The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that since Ebrahim Raisi assumed the presidency of the Iranian regime, it has been clear that his tenure will see an increase in the regime’s terrorism and human rights crimes.
Criminals and human rights abuses
This impression was reinforced within a week of his appointment when he named people to lead significant government ministries. Raisi’s cabinet is projected to be a group of criminals and human rights abusers who will move in lockstep toward further domestic repression and increased terrorist export to the international community.
Raisi’s “election” should serve as a wake-up signal to the international community about the need for more robust approaches in dealing with the government. The rigged elections were boycotted by the Iranian people. According to the Iranian Resistance, voting turnout was less than 10%.
The size of this year’s boycott was partly dictated by popular awareness of Raisi’s history of repressing dissent violently.
On directives from the supreme leader, Raisi assumed the role of judicial chief in 2019. In the last days of 2017, a widespread anti-government uprising erupted, prompting the appointment.
The Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei anticipated the recurrence of that unrest and put Raisi in charge of major elements of the regime’s response because he had demonstrated his commitment to corporal and capital punishment much earlier.
Raisi became a key role in the “death commission” that oversaw the execution of 30,000 political prisoners, the majority of whom were members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), in the summer of 1988.
Before Raisi’s inauguration, it was reported that at least 48 death sentences had been carried out in July and that several human rights lawyers had been jailed over the same time period in an attempt to criminalize the defense of free expression.
After Raisi’s inauguration on August 5, these tendencies of politically motivated arrest and execution persisted, as did crackdowns on public demonstrations, which had been ongoing since the widely boycotted June election.
Enrique Mora, the European External Action Service’s deputy political director, was among those who attended his inauguration. The EU’s tacit support for Raisi’s presidency implies a willingness to overlook his role in the 1988 massacre and all of the other human rights violations he has presided over since then.
If Western policy continues to emphasize friendly outreach to the Raisi administration after that time, the regime will effectively be granted impunity not only for past human rights violations, but also for international terrorism, the spread of extremism, and the theft of resources from the Iranian people.
This means that the majority of Raisi’s appointees are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is the regime’s primary channel for suppression of opposition as well as a source of financing for terrorist proxies around the world.
Neither the European Union nor the United States can afford to sit on the sidelines and watch such individuals rise to power.
By strengthening Tehran’s attitude of impunity, they would be jeopardizing their own interests. It would be a grave betrayal of Western nations’ credibility as supporters of international human rights standards to ignore the nature of Raisi’s administration.