Posted tagged ‘Iran – executions’

Iran’s 1988 Mass Executions Result in US Congress Resolution

June 2, 2017

Iran’s 1988 Mass Executions Result in US Congress Resolution, Iran News Update, June 2, 2017

A recently introduced resolution in the U.S. Congress, H.Res. 159, refers to the horrific mass executions of political prisoners by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mike McCaul, the House Homeland Security Chair, introduced the resolution, and it was cosponsored by Ed Royce, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, as well as Ranking Member Eliot Engel, and Rules Committee Chair Representative, Peter Sessions.

It came as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, recently re-elected to a second term, and was addressing the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Associated Press reported that thousands of people gathered outside the United Nations to protest Iran’s human rights abuses, executions, and the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 prisoners.

Speakers for the Resolution included former Democratic vice Presidential candidate, Senator Joe Lieberman, and Sir Geoffrey Robertson, former Head of UN war crimes tribunal for Sierra Leone. Robertson wrote a report on Iran’s 1988 massacre, published on the United Nations Arts Initiative.

The resolution “condemns the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and [calls] for justice for the victims.”

It adds that “over a 4-month period in 1988, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran carried out the barbaric mass executions of thousands of political prisoners and many unrelated political groups. … [A]ccording to a report by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, the massacre was carried out pursuant to a fatwa, or religious decree, issued by then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, that targeted the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).”

The resolution quotes one of Iran’s own senior former officials, the late Hussein Ali Montazeri, a grand ayatollah who served as Khomeini’s chief deputy, who said the 1988 massacre was ‘’the greatest crime committed during the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us.”

Accordingly, in 1988, the Islamic Republic executed the thousands of prisoners who had even slight affiliations with the main opposition movement Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), because of their political beliefs. The victims were buried in mass graves in Iran after they were shot or hung over a period of just a few months.

Amnesty International reported on November 2, 2007, ‘’between 27 July 1988 and the end of that year, thousands of political prisoners [in Iran], including prisoners of conscience, were executed in prisons nationwide.”

Noted by H.Res. 159, “Those personally responsible for these mass executions include senior officials serving in the current Government of Iran; … [P]risoners were reportedly brought before the commissions and briefly questioned about their political affiliation, and any prisoner who refused to renounce his or her affiliation with groups perceived as enemies by the regime was then taken away for execution.”

Accordingly, “thousands of people, including teenagers and pregnant women, imprisoned merely for participating in peaceful street protests and for possessing political reading material, many of whom had already served or were currently serving prison sentences,” were among the victims.

Stated in the congressional resolution, “[P]risoners were executed in groups, some in mass hangings and others by firing squad, with their bodies disposed of in mass graves.”

According to Amnesty International, ‘’the majority of those killed were supporters of the PMOI [MEK], but hundreds of members and supporters of other political groups . . . were also among the execution victims.’’

The resolution further states, “The later waves of executions targeted religious minorities, such as members of the Baha’i faith, many of whom were often subjected to brutal torture before they were killed.” It add “The families of the executed were denied information about their loved ones and were prohibited from mourning them in public”.

The resolution mentions a recently disclosed audiotape, where Hussein Ali Montazeri can be heard to say that the 1988 mass killings were “the greatest crime committed during the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us.”

Amnesty International’s report concluded, “there should be no impunity for human rights violations, no matter where or when they took place. The 1988 executions should be subject to an independent impartial investigation, and all those responsible should be brought to justice, and receive appropriate penalties’’

The resolution says, “The current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was reportedly aware of, and later publicly condoned the massacre.”

The Montazeri audiotape was released by Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri’s son, Ahmad, a moderate cleric, who posted the confidential audio of his father on his website. He was ordered by the intelligence to remove it, and was later arrested.

On the tape, Montazeri states, “You [Iranian officials] will be in the future etched in the annals of history as criminals. The greatest crime committed under the Islamic Republic, from the beginning of the Revolution until now, which will be condemned by history, is this crime [mass executions] committed by you.”

Ironically, the people Montazeri is addressing and warning on the tape appear to enjoy high positions currently. They include:

• Mostafa Pourmohammadi was appointed by the Hassan Rouhani to be justice minister. After the release of a tape, Pourmohammadi defended the commission of the massacre and said he is “proud“ to have carried out “God’s commandments” in killing the political opponents.

• Ebrahim Raeisi was appointed as the head of Astan Quds Razavi, which has billions of dollars in revenues.

• Hussein Ali Nayeri is now the deputy of the Supreme Court of Iran. In his memoir, Montzari writes that he told Nayeri to stop the executions at least in the month of Moharram religious holidays, but according to the BBC, Nayeri said, “We have executed so far 750 people in Tehran… we get the job done with [executing] another 200 people and then we will listen to whatever you say.”

These people are only few of those who were involved in the 1988 massacre. They have been awarded more senior positions, power, and money.

Montazeri warned them, “Beware of 50 years from now, when people will pass judgment on the leader (Khomeini) and will say he was a bloodthirsty, brutal and murderous leader.”

The message from Iran’s ex-heir Supreme Leader highlights the methods that the officials of the Islamic Republic use to oppress the opposition. Executions or brutal punishments are common, as Iran ranks top in the world when it comes to executions per capita. Crimes against humanity continue to occur. These are the means that the government uses to silence the opposition.

Human rights organizations, the United Nations, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) must conduct investigations, and bring those who have committed and continue to commit these crimes to justice. Calls for justice are increasing. Those who commit crimes against humanity should be held accountable.

Congress must follow up on the recent Congressional resolution.

Hassan Rouhani: Iran’s Executioner

November 23, 2016

Hassan Rouhani: Iran’s Executioner, American ThinkerHeshmat Alavi, November 23, 2016

As we begin to wind down to the end of Hassan Rouhani’s term as president of the regime in Iran, it is time to take a look back at the past four years. We all remember how the West joyfully welcomed his election — read selection — as a change of gear in Iran aimed at moderation. However, what the world witnessed ever since has been anything but. An atrocious rise in executions, continued public punishments and an escalating trend of oppression has been Rouhani’s report card during his tenure. With a new administration coming into town, Washington must make it crystal clear to Tehran that human rights violations will no longer be tolerated.

Unprecedented executions

Despite pledging to hold the “key” to Iran’s problems, Rouhani has failed to provide even an iota of the freedoms the Iranian people crave and deserve. His record has revealed an unrelenting loyalty to the regime establishment in regards to social oppression and continued crackdowns. Iran sent 18 to the gallows last week alone, according to official reports.

As the international community continued its policy of appeasement, Rouhani and the entire regime used this opportunity to launch an execution rampage. Over 2,500 people have been sent to the gallows ever since Rouhani came to power, shattering all records held by this regime itself in over two decades.

In 2015 alone, Iran was executing an individual every eight hours, as reported by Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

Vast social crackdown

Rouhani’s commitment to regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the ruling elite has rendered a wide-ranging, escalating crackdown. In addition to the executions mentioned above, state-sponsored social oppression has resulted in horrific scenes of public hangings, floggings, and even limb amputations.

The prisons are overwhelmed with inmates, leading to intolerable and inhumane conditions. Political prisoners, specifically, are subject to horrendous treatment by the authorities. Renowned human rights organization Amnesty International has recently issued an Urgent Action call expressing major concerns over the case of Maryam Akbari Monfared, a Green Movement organizer still in prison two years after her family put up her bail.

And this is merely a single example of the dreadful results of Rouhani’s domestic policies. The regime, with the West unfortunately falling in line, had claimed that the Iranian nation welcomed Rouhani’s presidency with open arms. While such assertions were politically motivated from the very beginning, the ordinary Iranian has been the first to pay the price of such a failed engagement policy.

A call for justice

The Iranian population is extremely fond of the Internet and millions are actively using social media. Despite its vast censorship efforts, the regime has failed to completely firewall the entire globe from the clever and highly motivated Iranian netizen. Various clips, images, and stories from inside Iran are leaking to the outside world as we speak, revealing ever more the regime’s atrocities.


One significant case involves the exposure of a controversial sound file shedding light on a private meeting between the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and the main officials involved in the horrendous 1988 summer massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners across Iran. Montazeri was the successor to Iranian regime founder, mullah Ruhollah Khomeini, set aside by Khomeini himself considering his opposing perspectives.

This disclosure sent shockwaves amongst the Iranian people from all walks of life, and throughout the globe. As a result a global movement is demanding accountability from those responsible for the horrific massacre of thousands of innocent political prisoners. The victims of this carnage included members and supporters of the main Iranian opposition entity, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and other dissident groups and minorities. The PMOI, more commonly known as the MEK in the West, has also been the focus of a lobbying campaign launched by Iran. Tehran’s mullahs are terrified of MEK supporters such as former New York City mayor and ambassador John Bolton being considered for senior cabinet posts in a Donald Trump White House.


The entire regime in Iran, including the so-called “hardliners” and “moderates,” are shifting gear for the upcoming presidential elections in June 2017. Members of the Rouhani faction have described U.S. President Barack Obama’s tenure as a “golden era.” This signals how Tehran took full advantage of Obama’s rapprochement as a green light to escalate executions and further implement social crackdown.

With a new administration set to take the reins in Washington, the opportunity has arrived for America to raise the issue of Iran’s human rights violations. Such outrageous crimes have no place in the 21st century, and all eyes are on U.S. president-elect Donald Trump. Supporting the call to hold all senior Iranian regime officials involved in the 1988 massacre accountable for their crimes is a good start.

Iran: Latest on a Female Political Prisoner

November 4, 2016

Iran: Latest on a Female Political Prisoner, Iran Focus, November 4, 2016


London, 4 November – A political prisoner in Iran had a visit from her mother for the first time since her imprisonment on October 24.

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was imprisoned for writing an unpublished story about the brutal act of stoning in Iran.

The Intelligence Revolutionary Guards were dressed in plain clothes when they came to arrest her; they kicked and punched the door in order to intimidate her, refuses to give their identities or produce ID or a court order.

Iraee was prevented from taking her asthma medication and according to her mother, the IRGC taunted Iraee, asking what use the medicine would be as she wouldn’t live very long anyway.
They handcuffed and blindfolded her in front of her neighbours and took her to Evin Court.

When in court Iraee explained the mistreatment she had suffered and she was finally allowed her medication before being transferred to prison.

Her mother, who is recovering from one surgery and on the waiting list for another, gave an interview to a Persian newspaper.

She said: “Golrokh is very much concerned about Arash’s (her imprisoned husband) hunger strike because he takes medicine and he is injured in [the] shoulder area while he was being detained by the Revolutionary Guards forces.”

Iraee requested that the person in charge of Evin Prison (where she is being held) call the person in charge of Hajiloo prison (where Arash is being held) to ask him to stop his hunger strike, as he will be unable to visit his wife unless he stops.

Iraee’s mother was told that this would be the only time she could visit and is unsure whether the Regime will change their minds.

Arash Sadeghi is a political prisoner who went on hunger strike to protest his wife’s imprisonment.

Stop the Hanging of a Child Bride in Iran

October 19, 2016

Stop the Hanging of a Child Bride in Iran, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, October 19, 2016


Zeinab can be executed any day. Instead of continuing with sanctions relief and appeasement policies, the Obama administration should bring attention to Iran’s crimes against humanity. Iran ranks as the world’s top executioner per capita. 


She was born into poverty and an abusive family. As a young child she was forced by her family to marry an older man. According to the Islamic and Sharia law of Iran, this was a perfectly legal and moral arrangement. Islam encourages young girls to become child brides. Iranian authorities point out that the Prophet Muhammad’s life also demonstrates a similar model for his followers.

After being forced to marry, Zeinab Sekaanvand Lokran was repeatedly raped. But in Iran’s Islamist law, even if a husband beats and forces his wife into having sex with him, it is not considered rape or abuse of any kind, since they are married.  According to the clerics, a wife’s duty is to please the man. The Quran in Sura (Chapter) 2:223 says: Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like.

Zeinab was also repeatedly beaten after her wedding day. Despite the risk she knew she faced, she attempted to leave her husband multiple times, but with no success. She begged the police to help her, but they ignored her complaints, and reprimanded her for leaving her tormentor. The Islamist law of the land does not provide any protection for girls like her. In addition, neither her family nor friends would accept her if she left her husband.

More tragedies were to unfold for Zeinab. Her husband’s brother began also repeatedly raping her.

She begged for a divorce, but her husband would not accept her request for one. She did not have any legal base according to Iran’s Islamist codes to get a divorce. Everything was against this brave, unyielding girl. Yet, the worst was still to come.

At the age of 17, her husband was found stabbed to death. Because Zeinab had tried to escape him so many times, her community accused her of perpetrating her husband’s death. She was arrested and tortured for the next few months. After endless abuse and torment, she was forced to confess that she was a murderer.

It did not take long for the judge to issue a death sentence for Zeinab. She was not allowed to have access to a lawyer at any point of her trial. Once more, men made the decisions about her life and her death.

Zeinab insisted that her brother-in-law was the one who killed her husband. He threatened her to be silent, and told her that if she pleaded guilty, he would pardon her, according to Islamic law, so she wouldn’t be executed.

Just as she was about to be executed by the medieval method of hanging, it was discovered that she was pregnant. Soon after, she gave birth to a stillborn child, most likely due to the stress and physical abuse that she endured at the hands of her captors. Not long after she gazed at her lifeless baby, she was told by the Iranian authorities to be ready for execution.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “This is an extremely disturbing case. Not only was Zeinab Sekaanvand under 18 years of age at the time of the crime, she was also denied access to a lawyer and says she was tortured after her arrest by male police officers through beatings all over her body.”

Mansoureh Mills, the Iran campaigner at Amnesty International, pointed out:

“I can only imagine how extremely difficult her life must have been. That is why this case is extremely shocking and disturbing, She was relying on adults to protect her and unfortunately no adults were able to do that. Not the authorities and not her family. She tried the police, but they wouldn’t help. She tried her family and they wouldn’t take her back. And she is just a teenager so she had nowhere to turn and so she was forced back to this allegedly abusive marriage until the day her husband was killed.”

The Islamic Republic has hypocritically signed on to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits the death penalty for and execution of children. But Iran repeatedly uses the death penalty to execute people under 18.

Zeinab is one case of many female children who live such tragic lives and then get executed. Last year, Iran executed Fatemeh Salbehi for reportedly killing her abusive husband at the age of 17.

According to the Islamic penal code of Iran, girls are treated as adults when they reach the age of nine.

Zeinab can be executed any day. Instead of continuing with sanctions relief and appeasement policies, the Obama administration should bring attention to Iran’s crimes against humanity. Iran ranks as the world’s top executioner per capita. It is incumbent on human rights organizations, the UN, Amnesty International and the international community to stop this execution and many other similar child executions, which are occurring in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran Sanctions Have Ended – and the Mass Executions Have Restarted

September 22, 2016

Iran Sanctions Have Ended – and the Mass Executions Have Restarted, American ThinkerMansour Kashfi, September 22, 2016

The crippling global sanctions on Iran cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars and decimated the economy. Inflation rose to over 40 percent and unemployment levels reached 33 percent. Consequently, the majority of citizens experienced an astronomical cost of living and lack of government services. Therefore, news of negotiations and lifting of sanctions was very well received by Iranians and generated optimism for a life of less hardship after sanctions.

However, since the agreement ending sanctions was signed between the Islamic Republic (IR) and the international powers last January, nothing has improved regarding the everyday life of the Iranian people. Not even one of the critical civil issues that was promised by the so-called “moderate”, “pragmatic” president, Hassan Rouhani, to be addressed after sanctions ended, has been opened for discussion by the IR officials.

Regardless of the rather rapid increase in Iranian crude oil and petrochemical sales and the release of billions of dollars of frozen money by a number of international oil companies and foreign governments, the nation-wide tax in all categories remarkably increased, and a limited welfare to needy senior citizens has been discontinued.

Despite the rosy promises of the IR’s authorities, especially Hassan Rouhani, to bring justice for all and raise the standards of living of the people, amazingly nothing has been done to improve Iranians’ living conditions, and no social freedom and justice is on the horizon. On the contrary, tougher repression and mass executions are the only gift by the IR to the Iranian people after sanctions ended.

Release of Assets

US officials claimed that IR had more than $100 billion of frozen assets abroad during the sanctions era, the equivalent of 28 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, which has been returning to the IR after sanctions ended. A good portion of this money was balance payments of crude oil sold by IR to its customers during the sanction years, including Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s Saras, Greece’s Hellenic, Emirates National Oil Company, the Indian Reliance and Essar oil refiner, the Netherlands and Japan. All unfrozen money has been transferring to IR’s Central Bank by way of the SWIFT global transactions network. President Hassan Rouhani announced last March that the government of IR has access to all unfrozen assets.

Further, according to the International Energy Agency, IR is currently exporting about 2.14 million barrels of crude and over 200,000 barrels of gas condensates daily. The IR’s oil ministry reported the oil revenues from 2016 until mid-July were about $20 billion.

During negotiations with the IR last year the Obama administration agreed to pay $400 million plus interest of $1.3 billion to settle a failed arms sale to Iran that was initiated during the monarchical government before 1979. The first payment equivalent of $400 million in cash in the form of Swiss francs and euros was airlifted from Geneva, Switzerland to Tehran on January 17, and in return four Iranian-American hostages in IR’s jail were released. Further, officials of the State and Treasury departments confirmed on September 6 that two remaining installments of the $1.3 billion were sent to Tehran in the same manner through Geneva on January 22 and February 5.

With all this windfall money nothing tangible in terms of infrastructure renovations, civil reform and the rise of standard of living has taken place in the country. On the contrary, poverty has increased, over one-third of Iranians presently live under the poverty line, and thousands of citizens escape the country everyday to find a safer place to live. Worst of all, in testimonies of various human rights advocates and organizations, the ignoring of human rights by the IR is always an ever-growing issue in Iran, particularly after the ending of sanctions.

Human Rights Issues

The level of repression inside Iran has increased since Hassan Rouhani took office as president in 2013. Since then, the number of executions has grown rapidly. In 2014, the number of death sentences in Iran reached the largest number of executions in the world except for China. In 2015, according to Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, the number exceeded 1,000.

The U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee passed a resolution last November that expressed its deepest concern about human rights violations by the Islamic regime. Amnesty International has also called on regime authorities to stop the hanging, particularly of juvenile offenders who are convicted on dubious evidence.  Amnesty International time and again has published reports on physical and psychological torture in Iran, saying that the number of torture and ill-treatment cases is increasing in Iran, making it clear that these violations of human rights not only continue in this time of a moderate President, but are noticeably becoming widespread and in most places systematic.

In January of 2016, finally the expected moment of change arrived, and sanctions were lifted. But immediately, political pressure and religious discrimination began increasing daily. The penalty for apostasy is still death. Any female regardless of age that does not wear veils is arrested and faces harsh punishments. Cultural dissidents, artists, and homosexuals on most occasions would receive capital punishment. Mass executions for political prisoners which were common practice for over a decade after the so-called revolution have now restarted primarily for non-Shi’a citizens.

There was a hanging of 20 innocent Sunni-Kurdish citizens in Karaj, a suburb of Tehran on August 3, 2016, the execution of an Iranian nuclear scientist on August 7, the hanging of 5 minority citizens in the western province of Azerbaijan on August 14, and another hanging of 3 minority citizens accused of exploding the oil pipeline in the southwest province of Khuzestan on August 16. Although U.N. Representative Ahmed Shaheed firmly requested the IR stop the systematic executions, 12 more allegedly accused of possession of illegal drugs were hanged in Karaj prison on August 27. There were a total of 41 executions officially of innocent citizens just in one month. In addition many young male and female citizens disappear every day, and their decomposed bodies are occasionally found in the remote parts of their hometowns. These systematic executions reveal that the nature of the Islamic regime has not changed at all, sanctions or no sanctions. IR claims they were executed for “purported terrorism and related activities” as reported by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Ed Royce, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced on September 6 a bill to censure President Obama for his rewarding a terrorist government for its hostage taking as IR presently still has three Iranian-Americans in prison.

It is inhuman for these executions to take place after an unfair trial, absent of any attorneys on behalf of defendants, and obviously based entirely on coerced confessions. In most cases such executions take place without any trial at all, and the Islamic regime has never allowed Ahmed Shaheed to visit Iran to make a precise assessment on human rights violations.

Iran as a member of the United Nations and other international human rights communities has systematically violated nearly every provision of these institutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. IR’s officials have openly opted to ridicule the concept of universal human rights, and they brand the principle of human rights as a tool of the “Great Satan” and Western imperialism.

Where does the money go?

Evidently, the released money after sanctions ended was not intended for citizens’ welfare and the improvement of the living conditions in Iran. The IR officials have been apathetic since the welfare and health of the Iranian people is of the lowest priority in their eyes, considering the huge expense of their active terrorist groups in the Middle East. The money has already reached the IR’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for their efforts to export the Islamic revolution to neighboring countries and carry on the IR’s hostile engagements in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, arming and financially supporting terrorist groups around the world including Hamas in Gaza, Hezb’llah in Lebanon, Shi’a groups in Bahrain, Houthis in Yemen, and the drug traffickers in South America. The IRGC is the most powerful extralegal organization and richest entity in Iran. The associated IRGC units own over one-third of the listed companies of the Tehran Stock Exchange. Further, according to Bloomberg, the IR Supreme Leader Mullah Khamenei is the owner of an economic empire of about $95 billion.

Now we know where the money goes.

Newly Unearthed Audio Details Iran’s Mass Executions

August 24, 2016

Newly Unearthed Audio Details Iran’s Mass Executions, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, August 24, 2016

(But how is this possible? With the Iran Scam, Iran — which frequently vituperates Israel for her gross “abuses of human rights” — has been recognized as a respected member of the world community. — DM)


Shocking audio was released recently on the Internet in the Persian language. Immediately, Iranian officials ordered its removal. The audio clearly shows that the so-called “moderate” Iranian leaders are in fact world-class criminals based on every legal or humanitarian standard. The audio sheds light on horrific crimes against humanity that are not that distinct from those egregious crimes committed by the Nazis.

In the audio, Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, the ex-heir of Iran’s Supreme Leader, reveals the true character of the Islamic Republic and crimes committed by it in the name of Islam. Montazeri was born in Esfahan, Iran, and was one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic. He was an Islamic theologian and the designated successor to the Islamic revolution’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Rooh Allah Khomeini, until the very last moments of Khomeini’s life. His pictures were posted next to Khomeini’s in the streets. Nevertheless, Montazeri’s fate changed dramatically, as he could not stay silent and felt compelled to speak out.

Montazeri’s son, Ahmad, posted the audio on his website, but was ordered by Iranian intelligence (Etela’at) to remove it.

“You [Iranian officials] will in the future be etched in the annals of history as criminals,” Montazeri warns the Islamic Republic in the audio. “The greatest crime committed under the Islamic Republic, from the beginning of the Revolution until now, which will be condemned by history, is this crime [mass executions] committed by you.”

In reference to one of the worst mass executions in the modern history of the Middle East being carried by the Iranian government officials, Montazeri stated that “I am a straight-talking person. I don’t hold back what is in my heart. In contrast to some gentlemen who do what is politically expedient…. Believe me, I haven’t been able to sleep and this issue (executions) occupies my mind 2-3 hours every night … How will you respond to the families? How much did the Shah execute? Compare our executions to his!”

When an official asked him for his permission to execute 200 people, Montazeri retorted fiercely, “I don’t give permission at all. I am even against a single person being executed.”

Many members of those who were executed were from the opposition group, MEK, which is led currently by Maryam Rajavi. Amnesty International estimates that in the summer of 1988, the total number of people executed was 4,500. Some estimates reach as high as over 30,000 people.

Executions included all range of innocent people, including children and pregnant women. The audio continues:

So, now, without [the prisoners] having carried out any new activities, we go and execute them. This means that all of us screwed up, our entire judicial system is wrong. Isn’t that what it means? We are among ourselves here. I mean, we want to take stock … This one guy, his brother was in prison. Eventually when, you know, he got caught up in this, they said his sister was also a suspect. So they went and brought the sister. They executed the guy. The sister — it was only two days since they had brought her — when they told her [of the brother’s death], she said, I liked these people. They said the sister was 15 or 16 years old. They said, now that her brother has been executed and after what she said, execute her too, and they did. In Esfahan, a pregnant woman was among [those massacred]. In Esfahan they executed a pregnant woman…. [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 the month of Moharram … the month of God and the Prophet, it shouldn’t be like this. At least feel some shame before Imam Hussein. Cutting off all meetings and suddenly engaging in such butchery, dragging them out and bang! Bang! Does this happen anywhere in the world?

The government could not eliminate Montazeri the way it did with other opposition leaders due to his religious authority and the large number of followers he had. A few months before he was supposed to replace the Supreme Leader, Khomeini removed him from being the successor. He was put under house arrest, and his speeches and activities were heavily controlled. The regime chose the current Supreme Leader, Khamenei, who was a junior cleric, to be the Supreme Leader. He was a low-risk figure and total puppet of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Ironically, all those people Montazeri is speaking to and warning in the audio — and all of those who were involved in these crimes — appear to have higher positions in the government currently.

For example, Mostafa Pourmohammadi was a representative of the Intelligence Ministry to the notorious Evin prison, and he was recently appointed by the so-called moderate president Hassan Rouhani to be justice minister. Ebrahim Raeisi was a public prosecutor and currently he is the head of Astan Quds Razavi, which has billions of dollars in revenues. Hussein Ali Nayeri was a judge and currently is the deputy of the Supreme Court of Iran. In his memoir, Montazeri writes that he told Nayeri to stop the executions at least in the month of Moharram, but Nayeri said, “We have executed so far 750 people in Tehran… we will get the job done with another 200 people and then we will listen to whatever you say.” Montazeri wrote several letters to Khomeini warning him as well.

What is crucial to point out is that realistically speaking, the above-mentioned people are only tje tip of the iceberg of those who are involved in such large scale crimes against humanity in Iran. But they have been awarded higher positions, power, and more money.

Montazeri advised the ruling politicians, “Beware of 50 years from now, when people will pass judgment on the leader [Khomeini] and will say he was a bloodthirsty, brutal and murderous leader…. I do not want history to remember him like that[.]”

The International Criminal Court, the UN, human rights originations and liberal institutions and activists should push to bring these officials to justice the way the international community did for some members of the Nazi Party. Finally, we should remember that these are world-class criminals and we are easing sanctions against a brutal regime, giving them more money from taxpayers, shaking hands with them, and calling them the moderates. How are we going to respond to millions of families whose members have been executed and tortured? What are we going to say in the future when asked why we allied with such criminals, appeased them, and gave them billions of dollars?

Did Clinton’s Email Negligence Lead to the Execution of an Iranian Defector? Front Page Magazine

August 8, 2016

Did Clinton’s Email Negligence Lead to the Execution of an Iranian Defector? Front Page Magazine,  Ari Lieberman, August 8, 2016


But then came the Clinton email dump which may have spelt doom for Amiri.Two emails in particular, which were made public and which were undoubtedly read by the Iranians shed light on the voluntary nature of Amiri’s defection and attempts by the U.S. to address his concerns and facilitate his return to Iran.


In 2009, Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist, traveled to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to visit Muslim holy sites located in the Kingdom. Once there, he disappeared only to reappear later in some peculiar online rants, claiming to be residing in Virginia and alternatively, in Arizona, and expressing a desire to return to Iran.

Amiri, who conducted nuclear research at the military affiliated Malek Ashtar University of Technology and worked for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, was said to possess a treasure trove of classified information on Iran’s illicit nuclear program. On his YouTube channel, he alleged that he was kidnapped by CIA and Saudi intelligence and was offered large sums of money in exchange for information on Iran’s nuclear program.

For reasons known only to Amiri, and which will undoubtedly be the subject of much speculation, Amiri arrived at the Iranian interest section of the Pakistani embassy in Washington and two weeks later, returned to Iran. Approximately one year had elapsed from the time of his defection until his return to Iran.

Some have speculated that he feared for his family’s well-being and returned to spare them harassment by the Iranian authorities or perhaps he was genuinely homesick and thought the Iranians would buy his story of a CIA orchestrated kidnapping. Whatever the case, On August 3, 2016 Amiri was executed by the Mullahs in their favorite method of execution – hanging.

Amiri undoubtedly provided the administration with vital intelligence on Iran’s rogue nuclear program and that clearly did not sit well with Iranian officials. Upon his return, Amiri repeated the allegation of being kidnapped in Saudi Arabia in a joint CIA/Saudi operation. While the Iranians initially welcomed him, likely for public consumption, he was soon transformed into a treasonous enemy of the state and imprisoned and almost certainly tortured while undergoing grueling interrogation.

The Iranians could not be 100 percent certain of Amiri’s story. Iran is a nation built upon conspiracy theories and fantasy and in their view, the possibility of a CIA/Saudi operation to kidnap a nuclear scientist didn’t seem far-fetched and in fact, could have been plausible.

But then came the Clinton email dump which may have spelt doom for Amiri. Two emails in particular, which were made public and which were undoubtedly read by the Iranians shed light on the voluntary nature of Amiri’s defection and attempts by the U.S. to address his concerns and facilitate his return to Iran.

The first email, sent to Clinton on July 5, 2010, and processed through her home-brewed bathroom server, was authored by Richard Morningstar, acting special envoy of the U.S. secretary for Eurasian energy. This email implied that Amiri needed a cover story to return to Iran and that the U.S. should make an effort to address his concerns. He writes, “Per the subject we discussed, we have a diplomatic, ‘psychological’ issue, not a legal issue,” and notes further that “Our friend has to be given a way out. We should recognize his concerns and frame it in terms of a misunderstanding with no malevolent intent and that we will make sure there is no recurrence. Our person won’t be able to do anything anyway. If he has to leave, so be it.”

The second email was sent to Clinton by her senior foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan. In the email, which was sent on July 12, 2010, Sullivan writes, “The gentleman you have talked to Bill Burns about has apparently gone to his country’s interests [sic] section because he is unhappy with how much time it has taken to facilitate his departure. This could lead to problematic news stories in the next 24 hours. Will keep you posted.”

Sullivan was referencing Amiri’s earlier contact with Iran’s interest section in the Pakistani embassy. It also implies that the U.S. was attempting to facilitate his return to Iran. If this was in fact a kidnapping as alleged by Amiri, why then would the U.S. facilitate his return to an enemy country? And why would it need to address his concerns? Kidnappers do not normally carry out their victim’s wishes when their victims ask to be returned. That would defeat the entire purpose of kidnapping.

The Iranians are no fools. They probably suspected that Amiri voluntarily defected all along and the kidnapping element was nothing but a cover story. But the emails confirmed their suspicions and Amiri then paid for his decision with his life. If that was indeed the case, Hillary Clinton, through gross negligence and dereliction of duty, may have sealed Amiri’s gruesome fate.

Enforcing ‘God’s Commandments’: Heightened Mass Executions in Iran

June 17, 2016

Enforcing ‘God’s Commandments’: Heightened Mass Executions in Iran, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, June 17, 2016


While the Obama administration is continuing its appeasement policies and romance with the ruling mullahs of Iran, the scale of executions has reached an unprecedented level. The Iranian regime is resorting to more and more mass executions. How is the Islamic Republic of Iran different from the Islamic State or those who commit terrorist acts by mass murdering people? 

Most recently, the ruling clerics of Iran hanged 16 people in one day in several cities, including in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Ghezel-Hessar prisons in Karaj (western part of Tehran) and Adelabad Prison in Shiraz (southern part of Iran).

One of those executed was 16 years old at time of allegedly committing a crime. President Obama, Hillary Clinton or the several European governments, which are following in the footsteps of the Obama administration, have issued no robust condemnation or criticism. These egregious human rights violations and acts of mass executions committed by a state — in the name of Islam — have been totally ignored.

Prior to the above-mentioned mass executions, the Iranian regime hanged 13 prisoners on May 17 in three cities of Yazd, Urmia and Mashhad. Twelve individuals were executed collectively. A few weeks ago, the Iranian regime executed five Kurdish rights activists in the northwestern city of Urmia. The five Kurds — Naji Kiwan, Ali Kurdian, Haidar Ramini, Nadir Muhamadi and Ruhman Rashidi — were hanged publicly on charges of “conspiring against the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Dara Natiq, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iran, said to ARA News, “The victims were human rights activists who used to document violations by Iranian security forces against civilians in the Kurdish city of Urmia.”Reportedly, the Iranian government executes approximately seven Kurdish civilians and activists every week.

The Iranian president has publicly endorsed the executions and described them as “God’s commandments” carried out under the “laws of the parliament that belong to the people.” What is more appalling is that the mainstream liberal media and the Obama administration depict the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, and his team as diplomatic, rational, and “moderate.” What definition of “moderate” politician means someone who endorses mass executions of human rights activists, political activists, children, innocent women, etc.?

So far, under the “moderate” presidency of Rouhani, more than 2,400 people, including men, women, and children, have been executed. As Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, pointed out, in spite of the arguments being made that Rouhani is a moderate figure “the overall situation has worsened” when it comes to human rights issues in the Islamic Republic.

In comparison to the executions being carried out in neighboring countries, Iran carried out 82 percent of the all executions in the region. As the Amnesty International pointed out in its latest report, “Iran put at least 977 people to death in 2015, compared to at least 743 the year before…. Iran alone accounted for 82% of all executions recorded in the region.”

In addition, the Iranian regime continues to be the sole country that executes children. Amnesty International added, “Iran is also one of the world’s last executioners of juvenile offenders, in flagrant breach of international law. The country put to death at least four people who were under 18 at the time of the crime for which they were convicted in 2015.”

The executions committed by the Iranian regime, which are being imposed by Sharia and Islamist law, can also be politically driven to preserve control over people and ensure the survival of the mullahs’ rule. There exists no doubt that the justifications for these executions do not meet any due process standard. People are often executed by a simple subjective order from a cleric who can make vague charges against the victims such as “enmity with Allah (God),” “ corruption on earth,” “war against Allah and the state,” and so on.

The international community has neglected Iran’s use of brute force to carry out these mass executions.

More fundamentally, the nuclear agreement and the Western appeasement policies towards Iran have increased Iran’s legitimacy. Consequently, this has emboldened and empowered the Iranian leaders and mullahs to more forcefully and effectively execute more people and to crack down on domestic opposition with brute force, without fearing international outcry, pressure, sanctions and condemnations.

The Moral Cost of Appeasing Iran

February 24, 2016

The Moral Cost of Appeasing Iran, Gatestone InstituteMohshin Habib, February 24, 2016

♦ The leaders of both France and Italy set aside their values to appease the president of Iran.

♦ In France, protesters demanded that President François Hollande challenge the Iranian president about his country’s human rights abuses. France’s leadership, however, raised no questions of that sort. Instead, Mr. Rouhani was welcomed as a superstar.

♦ According to a 659-page report by Human Rights Watch, Iran’s human rights violations under Mr. Rouhani’s governance have been increasing. Social media users, artists and journalists face harsh sentences on dubious security charges.

♦ In November, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to death for Facebook posts “insulting the Prophet” and “corruption on earth.”

Right after signing the Iran nuclear deal with itself — Iran still has not signed it, and even if it did, the deal would not be legally binding — members of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) have been showing their eagerness to establish improved relations with their imaginary partner.

Last month, after the lifting of international sanctions, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, went on a five-day trip to Italy and France.

Officials from the host countries were so enthusiastic to welcome the Iranian president, it was as if they were unaware of Iran’s multiple violations of The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) — which Iran did sign in 1968. They also seemed unaware of Iran’s expansion into Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, as well as Iran’s continuing role in sponsoring global terrorism.

Although both the leaders of France and Italy seemed eager to appease the president of Iran, in Paris, thousands of demonstrators gathered on the streets to protest Mr. Rouhani’s visit, and staged mock executions to highlight Iran’s dire human rights violations. In 2014, for instance, at least nine people were executed on the charge of moharebeh (“enmity against God”).

Even today, dozens of child offenders remain on death row in Iran. According to Iranian law, girls who reach the age of 9 and boys who reach the age of 15 can be sentenced to capital punishment. A recent report by Amnesty International called Iran one of the world’s leading offenders in executing juveniles. Despite the country’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child — which abolishes the use of the death penalty against offenders under the age of 18 — the UN estimates that 160 minors remain on death row.

The Iranian delegation, according to The New York Times, had asked Italian officials to hide all statues leading to the grand hall of the Capitoline Museums — where a news conference between Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Iranian president took place — to avoid any “embarrassment” for Rouhani, who casts himself as a moderate and reform-seeker. So on the first stop of Mr. Rouhani’s European visit, statues were encased in tall white boxes. In addition, “The lectern, was placed to the side — not the front — of an equestrian statue of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, apparently to avoid having images of the horse’s genitals appear in news photographs.”

As any kind of image is haram (forbidden) in Islam, any form of statue is considered idolatry.

Many Italians expressed their outrage over the decision to censor the statues. They accused the government of betraying Italian history and culture for the sake of economic interests.

An Iranian women’s rights organization, My Stealthy Freedom, condemned the Italian government’s decision. In a post on their Facebook page, the group wrote:

“Italian female politicians, you are not statues, speak out. Rome covers nude statues out of respect for Iran’s president in Italy and Islamic Republic of Iran covers Italian female politicians in Iran. Dear Italy. Apparently, you respect the values of the Islamic Republic, but the problem is the Islamic Republic of Iran does not respect our values or our freedom of choice. They even force non-Muslim women to cover up in Iran…”

In France, protesters demanded that President François Hollande challenge the Iranian president about his country’s human rights abuses. France’s leadership, however, raised no questions of that sort. Instead, Mr. Rouhani was welcomed as a superstar.

Big business deals were signed. France’s car-maker Peugeot and Iran’s leading vehicle manufacturer, Khodro, are engaged in a €400 million partnership. France’s energy giant, Total, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to buy crude oil from Iran. Total will reportedly begin importing 160,000 barrels of oil per day starting on February 16. Twelve days after the West lifted economic sanctions, Airbus announced that Iran Air had agreed to purchase 118 new planes. The deal is estimated at $25 billion.

Prime Minister of France Manual Valls hailed his country’s trade agreements with Iran. “France is available for Iran,” he said.

During a recent visit to Tehran, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier, asked the Iranian president to keep Germany in mind as a future stop on his next trip to Europe.

Meanwhile, according to a US State Department report, Iran has pledged to continue its assistance to Shiite militias in Iraq. Many of these militias have poured into Syria and are now fighting alongside the Assad regime. Rouhani’s government also continues to support its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

For many years, the Iranian president has kept up close ties with leaders of Hezbollah, including Abbas Moussavi (the former leader of Hezbollah who was killed in 1992) and Hassan Nasrallah. In March 2014, Mr. Rouhani publicly pledged support for Hezbollah.

Rouhani’s Defense Minister is a former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan. He commanded IRGC forces in Lebanon is Syria during Hezbollah’s founding years from 1982-1984.

Last September, Dehghan said that Tehran will continue arming Hezbollah, Hamas and any group that is part of the “resistance” against the U.S. and Israel. Iran, he explained, considers America to be the Great Satan.

“Hizbullah,” Dehghan stated, “does not need us to supply them with rockets and arms. Israel and the U.S. need to know this. Today, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah have the capability of producing their own resources and weapons themselves. Nevertheless, we shall not refrain from supporting them.”

As well as Dehghan, almost all of Rouhani’s appointments are either former members of the IRGC or other revolutionary institutions, such as Iran’s Judiciary and Intelligence Ministries.

Iran’s human rights violations under Rouhani’s governance have been increasing. A 659-page report published by Human Rights Watch concludes that Iranian authorities have repeatedly clamped down on free speech and dissent. “In a sharp increase from previous years, Iran also executed more than 830 prisoners.”

806Since Hassan Rouhani (right) became the president of Iran, the surge in executions has given Iran the world’s highest death penalty rate per capita.

Social media users, artists and journalists face harsh sentences on dubious “security” charges. In May 2014, four young men and three unveiled women were arrested after a video showing them dancing to the popular song “Happy” went viral on YouTube. They were sentenced to up to a year in prison and 91 lashes on several charges, including “illicit relations.”

In November, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to death for Facebook posts “insulting the Prophet” and “corruption on earth.”

The Real War on Women in a Nightmarish Islamic State

January 16, 2016

The Real War on Women in a Nightmarish Islamic State, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, January 15, 2016

(The “Islamic state” in the article is the Islamic Republic of Iran, our wonderful partner for peace — DM)


When it comes to executions, girls are systematically more vulnerable due to the Islamist penal code of Sharia law.

Let’s take a look at the Islamist state of Iran, which creates its laws from the legal codes of Sharia and Quran. The first type of discrimination is related to age: girls are held criminally accountable at the maturity age of 9 Lunar years. (This will automatically put girls at a higher risk of execution by the court.)

Iranian ruling politicians hold the highest record when it comes to the most executions per capita in the world. Intriguingly, in the last two years that the so-called moderate, Hassan Rouhani, has been in office, there have been more than 2000 executions conducted in Iran. That is nearly 3-4 executions a day.

More importantly, Iranian leaders are also the largest executioner of women and female juveniles. Some of these executions were carried out on the mullahs’ charge of ‘Moharebeh’ (enmity with Allah), or waging war against Allah, ifsad-i Fil Arz (Sowing Corruption on Earth), or Sab-i Nabi (Insulting the Prophet).

There are three methods of execution for women and female juveniles: 1. Stoning  2. Public hanging 3. Shooting. Some women are also beaten so severely in the prison that they die before reaching the execution. Shooting, which is the fastest method of the three for execution, has not been used since 2008. Instead, the most common method to execute women is public hanging or stoning. Some of these women are flogged right before they are hanged. Public hanging not only imposes fears in the society but also aims at dehumanizing and controlling women as second-class citizens. According to the Islamist penal code of Iran, women offenses are classified as: Hadd, Diyyih, Ta`zir, and Qisas.

Some of these women are stoned for adultery. But even in stoning, the Islamists and Sharia law differentiate between men and women. Women are buried to the neck while men are buried to the waist. This allows some men to be capable of running away from the stoning, while women do not have a chance for survival, at all. If women are still alive after hours of stoning, a large block normally is smashed over their head.

Women from ethnic and religious minorities, as well as political dissidents, have also been targets of these executions. Based on the latest report, Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N.’s special “rapporteur” on human rights in Iran, pointed out that executing individuals from religious and ethnic minority groups are carried out because those victims were “exercising their protected rights, including freedom of expression and association…..When the Iranian government refuses to even acknowledge the full extent of executions which have occurred, it shows a callous disregard for both human dignity and international human rights law.”

In the latest report, Amnesty International announced: “Execution of two juvenile offenders in just a few days makes a mockery of Iran’s juvenile justice system.” And the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Iran and warned about the rise of executions in Iran which “reflect a worrying trend in Iran….Over 700 executions are reported to have taken place so far this year, including at least 40 public, marking the highest total recorded in the past 12 years.”

In many of these cases related to women and female juveniles, it is clear that they were executed for either self-defense against forced marriage or a rapist, or for charges such as freedom of expression. They often are forced to marry at a very young age to an older person, or someone they do not like, such as in the case of the child bride, Farzaneh (Razieh) Moradi – who was forced to marry at the age of 15 and was executed in the city of Esfahan. These women were beaten and raped, repeatedly, by their spouses or relatives until they could not take it anymore and defended themselves. Some of these girls are being imprisoned and executed based on the fabricated charges of possessing opium. For example, in the case of the 16-year-old Sogand, the police found opium in her father’s house, but because there was no one at home except her, they arrested her. She is still in prison as none of her family members have come forward to save her life.

Some of these executions are based on the issue of “honor.” For example, some of these girls follow their hearts and fall in love with someone they choose themselves. But since their brothers and fathers disagree with this, the females get punished. For example, in the case of Mahsa, a seventeen-year-old, her brothers are the ones seeking her execution. In addition, if an Iranian Muslim woman has sex with a Christian or Jewish person, she will be executed (but a Muslim man is allowed to have sex with non-Muslim women).

Some of these girls are raped, repeatedly, in the process of investigation and forced into “Sighah”- the Shiite Islamist law of temporary marriage – with a cleric, or a member of Etela’at (intelligence), or Revolutionary Guard Corps before they are executed. Amnesty International previously pointed out that there are a “considerable” number of reports regarding this issue.

While the West is looking to lift sanctions against Iranian leaders in a few days and normalize ties with Iran, it is critical to look at the egregious human rights violations that this country is allowing. Is being silent and turning a blind eye to these human rights abuses appropriate? Doesn’t normalizing ties with the Iranian leaders and releasing billions of dollars to them, facilitate their efforts of executing more people, including women and child girls?


Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a former senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf Project at Columbia University. He can be reached at Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.