In the recorded history of the world, rarely has one seen the perpetrator of a large massacre defend their actions in front of the media. In most cases, they simply refuse to acknowledge it even occurred. However, it is impossible to find an example of a senior director of a massacre nominated for a presidential campaign and defending the massacre as part of his election campaign.
The following text is a unique document. This article is a part of the explanation of Mullah Ebrahim Raisi (member of the death committee), a senior official of the political prisoner’s massacre in 1988, to some questions that were published in the state media:
Question: What is the background of the executions in 1988?
Answer: In August 1988, when Monafeghin’s (the name mullahs use for main opposition movement, Mojahedine) national liberation army troops attacked Iran, their operation known as the “eternal light operation” officially began.
Inside the country, the network of the Monafeghin became active in prisons throughout the country and they were ready to join national liberation army. Imam Khomeini, by writing a letter, officially announced that the Monafeghin organization was an “enemy of God”. He ordered the execution of the Monafeghin who were still supporting this organization and thus were enemies of the Islamic republic.
Part of the letter reads: “Since they are enemies of God and their relation with the global arrogance (U.S)…Those who insisted and insist on their Monafeghin position are condemned to execution.”
Therefore, the committee, which consisted of a Judge, a representative of the Attorney General, and a representative of Ministry of Intelligence, started their work of new interrogations of the Monafeghin for their new crime to find those who were insisting on their position, in order to determine the danger to the society.
Question: Why didn’t Imam Khomeini deliver such a decree in 1981, when armed operations was in its primary days?
Answer: In June 1981, society was not as prepared for firm action as it was in August 1988, because the people had not realized the real face of the Monafeghin yet.
However, in August 1988, society could digest the “massive elimination of the Monafeghin”.
An action that was the result of Imam Khomeini’s patience in clarifying the real identity of the Monafeghin.
The massacre of the political prisoners began in August 1988 and was continued for several months. It is estimated that 30,000 political prisoners, who were serving their prison sentences, were executed. Khomeini, in the decree to carry out these executions, named four senior perpetrators for this project. One of them was Mollah Ebrahim Raisi. Today he is a nominee for the presidential campaign and on social networks, he is called “Ayatollah of the massacre”.
Mohammad Amin (@EconomieIran) is a senior research fellow for the Paris-based Fondation d’Etudes pour le Moyen-Orient (FEMO) or Foundation for the Study of the Middle East. He has written several books and essays about the ruling theocracy, the transformation of Iran’s political economy under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East.