According to the Iranian opposition group The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), the Iranian regime is likely to intensify its nefarious actions in all aspects under Ebrahim Raisi’s presidency, with the overall goal of consolidating control and suppressing dissent both at home and abroad.
Further political oppression
Long before Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the regime’s next president, the regime’s impending hard-line shift was obvious.
The dictatorship staged what may have been its most closely regulated parliamentary election to date in February 2020. Almost all candidates associated with the so-called “reformist” faction were forbidden from candidacy, leaving a large number of seats uncontested.
Experts on Iranian affairs were well aware that this situation will be reflected by the presidential election in June 2021, since Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, had reaffirmed his support for Raisi.
The summer of 1988
In the summer of 1988, Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as one of four Tehran officials to a body known as the “death commission.” A fatwa issued by Khamenei’s predecessor, Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the theocratic system, triggered its development.
He deemed members of Iran’s biggest opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), to be God’s enemies who should be executed without compassion in his Fatwa. Following those trials, which often involved little more than asking the accused their names and political affiliations, around 30,000 political prisoners were summarily executed.
Virtual conference on the 1988 massacre
Last week, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) conducted a virtual conference on the 1988 massacre, with over 1,000 survivors and a number of European legal and political professionals in attendance.
Some of the experts, notably UK human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, used the event to restate their calls for Raisi to be punished for his role in one of the biggest crimes against humanity of the late twentieth century.
According to Robertson, the gravity of the crime qualifies it as genocide, requiring the international community to intervene.
Rezaee was also implicated in the bombing
The new administration’s vice president for economic affairs, Mohsen Rezaee, was also implicated in the bombing, having served as the Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) first commander, while Vahidi oversaw the Quds Force, the IRGC’s overseas special operations section.
However, Rezaee’s new position reflects his intervening activities, such as leading the Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, an IRGC front, in helping the paramilitary establish its financial empire.
The EU has sanctioned Mokhber twice
The United States sanctioned that corporation in 2007 for funding terrorism. As a result, Rezaee’s selection to the Raisi cabinet demonstrates the regime’s continued commitment to that goal at the highest levels.
Other appointments, including Mohammad Mokhber’s appointment as Raisi’s first vice president, reaffirm the above message. Mokhber was once the head of an organization called the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO). The EU has sanctioned Mokhber twice for his role in the regime’s missile and nuclear programs, as well as for human rights crimes.
Raisi and his cabinet
The new president and his cabinet collectively have decades of expertise with the interwoven activities of Iranian institutions that ruthlessly suppress opposition, loot from the people, and funnel proceeds to terrorism as far as the Americas.
Iran’s newly constituted presidential government should cause grave worry throughout the international community. Human rights activists, proponents of worldwide democracy, and Western officials who are concerned about defending their own countries’ security interests overseas should share this concern.