"You [Iranian officials] will be in the future etched in the annals of history as criminals. The greatest crime committed under the Islamic Republic, from the beginning of the Revolution until now, which will be condemned by history, is this crime [mass executions] committed by you." Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri warns the Islamic Republic in an audio disclosed recently.
Montazeri's son, Ahmad, a moderate cleric, posted the audio on his website but was ordered by the intelligence to remove it.
In reference to one of the worst mass executions in the modern history of the Middle East, being carried by the government officials, Montazri stated that "So, now, without their having carried out any new activities (the prisoners), we execute them. This means that all of us screwed up, our entire judicial system is wrong".
He talks about a 15 years old girl being executed because she liked her brother who was also executed. Amnesty International estimates that in the summer of 1988, the overall number of people executed were 4,500. Some estimates reach as high as over 30,000 people.
He adds "In Esfahan, a pregnant woman was among them [those massacred]. In Esfahan they executed a pregnant woman.... [In clerical jurisprudence] one must not execute a woman even if she is a mohareb (enemy of God).
"I reminded [the Supreme Leader] of this, but he said they must be executed. In the month of Moharram, at least in the month of Moharram, the month of God and the Prophet, it shouldn't be like this. At least feel some shame before Imam Hussein. Cutting off all meetings and suddenly engaging in such butchery, dragging them out and Bang! Bang!!! Does this happen anywhere in the world? ..."
Montazeri's audio points to one of the worst crimes against humanity committed in modern history and it continues to occur. It points to the means that the government uses to control the population and silence opposition.
It also points to the interconnectedness of Shiite Islam, power and authoritarianism, and it points to the dominance of the IRGC, intelligence, Khamenei and their loyalists.
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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is an American political scientist, business advisor, best-selling author, and the president of the International American Council on the Middle East. Harvard-educated, Rafizadeh serves on the advisory board of Harvard International Review. An American citizen, he is originally from Iran and Syria, lived most of his life in Iran and Syria till recently. He is a board member of several significant and influential international and governmental institutions, and he is native speaker of couple of languages including Arabic and Persian. He also speaks English and Dari, and can converse in French, Hebrew.
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