognize us. Inside the cage, we had to be prepared for any torture at any moment. The torturers used any excuse to torture us,” she emphasized.

“The torturer told us that we would die here. We were only given three minutes per day to go to the bathroom. We couldn’t even brush our teeth. The food they gave us was scarce and very dirty. At night, when we were allowed to sleep, they would turn on loudspeakers and play the regime’s mourning songs,” she added.

“The torturers sought to break our will and force us to turn our backs on our struggle. I decided that I would tell the enemy the name of the Mojahed. My friend Shekar was arrested with me, and she was executed in 1988 after suffering torture and the cage,” she stressed.

“I decided to prepare myself for hard days. I scheduled all my moments every day. My program was I started to remember all the songs and the contents of the Mojahedin books and the martyrs’ biographies that I already had read and started to repeat them. I had a physical exercise program. We weren’t allowed to move, but I exercised in my mind. I nursed patients in my mind,” she explained.

“At night, when we couldn’t sleep due to the loudspeakers, I trained myself to shut down those noises and take myself to pleasant places in my memories,” she added.

“The hardest times were the feeling of loneliness. I thought of God, and I thought of my leader, Massoud Rajavi. I spoke to him, and this way, I didn’t feel alone anymore,” Ms. Hassan continued.

“The torturers thought they would break our will through torture. However, they only made us stronger, as we understood that this proved what we were doing was right,” she emphasized.

“In prison, we considered ourselves PMOI representatives, and we deemed it our responsibility to defend their values. When I came out of prison, the first thing I did was to re-join my organization. This is a path that will continue until the end,” Ms. Haj-Hassan concluded. Her speech drew chants and applause from the audience.

Homa Jaberi

“I was in the regime’s prisons for five years and I witnessed many tortures. I was arrested in 1981 because I had participated in a peaceful MEK protest and spent many years in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Evin prisons. When the regime wasn’t able to break the will of the MEK woman through torture, they created a compound called the ‘residential units,’” said Ms. Jaberi.

“This was a secret compound. I was there for 40 days. From the first day, I was tortured brutally with whips and physically beaten. They took all of us to a room, blindfolded us, and told us that they would kill us until that night. They tortured us for hours until midnight,” she stated.

“My hands were swollen from the whiplashes. My face and body were bruised. The regime’s torturer said, ‘This is your hell. No one will hear you here. You will all die here.’ They kept us awake for many days and didn’t let us sleep,” she continued.

“Some of my friends were kept in this place for six months. We weren’t even allowed to scream under torture. Every command was given with whip lashes. For instance, if they wanted to tell us that we could sleep, they would do so by whipping us,” she added.

“After 40 days, I was taken to Evin Prison. Some of my friends had lost their mental balance. Some of the prisoners would not even speak of the tortures they had suffered. They said that the torturers made them make animal noises and insult themselves. Some had been raped,” Ms. Jaberi explained.

“I have faith that with the leadership of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, we will free Iran. It was this faith that helped me overcome the tough conditions of the prison,” she concluded to cheers and chants from the audience.

A video clip about the 1988 Massacre was shown to the conference attendees. MEK members held up photographs of loved ones who were martyred in the massacre. Some held more than one photograph. Mrs. Rajavi wiped tears from her eyes during the presentation.

 

Staff writer

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1988 Massacre,Ashraf 3,Free Iran,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

It’s Time to Take Larger Steps toward International Pressure on the Iranian Regime

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, addressing a crowed of MEK members and distinguished politicians on the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran- July 15, 2019

On June 29, the Iranian Resistance leader Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) delivered a speech to visiting lawmakers from throughout the world, at the Albanian headquarters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). It was the most significant international gathering at the compound (Ashraf3) since it was established following the evacuation of the group’s former community in Iraq, which had been under fire for years from forces aligned with Iran’s theocratic regime.

The successful relocation of all of the camp’s 3,000 residents was regarded as a triumph by the MEK, insofar as it provided a new, more stable base of operations for the global effort to remove the existing regime and establish a democratic system in its place. Last month’s speech was an opportunity for Mrs. Rajavi to emphasize the practical outlook for that project and to encourage the international community to continue pursuing the type of assertive foreign policy that was on display when the United States and the United Nations stood up to Iran over the issue of the MEK and its members residing in camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The effort to relocate those people to what is now known as “Ashraf 3” was a modest beginning to more confrontational dealings with the Islamic Republic. But as Mrs. Rajavi explained in her remarks, the world had a long way to go to reverse a decades-long strategy of conciliation and “appeasement.” It still does, although the Trump White House has done a great deal to help demonstrate the potential effect of putting pressure on the regime instead of negotiating with it in the vain hope that its behavior will someday change.

“Imagine for a moment, what would have happened if such a disastrous policy would not have been adopted from the outset,” she said to a crowd of MEK members and visiting supporters before outlining a wide variety of malign activities that were enabled in large part by Western powers’ preoccupation with reaching out to so-called moderates within the regime. The prime target of this effort, in recent years, was President Hassan Rouhani, but his progressive-sounding campaign promises were belied by his previous dealings with the West and his proven disregard for human rights issues.

Like many of those who played a major role in Iran’s government in the years following the 1979 revolution, Rouhani was aware of many of the killings and other crimes that were carried out in the interest of silencing dissent against the fledgling theocracy. As a Member of Parliament and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Rouhani was in a position to press for an end to these crimes or at least speak out against them. Yet he consistently demonstrated complicity, even when “death commissions” began the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988.

That dark stain on Iran’s history, with its estimated death toll of 30,000 over just a few months, was the first thing mentioned by Mrs. Rajavi when she listed all that could have been prevented by more assertive Western policies. Sadly, not only did lawmakers and Western media largely ignore warnings about what was happening in 1988, they learned hardly anything about the regime in the aftermath. The world should have recognized the futility of appealing to “moderates” when it became clear that the few who objected to mass killing were driven out of the system, while those who participated were rewarded for the rest of their political careers.

 

In 1988, Hossein Ali Montazeri was next in line to be Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. But after he warned his fellow officials that they would be remembered as criminals for facilitating thousands of politically motivated executions, he not only was shunned by the regime but went on to spend the last years of his life under house arrest.

By contrast, one of the main architects of the killings, Ebrahim Raisi, was appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei earlier this year to head the entire nation’s judiciary. Two other members of the “death commissions” were appointed by Rouhani to head the Ministry of Justice during each of his successive terms. This should tell lawmakers throughout the world all they need to know about Tehran’s view of human rights, about Rouhani’s moderate credentials, and about the future the Iranian people will face if the international community continues trying to elevate such figures while promoting a slow pathway to reform.

There are only two realistic outcomes for the Islamic Republic: maintenance of the status quo as advocated by the authors of “appeasement,” or sudden, transformative change of the sort championed by the MEK and its allies in the NCRI.

The fact is that constructive dialogue with the mullahs does not work. Even the 2015 nuclear agreement demonstrated this, as the regime’s acceptance of modest, easily reversible restrictions on its nuclear program produced a financial windfall that has since been used to accelerate missile development, violent intervention into the affairs of surrounding nations, and ultimately, the nuclear program itself. In recent days, the supposedly moderate Rouhani has personally expressed about his intention to oversee uranium enrichment in “any amount” desired. This only underscores the lack of restrictions put in place by negotiators for whom conciliation has long since become the norm.

But there were clear warning signs about Rouhani’s duplicity in this, as well. When he served as Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005, he publicly bragged about creating a “calm environment” in which the regime could accelerate its nuclear development while giving the impression that it was preparing to wind down.

The regime is giving no such impression now, and its open hostility can only be explained by its well-learned confidence that the world will not do anything to stop it. Notwithstanding the Ashrafis’ relocation and the effective economic pressure being exerted by the US, the world community as a whole has shown little interest in severing ties with Iran or adopting the strategy of “maximum pressure,” even in the wake of direct attacks on oil tankers and a US drone, and proxy attacks on pipelines, airports, and more.

The most serious action that the European Union has taken over the past year is to sanction Iran’s secret service and some of its known operatives. All it took was for France, Albania, and other nations to be directly threatened by bomb and assassination plots targeting Iranian opposition activists. Considering what those plots say about the political climate inside the Islamic Republic and the potential for more killings on the scale of 1988, it is shocking that the international community is so hesitant to go at least as far as the White House has done, by sanctioning the office of the supreme leader and designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

If they were to do so, the Europeans would go a long way toward promoting the sudden, transformative change that represents Iran’s only hope for a free and democratic future. Last year, a nationwide mass uprising led by the MEK demonstrated that the people of that country are ready to take it upon themselves to bring this about. All they need is the international support that has been almost always withheld throughout the past four decades.

Staff writer

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