The publication of a shocking audio tape in which the former heir to then-Iranian regime’s supreme leader, Khomeini, a meeting with members of the “death commission” 28 years ago (August 15, 1988) reveals new information about the scope and breadth of the massacre of political prisoners at the time.
It also shows that the Iranian regime’s leaders who held positions of power since the beginning of the regime’s establishment must face justice for committing one of the most horrific crimes against humanity.
In the audio tape, Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who was subsequently dismissed as the heir by Khomeini, for these very remarks, tells members of the “death commission”, Hossein-Ali Nayyeri, the regime’s sharia judge, Morteza Eshraqi, the regime’s prosecutor, Ebrahim Raeesi, deputy prosecutor, and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, representative of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), “The greatest crime committed during the reign of the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us, has been committed by you. Your (names) will in the future be etched in the annals of history as criminals.” He adds, “Executing these people while there have been no new activities (by the prisoners) means that … the entire judicial system has been at fault.”
Mostafa Pourmohammadi is currently the justice minister in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet and Hossein-Ali Nayyeri is the current head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges. Ebrahim Raeesi was the clerical regime’s prosecutor up until several months ago and has recently been appointed by supreme leader Ali Khamenei as the head of the Astan Qods-e Razavi foundation, which is one of the most important political and economic powerhouses in the clerical regime. It appropriates public funds in order to financially support some of the regime’s acts of suppression and export of terrorism, including funds spent for the war in Syria.
In the meeting, Montazeri tells Pourmohammadi that the MOIS had planned this massacre many months before. “(The ministry of) Intelligence wanted to do it (the massacre) and had made investments. And, Ahmad (Khomeini’s son) had been personally saying for three or four years (prior to the massacre) that the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq) must all be executed, even if they read their newspapers, publications and statements.,” he says, adding, “The Mujahedin-e Khalq are not simply individuals. They represent an ideology and a school of thought. They represent a line of logic. One must respond to the wrong logic by presenting the right logic. One cannot resolve this through killing; killing will only propagate and spread it.”
Terrified of the consequences of this horrific crime, Pourmohammadi recently denied his membership in the “death commission” and claimed he had no role in the 1988 massacre.
Elsewhere in the audio, Montazeri is heard as saying, “Someone was in prison. They said his sister was also accused. So, they went and brought his sister. They executed the man. Her sister had been imprisoned for only two days. She was only 15. They asked her sister what do you say? She said I liked these people. They said because her brother was executed, execute her as well.”
In another shocking revelation, Montazeri says, “In Isfahan, a pregnant woman was among them [those massacred]. In Isfahan they executed a pregnant woman.” He adds that in clerical jurisprudence, “one must not execute a woman even if she is a mohareb (enemy of God). I reminded [Khomeini] of this, but he said they must be executed.”
In rebuking the members of the “death commission,” Montazeri says, “For God’s sake, it is the month of Moharram, the month of God and the Prophet. At least feel some shame from Imam Hussein. Cutting off all meetings and suddenly engaging in such butchery!!… Is something like this done anywhere else in the world? Beware of fifty years from now, when people will pass judgment on the leader (Khomeini) and will say he was a bloodthirsty, brutal and murderous leader…. We will not be in power forever.”
This meeting took place of the second day of Moharram 1409 (August 15, 1988).
As regards the role of the then-head of the regime Judiciary, Montazeri says, “Mr. [Abdulkarim] Moussavi Ardebili, who I know is the most liberal of all, says during the Friday prayers that all of these people must be executed. And then people chant during the Friday prayers that the Monafeqin (Mujahedin) prisoners must be executed… And when he wants to ask the Imam, instead of telling him that [executions] on such vast scale does not serve our interests and would be damaging, he asks whether we should execute them in the provinces or in the cities.”
Such is the meaning of moderates and liberals in the religious fascism ruling Iran.
In the audio, the members of the “death commission” admit that the families of many of those waiting to be executed had already been executed and that they had been 15 or 16 years of age at the time of their arrest.
Montazeri’s remarks provide indisputable evidence on the need to put those responsible for the 1988 massacre, the clerical regime’s leaders, on trial for perpetrating crimes against humanity.
The Iranian Resistance draws the attention of the international community’s attention, especially the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, to the imperative of referring this case to a relevant and competent international tribunal. Remaining indifferent in the face of the greatest massacre of political prisoners since World War Two, and in view of clear evidence and documents, would be tantamount to a blatant violation of recognized values of human rights, peace and democracy, upon which the United Nations has been founded.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 10, 2016