by Navid Felker
Iran regime MP Mahmoud Sadeghi has criticized the intelligence arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), accusing it of rights abuses, in an open letter, in which he called upon IRGC intelligence director, Hossein Ta’ib, to “revise his style of management.”
In the letter, which was published on Sadeghi’s Telegram channel on April 21st, the reformist MP said his constituents frequently complain about the behavior of the IRGC’s intelligence unit during various stages of detention and interrogation. He noted that Ta’ib’s subordinates ignore the legal standards set for investigations and neglect the legitimate and lawful rights of detainees.
Closely allied with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization operates alongside President Hassan Rouhani’s Intelligence Ministry. This IRGC unit is considered a frightening intelligence entity. It has detained scores of political and civil rights activists, and played a huge role in suppressing the unrest and protests against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
According to analysts and legal experts, the existence of the Intelligence Organization— specifically its interference in cases related to espionage — explicitly violates the Iranian Constitution. In fact, Ali Motahari, Tehran MP and deputy parliamentary speaker, stated that espionage and counterespionage operations are the exclusive domain of the Intelligence Ministry. He claims that the IRGC has no legal right to interfere.
Still, the IRGC has detained several people charged with espionage.
•Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, an Iranian accountant and member of the delegation for the nuclear talks that led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015.
•Several prominent environmentalists, including the Iranian-Canadian founder of Iran’s Wildlife Heritage, Kavous Seyyed-Emami.
While the chairman of the parliamentary Environment Faction, Mohammad Reza Tabesh, cited top officials of the Intelligence Ministry as dismissing the allegation, Seyyed-Emami and his fellow environmentalists were charged with espionage. Two weeks later, officials announced that Seyyed-Emami had committed suicide at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison This allegation has be categorically rejected by Seyyed-Emami’s friends and family.
The deputy head of Iran’s Environment Department, Kaveh Madani, recently left Iran. Madani wrote in his resignation letter last week, “Since my return to Iran, without any warrant, not only have my personal hardware and social media accounts been broken into, but my ‘citizen rights’ and privacy have also been violated right from the beginning.”
In his open letter, Sadeghi pointed out that the IRGC agents “treated Mr. Madani in such a way that Iranian youth have lost hope in participating in service to their homeland.”
Sadeghi admonished Ta’ib about the environmentalists still behind bars at Evin, “The way they have been treated clearly violates the legal rights of the defendants, who three months into their detention are still deprived of access to lawyers or meeting with their relatives.”
The IRGC’s “intelligence approach” toward social and political issues had “seriously damaged” the public’s opinion of the IRGC, according to Sadeghi.