The EU’s Iran Policy Has Failed

By Mansoureh Galestan

Two things have happened in the Iranian Regime recently to make anyone question the European Union’s failed appeasement policy towards the mullahs.

The first was the resignation scandal surrounding Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who resigned publically in protest at being excluded from a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in Tehran and then withdrew his resignation on the orders of Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

This showed that Zarif, far from being a moderate confronting Khamenei’s hardliners, will always follow the orders of the Supreme Leader.

This was nothing more than a fake rift. The mullahs may be divided on minor issues, but they stand together to preserve the malign Regime that crushes the people in order to ensure more power and more wealth for those at the top.

The second and more troubling issue is the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi, who sent thousands to their deaths in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, as head of Iran’s judiciary. We know that Raisi was involved because he is specifically named by many survivors of the massacre, Amnesty International in their report “Blood-Soaked Secrets: Why Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacres Are Ongoing Crimes Against Humanity”, and his own bragging about it during his unsuccessful run for president.

This massacre mainly targeted members of the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), whom the Regime hoped to exterminate, and the Regime has tried multiple times trying to cover the atrocity up by destroying mass graves and threatening the families of the victims.

At the time of the massacre, second-in-command Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri called out the Tehran Death Committee, on which Raisi sat, for “the biggest crime in the Islamic Republic” for which “history [would] condemn [them]”, but he was stripped of power and put under house arrest.

As you can see, the Iranian Regime doesn’t feel in the least bit remorseful about the massacre, but wasn’t the appeasement policy supposed to embolden the moderates? As it turns out, the EU fundamentally misunderstood the Iranian Regime and that’s why their policy failed. Iran is not made up of two warring sides, but one united front, so a behavioural change never came. The factions may fight for internal power, but they are more than committed to the survival of the Regime through domestic repression and export of terrorism.

Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the case of human rights defenders in Iran, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, winner of the Sakharov Prize, and a mother of two, condemned to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.

Yet, the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has failed to speak out against Raisi’s appointment as Iran’s judiciary chief when she should be making sure that he and other rights abusers get added to the EU sanctions list.

source:ncr-iran

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Iran’s new Chief Justice vows to crack down on dissent

By Adena Nima

Ebrahim Raisi, sworn in as Iran’s new Chief Justice on Friday, vowed to crack down on dissent.

“We deem security as the most important issue in the country,” the 58 year old cleric said during the swearing in ceremony.

“We will not tolerate any kind of disturbance in the security of the country and will not concede,” he added in comments carried by the Revolutionary Guards Corps affiliated Tasnim news agency.

Iran considers any kind of dissent as a threat to its security. Many human rights, labor, and women’s rights activists have been handed heavy sentences for so-called “security charges”.

There were reports today that women’s rights activist and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years of prison and 148 lashes.

Amnesty Iran@AmnestyIran

Iran: Shocking 33-year prison term and 148 lashes for women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudehhttps://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/03/iran-shocking-33-year-prison-term-and-148-lashes-for-womens-rights-defender-nasrin-sotoudeh/ 

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Also today, Iranian news agencies said that a U.S. citizen held in Iran had been sentenced for an unspecified crime.

Michael White, a 46-year old U.S. Navy veteran, was arrested last July while visiting his Iranian girlfriend.

Raisi is widely reviled by Iranians for his role in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

There are speculations that he is the best candidate for Iran’s future Supreme Leader, the all-powerful cleric who overlooks everything in Iran.

Background:

According to Wikipedia, Raisi is the current custodian and chairman of the Astan Quds Razavi, a wealthy and powerful foundation or bonyad in Mashhad.

Raisi has served in several positions in Iran’s judicial system, such as Attorney General from 2014 to 2016, and Deputy Chief Justice from 2004 to 2014. He was also Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ebrahim Raisi is the son-in-law of Mashhad Friday prayer leader and Grand Imam of Imam Reza shrine, Ahmad Alamolhoda, a hardliner known for his controversial and sometimes ridiculous sermons.

Born in the northeastern city of Mashhad in 1960, Raisi started his religious education at the Qom Seminary at age 15.

After the 1979 revolution, which brought Khomeini’s Islamic Republic to power, Raisi quickly pulled up in the ranks of the regime’s suppressive organizations such as the “Revolutionary Court” known for handing down sentences to dissidents. He was only around 18 at the time.

According to the state-run Astan News, he was sent to work with the Revolutionary Court in the southern town of Masjed Soleiman in the beginning of the revolution to handle the “Marxist” problem in the south. After successfully handling the “problem”, he was appointed as Deputy Prosecutor in Karaj at the age of 19. He was mostly in charge of carrying out interrogations. Raisi was then appointed as the Karaj Prosecutor at the age of 20. After a few months, he also become the Prosecutor of Hamedan. He held the position until 1984 when he was appointed as the Prosecutor of the Central Revolutionary Court.

During that time, the Central Prosecutors Office had three departments which included the Economic Department, the Narcotics Trafficking Department and a department known as “Grouplets” charged with suppressing dissident groups. Raisi, who was 24 at the time was appointed as the head of the “Grouplet” Department.

It was in this position that he actively played a part in the “Death Committee” responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

1988 execution of thousands of political prisoners

Feeling threatened by the dissent against his absolute rule, less than 10 years into the Islamic revolution, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a religious decree, known as the “death decree” to execute all political prisoners.

The late Hussein-Ali Montazeri, once Khomeini’s successor who was put aside after disagreements with Khomeini over the “death decree”, named Raisi as one of the four persons in the “death committee” tasked by Khomeini to determine the fate of thousands of political prisoners, mostly members of the PMOI.

Khomeini decreed that “as the treacherous Monafeqin [PMOI] do not believe in Islam and what they say is out of deception and hypocrisy… it is decreed that those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin [PMOI], are waging war on God and are condemned to execution”.

“It is naive to show mercy to those who wage war on God”, he wrote.

Addressing the Death Committee, he wrote, “Those who are making the decisions must not hesitate, nor show any doubt or be concerned with details”.

“They must try to be most ferocious against infidels. To have doubts about the judicial matters of revolutionary Islam is to ignore the pure blood of martyrs”, the old cleric wrote in the fatwa.

Ebrahim Raisi who was introduced into the regime’s suppressive institutions at the age of 18, was now involved in the bloodiest massacre of dissidents in Iran’s recent history at the age of 28.

According to some of the prisoners who survived the executions, Raisi walked around in the prison without his religious cloak and turban “seeing to” matters related to the executions.

Raisi won over Khomeini for his outstanding work in the mass executions and was then placed in a special two member committee charged with speeding up the passing of inhumane sentences in order to maintain the atmosphere of total suppression in Iran.

Khomeini tasked Raisi along with another cleric, Nayeri, to issue hand and leg amputations and other sentences, “free from administrative complications”.

Custodian of Khamenei’s slush fund

Ebrahim Raisi is also the custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, a massive business corporation with a real-estate portfolio worth an estimated $20 billion, which effectively functions as a slush fund for Iran’s supreme leader. Raisi helps generate the funds that enable Tehran to suppress dissent at home and export terror abroad.

The charity was originally established to supposedly help the needy and “provide financial grants” to poverty-stricken citizens.

According to a recent report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies the endowment presides over more than 100 businesses in a variety of fields, including car manufacturing, agriculture, financial services, construction, and oil and gas, many of which conduct business overseas. It also controls the border between Iran and Turkmenistan, a special economic zone for trade with central Asia.

The Astan Quds Razavi – Farsi for “the holy belongings of Imam Reza” – manages the Imam Reza Shrine, a vast complex in Mashhad that includes the world’s largest mosque by area, a library, and other religious institutions devoted to the memory of the eighth Shiite imam. Some 25 to 30 million pilgrims visit the shrine annually, making Mashhad the country’s most popular tourist attraction. Astan Quds Razavi also owns nearly half of the land in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city. The FDD report, titled “Profiles of Iranian Repression”, which was published on October 29 said that the endowment received no oversight by any other government body, undermining any attempt to determine its full size and impact.

This article was first published by irannewswire

With Eventual Fall of Mullahs, MEK Wants to Finally Install a Democracy

L. Todd Wood has been in Albania recently exploring the Iranian freedom fighters as he calls them, his interesting observations is informative, the following is the full text of his first article as he intends to write more about his findings.

Meet the MEK: Iranian freedom fighters working to effect regime change

On a recent business trip to Albania, I was invited to visit the new camp of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, or the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), still being built about 45 minutes outside of Tirana, on the way to the Albanian coast. I accepted the invitation, although I must admit, I had no idea what to expect upon reaching the sprawling facility which is the new home for approximately 3,200 of the Iranian resistance movement’s personnel, after being forced out of Iraq by violence from the Iranian-backed government.

I want to write more about the group and its agenda in the near future, but today I just want to explore what I found at ‘Ashraf 3’, which is the name the MEK has given the new camp, after the first Ashraf on the Iraqi border, where the group launched raids into Iran almost two decades ago.

L Todd Wood@LToddWood

Video: Tsarizm Editor-in-Chief Visits MEK Compound In Albaniahttps://tsarizm.com/videos/2018/09/19/tsarizm-editor-in-chief-visits-mek-campaign-in-albania/ 

Video: Tsarizm Editor-in-Chief Visits MEK Compound In Albania – Tsarizm

Tsarizm Editor-in-Chief Visits MEK Compound In Albania. Iranian Intelligence Active In Former Communist Country.

tsarizm.com

With the Trump administration pulling out of the so-called Iran deal, the MEK has been given new hope in its push for regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran. With the new sanctions biting, in combination with the consequences of the corrupt regime’s incompetent management, civil unrest is rampant across the country. The MEK sees a real chance to force regime change from inside Iran, without needing the use of expensive and already overextended American military force.

With the eventual fall of the mullahs, the MEK wants to finally install a democracy. It was against this backdrop that I visited Ashraf 3 in Albania.

The camp has been quite controversial, primarily due to the regime’s view of the MEK as an existential threat. This has caused the mullahs to act out in reckless ways to counter what it sees as its real opposition, even if it is all the way in Albania. This has resulted in a foiled bomb attempt at the Free Iran Gathering 2018 in Paris last June, where an Iranian diplomat was arrested, and the recent arrest and indictment of two Iranian spies in Washington, D.C., looking to target resistance officials in the United States.

Iranian intelligence agents have been active in Albania, recruiting former MEK members for propaganda purposes and attempting to stain the reputation of the group within the eyes of Albania’s people.

The car picked me up at the hotel in Tirana and we made the 45-minute drive out to the camp. The conversation was pleasant enough and we even stopped for some local fruit along the way. But security was very tight. I noticed that there were two cars always together whenever we left the camp over the two-day visit.

A local security firm was guarding the location, with perimeter defense and car inspections as you entered the gates, where the two MEK lion mascots guard the entrance.

The camp is very large, and in various phases of construction. The group has done remarkably well in such a short period of time to recreate what they had left in Iraq. There is everything you would expect in a small city — lodging, food service, assembly halls, administrative buildings.

In a short amount of time I was introduced to the leadership of the group in Albania and we sat around a table in one of the new buildings to get acquainted. What struck me initially was the openness that I encountered. Multiple attempts at journalistic hit pieces had culminated in a recent drone flyover by an adversarial news group from the UK, most likely funded by someone who doesn’t want the MEK to be successful in its quest.

As the members of the camp knew that I had promised to keep an open mind, I was met most graciously. I asked many questions during my two-day visit. All of the questions were answered in-depth, sometimes with other members being brought in to give a more detailed and complete answer. I was not prevented from seeing or requesting anything. I asked about life at the camp, those who had left the movement, even about the MEK’s alleged involvement in the Iranian Hostage Crisis decades before. All questions were met with complete answers.

In fact, I was given a tour of the camp. The facilities are very functional, if not somewhat barren. With the MEK children having been brought out of Iraq to Europe and America in the last decade, the remaining adult members are all mostly older, although I did meet scores of a new generation of MEK, male and female, some of whom were in the group of children who were evacuated from Iraq in 2009, only to join the MEK later in life. Many signed up in their relatives’ footsteps, to keep alive their struggle against the regime.

With the tour I was exposed to the robust cooking capabilities that have been built. I toured the medical facility which has a good amount of equipment and staff, trying to their best with limited resources. Many patients were in various phases of medical treatment as I walked from room to room.

In addition to being exposed to many of the day-to-day locations members would frequent, I also had the chance to talk and interview probably 50 members from all walks of life within the movement. Some of the older, original members were provided, as well as the youngest. They all had their own unique story of what led them to join. Many had violence perpetrated on their loved ones by the regime. Many had family members executed. Many had simply given up hope of a decent life in Iran and now had committed themselves to bringing regime change for future generations.

Many pundits have described the MEK as a cult. I would describe it as a fanatically committed group of individuals who have given their lives for an idea: a free Iran. Each and every one of them spoke about their people, and how they wanted a better life for the Iranian population. This was especially prevalent among the young men and women I met, many who had scars and wounds from the violence at Ashraf, or even within Iran itself. Many had a deep sense of loss and pain from their dealings with the regime-murder, assault, deceit, torture. Their overriding principle was to prevent future generations of Iran from having to go through the same horrific experiences.

The ideal of freedom is a powerful one and permeated throughout Ashraf 3. It is utmost on everyone’s mind. It is something bigger than themselves. Most of the people I met were highly intellectual and successful in their previous lives. They could have been living anywhere in the West, but they chose, at a personal sacrifice, to join this movement. The younger members know nothing but the regime and are hellbent on destroying it. I saw a remarkable level of focus and determination. All of the members of the group had a job to do and were singularly focused on its completion.

Each person I spoke with knew exactly why and for what he or she was fighting for and why they had given up so much of their own lives to fight the regime.

Albania has nothing to fear from this group. I did not see any weapons or military training. They want to become good citizens of Albania and to build a life in the former communist country. In fact, it is the MEK who has to be worried about violence. The regime has shown it will stop at nothing to destroy them. Iranian Ministry of Intelligence agents are active in Albania. They are the ones the Albanian public has to fear, not the people in the camp.

There has been much disinformation purposefully spread about the PMOI/MEK. I hope to confront most of it by writing from personal experience from my interactions with the Iranian resistance. This is the first of many reports on the subject.

New Fears Over Iran Arming Hezbollah

Iran Focus

London, 4 Dec – Reports of an Iranian cargo plane carrying advanced weaponry landing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon has fuelled speculation in the media and among officials that Iran is continuing to arm the terrorist group Hezbollah.

According to reports, the cargo plane, owned and operated by Fars Air Qeshm, was spotted flying directly from Tehran to Beirut on Thursday morning. The report advises that Iran has long been supplying Lebanon’s Hezbollah with advanced munitions by shipping them through civilian airlines, which is why many of Iran’s civil airlines are under US sanctions.

The Boeing 747 jet then flew to Doha in Qatar before returning to Tehran. Most Iranian cargo planes unload their material in Syria, where Hezbollah is fighting on behalf of Iran in order to protect the Bashar Assad dictatorship, rather than fly directly into Lebanon, in order to avoid being caught supplying the terrorist group, which is a violation of US sanctions.

However, increased surveillance of Iran’s movements in Syria by the US and its allies have meant that it is less dangerous to transport the money, fighters, weapons, or any other malign material directly to Lebanon. In previous weeks, Israel has allegedly blown up several shipments of weapons sent by Iran to Hezbollah in Syria.

In fact, Thursday’s delivery occurred just hours before Israel allegedly conducted airstrikes on pro-Iranian targets in Syria.

IRAN’S INCREASED DELIVERIES OF WEAPONS

Back in October, Al Arabiya English reported that Lebanese political sources were concerned over US warnings about Iran’s transfer of weapons and sophisticated equipment to Hezbollah through Beirut International Airport via Doha and Damascus in Syria. It was also acknowledged by an official US report that flight data showed that the Iranian flights leaving Tehran International Airport to provide weapons to Hezbollah belonged to Iranian airlines Fars Air Qeshm.

According to American and Western intelligence sources quoted by Fox News, Iran has only increased its shipments of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, including delivering devices that use GPS technology to convert non-guided missiles into accurately guided ones. This manufacturing process took place inside Iranian factories in Lebanon.

Hezbollah has been listed as a terrorist group by the US State Department since 1997, for their roles in bombing the US Embassy and Marine Barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and the hijacking of a TWA flight in 1985, among other things. In all instances, they were assisted by Iran.

Europe Should Not Count on the Unstable and Weak Regime in Iran

The following speech Titled: Human Rights in Iran was delivered in Amsterdam, on August 25, 2018 by Dr ALejo Vidal-Quadras, the former Vice- President of the European Parliament and President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ).

Dear Friends,

I am very thankful to the Iranian community in Netherlands for organizing this event on the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

As it is well known, thirty years ago, more than 30.000 political prisoners were executed in Iran in summer of 1988. Many prisoners were only asked a few questions before being taken to the gallows and buried in mass in unmarked graves. All according to a fatwa, or decree, issued by the Iranian regime founder Ayatollah Khomeini, still in power and alive at that time.

As we know this massacre is one of the worst crimes in Iran’s modern history. Until today, no perpetrators have been arrested for this atrocious state-sanctioned crime. On the contrary, many of the known perpetrators who have even admitted their role in this crime have been rewarded and hold senior or ministerial positions in Iran today.

The vast majority of the victims were affiliated to the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI or MEK). Their crime was that they remained steadfast and said No to Khomeini.

Two years ago, we at ISJ published a report after the son of grand Ayatollah Montazeri released an audio tape that contained the conversation of his father with perpetrators of this crime who are still today holding top positions in the regime. That revelation that came along with the campaign that had been launched by Mrs Maryam Rajavi to seek justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, became a wake-up call to the international community.

The regime has begun the destruction of some of the sites of the mass graves. Only last month Amnesty International launched another urgent campaign to prevent the Iranian regime from building a road over the mass graves of political prisoners who were assassinated in the 1980s.

Regarding the current human rights situation in Iran, we could only look at the number of executions. During the presidency of the so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani more than 3500 people have been executed in Iran so far.

The regime has also responded brutally to the nationwide protests and uprisings which began in late December and has continued in different cities. Thousands have been arrested and more than 50 have been killed in the streets. Many have also died under torture in custody.

The regime has confessed to the role of PMOI in organizing these protests. In fact, PMOI have been re-building their underground network inside Iran by forming protest cells which consist of teams of 2, 3 or more. They were responsible for starting many of the recent protests, rallies and strikes which have happened all over Iran. These organized protests have made the mullahs extremely worried and that is why they are panicking.

The regime has launched a massive misinformation campaign against the Iranian opposition by using some agents who call themselves former PMOI members and go to see politicians and make false allegations. Some of them are active here in Netherlands.

There also indications of the regime wanting to eliminate its main opposition by terrorism. Recently several Iranians were arrested in Belgium and Germany, including an Iranian diplomat. They were trying to attack the recent annual grand gathering of the Iranian resistance in Paris.

Only last week the US Justice Department announced that two Iranians were arrested in USA for spying against PMOI.

All this news gives us this message that we are in a turning point. It shows that the so called Islamic Republic of Iran, which has been the main source of exporting Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism is now fighting for its survival.

We in Europe should side with the people of Iran. The current policy of the EU and Mrs. Mogherini, in closing their eyes to human rights violations and repression of women and just focusing on business and trade, is a disgrace.

We must condition our relations to Iran to a halt to executions and a significant progress on human rights. All the protesters who have been arrested must be immediately released. We must remind our European governments that Iran is not a normal country to do business with. There are no free elections in Iran. Iran is indeed a dictatorship but of especially malignant type. It is a totalitarian theocracy which survives by the repression inside and instigation of was, terrorism and civil conflicts outside its borders.

Human rights must be our guideline and nothing else. As a European I feel ashamed by what our governments and the EEAS are doing. We should tell them that contrary to what they think, this is a very unstable and weak regime and has no future. So even for our long-term interests we should not count on the mullahs and have illusions about Rouhani or so-called moderates, there are no real moderates in this religious dictatorship. The future belongs to democracy and not these backward, brutal and murderous fanatics that oppress cruelly their own people and are the worst threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and in the whole world.

Thank you

About ISJ:

International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) was initially formed in 2008 as an informal group of EU parliamentarians to seek justice for the Iranian democratic opposition. In 2014 it was registered as a non-profit NGO in Brussels expanding its membership beyond elected parliamentarians to former officials and other dignitaries with an interest to promote human rights, freedom, democracy, peace and stability. ISJ’s campaigns have enjoyed the support of over 4000 parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic.

ncr-iran

Khamenei’s infamous new Chief Justice heralds fresh repression campaign

By Adena Nima

The spokesperson for Iran’s Judiciary has confirmed that hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, a judge during the 1988 execution of thousands of political prisoners, will be Iran’s next Chief Justice.

He will be replacing Sadeq Amoli Larijani, also a cleric.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told Iranian media on Sunday that he would continue to work with the Judiciary under Raisi.

According to Yahya Kamalipour, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s judiciary committee, Raisi will be officially introduced as Iran’s Chief of Judiciary on Thursday March 7.

The 57 year old cleric was a contestant in Iran’s 2017 presidential elections.

Raisi’s beginnings

According to Wikipedia, Raisi is the current custodian and chairman of the Astan Quds Razavi, a wealthy and powerful foundation or bonyad in Mashhad.

Raisi has served in several positions in Iran’s judicial system, such as Attorney General from 2014 to 2016, and Deputy Chief Justice from 2004 to 2014. He was also Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ebrahim Raisi is the son-in-law of Mashhad Friday prayer leader and Grand Imam of Imam Reza shrine, Ahmad Alamolhoda, a hardliner known for his controversial and sometimes ridiculous sermons.

Born in the northeastern city of Mashhad in 1960, Raisi started his religious education at the Qom Seminary at age 15.

After the 1979 revolution, which brought Khomeini’s Islamic Republic to power, Raisi quickly pulled up in the ranks of the regime’s suppressive organizations such as the “Revolutionary Court” known for handing down sentences to dissidents. He was only around 18 at the time.

According to the state-run Astan News, he was sent to work with the Revolutionary Court in the southern town of Masjed Soleiman in the beginning of the revolution to handle the “Marxist” problem in the south. After successfully handling the “problem”, he was appointed as Deputy Prosecutor in Karaj at the age of 19. He was mostly in charge of carrying out interrogations. Raisi was then appointed as the Karaj Prosecutor at the age of 20. After a few months, he also become the Prosecutor of Hamedan. He held the position until 1984 when he was appointed as the Prosecutor of the Central Revolutionary Court.

During that time, the Central Prosecutors Office had three departments which included the Economic Department, the Narcotics Trafficking Department and a department known as “Grouplets” charged with suppressing dissident groups. Raisi, who was 24 at the time was appointed as the head of the “Grouplet” Department.

It was in this position that he actively played a part in the “Death Committee” responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

1988 execution of thousands of political prisoners

Feeling threatened by the dissent against his absolute rule, less than 10 years into the Islamic revolution, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a religious decree, known as the “death decree” to execute all political prisoners.

The late Hussein-Ali Montazeri, once Khomeini’s successor who was put aside after disagreements with Khomeini over the “death decree”, named Raisi as one of the four persons in the “death committee” tasked by Khomeini to determine the fate of thousands of political prisoners, mostly members of the PMOI.

Khomeini decreed that “as the treacherous Monafeqin [PMOI] do not believe in Islam and what they say is out of deception and hypocrisy… it is decreed that those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin [PMOI], are waging war on God and are condemned to execution”.

“It is naive to show mercy to those who wage war on God”, he wrote.

Addressing the Death Committee, he wrote, “Those who are making the decisions must not hesitate, nor show any doubt or be concerned with details”.

“They must try to be most ferocious against infidels. To have doubts about the judicial matters of revolutionary Islam is to ignore the pure blood of martyrs”, the old cleric wrote in the fatwa.

Ebrahim Raisi who was introduced into the regime’s suppressive institutions at the age of 18, was now involved in the bloodiest massacre of dissidents in Iran’s recent history at the age of 28.

According to some of the prisoners who survived the executions, Raisi walked around in the prison without his religious cloak and turban “seeing to” matters related to the executions.

Raisi won over Khomeini for his outstanding work in the mass executions and was then placed in a special two member committee charged with speeding up the passing of inhumane sentences in order to maintain the atmosphere of total suppression in Iran.

Khomeini tasked Raisi along with another cleric, Nayeri, to issue hand and leg amputations and other sentences, “free from administrative complications”.

Custodian of Khamenei’s slush fund

Ebrahim Raisi is also the custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, a massive business corporation with a real-estate portfolio worth an estimated $20 billion, which effectively functions as a slush fund for Iran’s supreme leader. Raisi helps generate the funds that enable Tehran to suppress dissent at home and export terror abroad.

The charity was originally established to supposedly help the needy and “provide financial grants” to poverty-stricken citizens.

According to a recent report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies the endowment presides over more than 100 businesses in a variety of fields, including car manufacturing, agriculture, financial services, construction, and oil and gas, many of which conduct business overseas. It also controls the border between Iran and Turkmenistan, a special economic zone for trade with central Asia.

The Astan Quds Razavi – Farsi for “the holy belongings of Imam Reza” – manages the Imam Reza Shrine, a vast complex in Mashhad that includes the world’s largest mosque by area, a library, and other religious institutions devoted to the memory of the eighth Shiite imam. Some 25 to 30 million pilgrims visit the shrine annually, making Mashhad the country’s most popular tourist attraction. Astan Quds Razavi also owns nearly half of the land in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city.

The FDD report, titled “Profiles of Iranian Repression”, which was published on October 29 said that the endowment received no oversight by any other government body, undermining any attempt to determine its full size and impact.

This article was first published by irannewswire