The Iranian regime executed at least 27 prisoners in January. With an additional 225 executions in 2020, the regime holds the record as the world’s top executioner per capita. The rising trend of executions in Iran shows the regime’s disregard for human rights standards and that its leaders enjoy a “systematic impunity.”
This systematic impunity, mainly due to the international community’s inaction, has not just served the regime in committing crimes against humanity in Iran. The recent conviction in Belgium of Assadollah Assadi, the regime’s diplomat terrorist who tried to bomb the opposition rally in France in 2018, is a testament to this fact that mullahs’ crimes are not limited to Iran and its borders.
A Belgian court, after two-and-a-half years of investigations, found Assadi and his three accomplices guilty and convicted them to 70 years in prison, rejecting Assadi’s “diplomatic immunity.” The court ruling was also a major blow to the “impunity” that the mullahs in Tehran have been enjoying due to the international community’s inaction.
This fact was also confirmed by Dr. Tahar Boumedra, former chief of the Human Rights Office of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and legal expert. He asserted that on Thursday, “the truth, the rule of law, justice, have prevailed over impunity. Impunity has failed. Through this verdict, it’s not only Assadi who has been convicted. It’s the whole regime. The whole regime has been behind crimes against humanity.”
As Mr. Boumedra underlined, the undeniable evidence, and the regime’s efforts to have Assadi released by claiming he has “diplomatic immunity,” showed that the entirety of the regime, mainly the Foreign Ministry led by Mohammad Javad Zarif, was behind the 2018 foiled bombing.
Ex-UN Official Tahar Boumedra: Through this verdict, it’s not only Assadi who has been convicted. It’s the whole regime. The whole regime has been behind crimes against humanity. #EUTime4FirmIranPolicy https://t.co/jGsHiTBZCv
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) February 4, 2021
In other words, the entirety of the Iranian regime has established an organized infrastructure of state-sponsored terrorism to prevent its own downfall. Assadi’s conviction showed that the mullahs advance their foreign policy on the basis of terrorism, and they advance terrorism under the cover of foreign policy.
Assadi’s trial and conviction also showed that all the regime’s factions are united and collaborate with each other in carrying out terrorist crimes. In other words, when it comes to savagery and pure evil, “moderates” and “hardliners” constantly try to upstage one another.
When it comes to human rights violations, the regime’s factions collaborate on how to oppress society. The rising number of executions in Iran, under the so-called “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani and the killing of over 1500 protesters during the November 2019 uprising are testaments to the regime’s systematic human rights violations.
In other words, as Mr. Boumedra said, “The whole regime has been behind crimes against humanity.”
The entire regime was behind the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. In a letter published in December, seven UN human rights experts underlined that the 1988 massacre “may amount to crimes against humanity.” They underlined how the perpetrators of this crimes enjoy “systematic impunity.”
The regime’s current Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi and the Justice Minister Alireza Avaei are both members of the so-called “Death Commissions,” which were responsible for carrying out the 1988 massacre.
Assadi’s conviction could set a precedent for the international community of how to address crimes committed by the Iranian regime.
As Mr. Boumedra said, the “verdict is a very good example and a source of inspiration for the United Nations. Let us not forget that the criminals behind the 1988 massacre remain to be held accountable.”
Ex-UN Official Tahar Boumedra: Today’s verdict is a very good example and a source of inspiration for the United Nations. Let’s not forget that the criminals behind the #1988Massacre remain to be held accountable. #EUTime4FirmIranPolicy https://t.co/jGsHiTBZCv
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) February 4, 2021
The world leaders should know that the regime’s human rights violations and terrorism go hand in hand and are the regime’s two pillars of existence.
On Thursday, Josep Borrell, head of the European External Action Service, insisted on “maximum diplomacy” with the regime, while the court in Belgium found the regime’s “diplomat” guilty for terrorism.
This weak approach will only embolden the regime and allow the criminals in Tehran to enjoy their “systematic impunity.”
Mr. Borrell and other European leaders are now focusing on the regime’s nuclear program. But they should know that giving concessions to the regime will only allow the regime to further pursue its nuclear ambitions.
In other words, efforts to contain and control the regime’s the nuclear program will not succeed unless they are coupled and linked with a firm stance against the regime’s human rights violations and state-sponsored terrorism.
As Mr. Lars Rise, former Norwegian MP, said on Thursday, “How come every European leader wants to shake Zarif’s hand? After receiving today’s verdict, all European leaders have to add an arrest warrant for Zarif to their to-do list. How is it possible for anyone to continue to work with the regime as if nothing happened?”
Assadi’s conviction in addition to numerous developments in recent months such as the UN experts’ letter have formed a momentum for the European leaders, mainly Mr. Borrell, to set the record straight and choose the right policy. The Belgian Judiciary has fulfilled its task, and the ball is now in the court of EU leaders to act.
- “Shut down the regime’s embassies and other centers in Europe, all of which are hubs for terrorism.
- Hold the regime’s Foreign Minister accountable. It was proven that his ministry, and the embassy and diplomat under his control, were involved in planning and preparing for the potential mass slaughter.
- Designate the entire Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC as terrorist entities.
- Prosecute the regime’s leaders who are in charge and are the masterminds of its terrorism infrastructure. They must face justice.
- The mullahs’ intelligence agents and mercenaries under any cover must be prosecuted and expelled. Granting them refugee status or citizenship must be considered a red line.
- Any form of renormalization of diplomatic relations with the regime must be made contingent on dismantling its terrorism infrastructure and on the observance of the human rights of the people of Iran.”