With the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi to Judiciary Chief by the Supreme Leader, the regime is demonstrating that there is no accountability within its government. Raisi was one of the leaders involved in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, which resulted in approximately 30,000 Iranians being killed. Many were placed in mass graves, simply for disagreeing with the political and social ideology of the regime.
Their focus was to protect their ability to control Iran, using fundamentalism and terrorism to maintain their power. Today, it is evident that those who supposed the Supreme Leader in his efforts to maintain power, even participating in a crime against humanity, are still being rewarded for their loyalty.
No matter what the regime claims regarding a division between moderates and hardliners, the truth is that this division is fake and simply for the benefit of international community.
Part of the Death Committee in Tehran
Raisi was a known member of the Death Committee, which was authorized by the Supreme Leader Khomeini, that operated in Tehran. These committees were instrumental in sending thousands to their deaths, simply because Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the elimination of all political prisoners who maintained their support for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
During the summer of 1988, Raisi served as the Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran, which meant he sat in on most of the Death Committee sessions held in the capital. He was a key decision maker in ordering executions, according to those lucky enough to survive. Many of the individuals who received the death penalty and then were executed, never even knew the reason for their execution.
These committees would ask questions and then sentence individuals to death, with no trial and no legal representation. Even those who had served prison sentences and were released were called back to the prison for a Death Committee session and then were executed.
Former Justice Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, who also served on the Death Committees, bragged about his role. “Well, I defended [Khomeini’s] move. We had a mission in regard to the [MEK], back when I was the Revolutionary Court prosecutor. I issued many indictments against the [MEK] and sent it to the court. Many of them were condemned, many were executed, and many other verdicts,” said Pour Mohammadi.
While Raisi denies that he was an active participant, he was named by Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri as a leader who was part of this crime against humanity. In a leaked audio recording from 1988, Montazeri is heard objecting to the massacre. He was removed from power and spent the rest of his life under house arrest for standing up against the inhumane power grab of the regime.
The Rise of Raisi
Raisi is replacing Sadeq Amoli Larijani. He was also a 2017 pick for President by Ayatollah Khamenei. Plus, it appears that he could be a possible successor to Khamenei. The appointment to Judiciary Chief comes with a five-year term, which can be renewed.
It appears that this appointment received support from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his supporters, despite Raisi’s close connections to Khamenei. The message to Europeans, who have been attempting to insure the survival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that the path of the regime is not one of connection and openness to interact with the outside world. Instead, they are contracting inward, trying to protect their base of power.
At the same time, they are focusing on repression and military objectives meant to distract the Iranian people. Instead, the Iranian people are standing up and protesting, sending a loud and clear message that they do not want this regime. The international community must decide which side they are on. Is it with the regime and its crimes against humanity or are they going to stand with the Iranian people?
Sanctions Impacting Iranian Regime
The sanctions, both from the U.S. and Europe, have negatively impacted the economy, sending average Iranians into the streets, determined to have their voices heard. In a recent press conference, Struan Stevenson, Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), highlighted the regime’s intensified repression at home since the election of “moderate” Rouhani, as well as the surge in terrorist plots that have been linked to the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS).
He also had criticism for Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
“My report finds it incredible that Mogherini can continue to befriend the mullahs when they have used their own ‘so-called’ diplomats in Europe to perpetrate acts of terror, trying to commit atrocities on European soil,” said Stevenson. “The sudden resignation of Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the on-going nationwide protests and strikes are symptoms of a regime in terminal decline. The head of the terrorist Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani’s insistence on Zarif’s reinstatement is an indication of how the two are indispensable in the planning and implementation of Iran’s foreign terrorist operations.
For the international community, it is important to show support for the Iranian people and to not support a regime that is clearly on its way out.