Khomeini appointed him supervisor of Kayhan (largest state-run daily), member of Majlis (parliament) from Ardakan, Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance 1982-1992, advisor to the President and director of the National Library 1992-1997, President 1997-2005
Charges related to the massacre of political prisoners in Iran in 1988
1. Khatami participated in the session in which Khomeini, for the first time, discussed plans for the execution of all political prisoners.
2. In government meetings, Khatami consistently opposed those worried about the social and international backlash of the massacre and strongly defended Khomeini’s edict. As the Minister of Guidance, he was responsible for censoring any news of the massacre or criticism of it by various circles. As Ressalat and Iran News state-run dailies reported in early 2000, “This edict was issued and enforced when Mr. Khatami was Director of Cultural Affairs at the Armed Forces General Command and he resolutely defended His Holiness the Imam’s decision.”
3. Abusing his powers as President, he tried to cover up the mass murders, especially his own role in them. The daily Gozaresh dated April 9, 2000, reported “Arya daily was closed down on the explicit, personal order of President Khatami, enforced immediately by the Ministry of Guidance, after it carried a story about the massacre of political prisoners in 1988.”
1. From the outset, Khatami was a close advisor to Khomeini. He personally directed the censorship and repression of writers and artists for 10 years as the Minister of Guidance. Many of the most outstanding Iranian writers and artists were executed by firing squads during his term as Minister of Guidance.
2. During the Iran-Iraq war, Khatami was in charge of mobilizing schoolchildren who died by the tens of thousands in senseless human wave attacks across minefields. Khatami’s role in this atrocity amounts to a war crime.