January 27 marked International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, one of the greatest crimes against humanity in mankind’s history. This crime was the direct result of the international community’s silence and appeasement policy. History has proved that appeasing genocidal regimes like the Nazis or the one in Iran only emboldens them to commit crimes against humanity.
The regime in Tehran holds the record for the greatest number of executions per capita in the world and continues violating human rights of the people of Iran. The scope of crimes against humanity committed by this regime is far beyond what happens in terms of systematic human rights violations in other countries.
On Monday, the regime executed wrestler Mehdi Ali Hosseini, despite international pleas to stop this execution. His execution comes months after that of Navid Afkari, Iran’s national wrestling champion, execution.
Ali Hosseini’s execution was also the last in a series of executions in Iran in recent weeks. The number of executions has so far surpassed 34.
On December 12, Tehran hanged Ruhollah Zam, a French resident, once again underlining its utmost disregard for oral “condemnations” by the international community, particularly European countries.
Besides its ongoing human rights violations, the regime in Tehran committed a crime against humanity in the summer of 1988 by massacring over 30,000 political prisoners.
Seven United Nations experts, in a letter published in December, underlined that the 1988 massacre, “may amount to crimes against humanity.”
The 1988 massacre, as Geoffrey Robertson QC, a former United Nations judge and renowned human rights lawyer, said on July 19, 2020, is the “Worst crime against humanity since World War II.”
Ex UN Judge Geoffrey Robertson QC: “32 years ago, I interviewed 40 survivors of the #1988Massacre massacre, & I was staggered by my findings. I described it as the worst crime against humanity since the World War 2. #FreeIran2020 https://t.co/kfwzRNkDwh
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 19, 2020
Many organizations and human rights advocates, such as the UN human rights experts, have called for an international investigation into the 1988 massacre, or in a broader approach the immediate stop of human rights violations in Iran.
With growing international calls for justice, the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, appointed Ebrahim Raisi (aka the hanging judge), as the Judiciary Chief. Raisi, along with other regime figures, such former and current Justice Ministers, Mostafa Pourmohammadi and Alireza Avaei respectively, were the main perpetrators of the 1988 massacre.
Raisi’s appointment confirmed the regime considers the 1988 massacre as an honor, as later confirmed by Mostafa Pourmohammadi. The regime also showed it has no intention of stopping its human rights violations.
Recent executions and arbitrary arrests in Iran as well as the massacre of 1500 protests during the November 2019 uprising are testaments to this fact.
The rising trend of human rights violations in Iran is also a result of the “devastating impact” of the international community’s inaction regarding the 1988 massacre.
This fact was also highlighted in the UN experts’ letter in December. They underlined how this failure to act “had a devastating impact on the survivors and families as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran and emboldened Iran to continue to conceal the fate of the victims and to maintain a strategy of deflection and denial that continue to date.”
The letter also highlights how this inaction rendered systematic impunity to the regime’s leaders.
While the regime continues its human rights violations, the European leaders are more focused on having economic relations with Tehran and addressing “concerns” through diplomatic relations.
Engaging in a dialogue with the regime about human rights or asking it to stop its human rights violations is like asking an arsonist to put out the fire.
As the European Union adopted its new global sanctions regime targeting human rights violators, the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell spoke of the EU having human rights in its “DNA.”
He said when it comes to human rights violations, the EU “should go beyond” resolutions and condemnations.
But when it comes to Iran, perhaps Mr. Borrell and the EU leader have made an exception.
Tuesday marked the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. People went on social media to say they will never forgive or forget this heinous massacre. The world’s conscience also does not forget nor forgive those who paved the way for this crime against humanity by “engaging in a dialogue” with Hitler.
The appeasement policy, unlike what Nevil Chamberlin said, did not “secure peace” at that time. It ultimately resulted in millions of deaths.
Appeasing the regime in Tehran would also mean more death and destruction not just in Iran and the Middle East but also in Europe. The case of Assadollah Assadi, Iran’s diplomat-terrorist who tried to bomb the opposition rally in 2018 in Paris, affirms the fact that Tehran’s terrorism and human rights violations are not limited to Iran’s borders.
EU leaders should act now. They should use their new global sanctions regime and target the regime’s leaders for their role in human rights violations. They also should make their relations with Iran contingent on an absolute halt to human rights violations in Iran.
EU leaders should also take firm action against Iran’s terrorist regime and shut down its embassies.
An assertive policy vis-à-vis the Iranian regime’s terrorism and human rights violations will certainly secure “peace for our time.”