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1988 massacre and Iran’s ‘moderate’ leader

NCRI- Christopher Booker, a renowned columnist on ‘The Sunday Telegraph’, since 1990, He wrote an article on Sunday, September 11, subsequent to the revelations about the1988 massacres of political prisoners in Iran. The following is the full text of his article:

Last Monday, Britain celebrated its new warmth towards Iran under its allegedly “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani by resuming our diplomatic relations for the first time since 2011. But on Friday we learnt that Rouhani’s regime had marked the occasion by sentencing Nazanin Zaghari‑Ratcliffe, the wife of an Englishman and mother of a two‑year‑old daughter, to five years in the vile Evin prison, on bogus charges of spying of “plotting” against the regime.

This was not reported in Iran. But of huge interest to many Iranians lately, not least those millions living in exile because of their opposition to the regime, has been the recent revealing of horrifying information about one of the most shocking crimes the world has seen in the past 30 years – including the names of the men behind it.

These included some of the most senior figures around Rouhani today. Since August 1988, details have gradually emerged of how 30,000 political prisoners were secretly hanged or shot in prisons across Iran, mostly supporters of the People’s Mujahidden of Iran (PMOI), the chief dissident group opposed to its then‑Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. Only now, however, thanks to an audio tape briefly posted on the internet, has much more come to light as to how this massacre took place, through a fatwa issued by Khomeini in the last months of his life.

The task of organising the mass execution of these dissidents, including pregnant women and teenage boys and girls, was given to 70 “Death Commissions”; and the tape was of a meeting between four of their top organisers and the man who had been nominated as Khomeini’s heir, Ayatollah Montazeri. On the recording he could be heard warning the heads of these death squads that they were committing “horrendous” crimes, “for which history will condemn us”. They included the man who is now Rouhani’s justice minister and others today among Iran’s top officials, such as the man who runs Iran’s largest state industrial and financial empire.

Rouhani himself must have known what was happening, as he was then deputy commander‑in‑chief of Iran’s armed forces. Immediately after the meeting, Montazeri became an “unperson”, held under house arrest until his death in 2009. Before being hastily removed from the internet, the tape was last month made public by his son, now charged with posing “a threat to national security”, punishable by death. Today Western politicians, led by US Secretary of State John Kerry, are only too keen to ingratiate themselves with Rouhani, who ran rings round them over that deal whereby we agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in return for vague assurances about his plans to build nuclear weapons. Iranian forces are also, of course, providing the main ground support to Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad in his murderous crushing of Aleppo. For the real nature of the people we are dealing with, look no further than that tape posted on the internet by a son now facing death for wishing to clear his father’s name.