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The imperative to prosecute Ebrahim Raisi and Ali Khamenei

Iranian people in different cities across the world protest to regime president Ebrahim Raisi's UN General Assembly address
Iranian people in different cities across the world protest to regime president Ebrahim Raisi's UN General Assembly address

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 23, 2021—While Iranian regime president Ebrahim Raisi addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, freedom-loving Iranians held a protest rally in front of the UN’s New York headquarters. At the same time, Iranians in 11 cities across the world held similar rallies.

Their slogans reflected the desire of millions of Iranians who have been living under the tyrannical rule of the mullahs for the past four decades. Their message to the international community: Ebrahim Raisi doesn’t deserve a podium at the UN. He and his master, regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, must be prosecuted for their crimes against humanity, including the massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988.

After enjoying decades of impunity for their brutal crimes, the Iranian regimes are now faced with growing calls for accountability across the world. The ongoing trial of torturer Hamid Nouri in Sweden is shedding light the role Raisi and other regime officials in the 1988 massacre. Examinations by different jurists and legal experts now indicate that the 1988 massacre was a genocide and qualifies for investigation and prosecution by international bodies and tribunals. Different human rights organizations and workgroups are calling for an investigation of the 1988 massacre and other crimes committed by the regime. And the relentless efforts of the Iranian Resistance are ensuring that the issue of human rights continues to remain in the spotlight.

All of these developments have put the regime in a tight spot. Raisi refrained from attending the UN General Assembly session in person due to the possible complications that the ongoing protests by the Iranian Resistance would cause for his trips. Instead, he sent a prerecorded video message.

While Raisi’s refraining from attending the UNGA session was a victory for the people of Iran, this is not where this struggle will stop. This is just the first step, and the Iranian people and their resistance movement will settle for nothing short of having the executioner of political prisoners tried for his crimes against humanity.

As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said to a global conference of Iranians on Tuesday, “[Raisi’s] hands are stained with the blood of political prisoners massacred in 1988 and at least 1,500 young people and teenagers slaughtered during the November 2019 uprising. He must face justice and prosecution for the executions and torture of prisoners.”

 

 

Justice for the victims of the regime’s atrocities has been a decades-long campaign and demand of the Iranian Resistance. For a long time, the regime managed to silence the voice of the resistance through repression and propaganda. But in recent years, this voice has become louder and louder and has garnered support from politicians and personalities from across the world.

In a conference held in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the UNGA session, American politicians called for the need to hold Raisi to account for his crimes. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who spoke at the event, said, “[Raisi] should be prosecuted. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next year. We should prosecute him now… Ebrahim Raisi is himself personally responsible for the 1988 mass execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners.”

Pompeo added that all regime officials should be held accountable for the “tens of thousands of Iranians they have murdered” and called on world leaders to reject Raisi. “Each of you should reject Raisi. You should refuse to engage with him, to acknowledge him as the democratically elected president by the people since he was no such thing.”

 

 

Other speakers at the event, who included U.S. Senators and other public servants, expressed similar demands from the world community.

Today, the international community stands at a critical juncture. The world knows full well that a mass murderer has become Iran’s president. Raisi, Khamenei, and other regime officials will sooner of later face justice for the crimes they have committed against the people in Iran and the region.

World leaders must decide whether they stand on the side of justice or their short-lived economic and political interests.