The Iranian regime’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, is scheduled to take his first trip abroad on Thursday. According to state-run media, Raisi is slated to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tajikistan. This is despite the fact that Raisi is on the US sanctions list because he is a serial human rights abuser.
Since Raisi’s installment as the illegitimate mullahs’ president, there have been ringing condemnations and growing calls by human rights organizations for his prosecution as a criminal. In 1988, he was involved in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were members of the main opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The victims’ families have been seeking justice for the past 33 years.
But the culture of impunity that has reigned in Tehran for criminals and human rights abusers has allowed the rise of Raisi to one of the most senior positions in the clerical regime. As the global rights group Amnesty International declared, “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.”
The lack of international investigations into Raisi’s role in the murder of thousands of innocent civilians has emboldened the regime. Prior to taking office as the president, Raisi played a key role in the suppression of protesters and activists as the head of the judiciary.
So, it would not invite the least amount of controversy to demand that instead of being accepted in various international forums, Raisi must be investigated and prosecuted. Mass murderers must not be legitimized in global forums.
The European Union, and in particular the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, have strengthened the culture of impunity for the mass-murdering mullahs. Borrell even sent a senior EU official to attend Raisi’s inauguration in August, which featured well-known global terrorists.
That embarrassing gesture, followed by the EU’s serial concessions to the regime in the hopes of winning its agreement on the nuclear deal, was an outrageous affront to millions of Iranians suffering under a brutal theocracy. It also defied Europe’s own values of defending human rights, justice, and personal freedoms.
One is reminded of Winston Churchill’s warning that appeasers keep feeding the crocodile hoping it will eat them last. The regime has taken Europe’s nuclear concessions to the bank. The UN’s nuclear watchdog has repeatedly decried the regime’s violations, most recently in two damning reports published this month. Both Brussels and Washington have looked the other way.
“Nothing is so cruel as impunity,” it has been said. Indeed, as cruel as murdering thousands of people was in 1988, the cruelty of allowing the murderers to freely travel the world cannot be overstated.