For those Iranians who lived through the massacre of 1988, the lack of accountability within the regime is just another indignity in the story of their loved ones. Justice has been denied for these victims, who professed an ideology different the mullahs. They paid for this ideology with their lives.
“Thirty years ago,…the government, Khomeini, murdered 30,000 people that year because they were political dissidents. They wanted a regime change. Thirty thousand. And here we are almost 30 years later. It’s time to have a day of reckoning for those people that were murdered. And it is the responsibility of you young people over here to avenge the murder of those people, your families, 30 years ago,” said U.S. Representative Ted Poe during the “Free Iran” rally held in Paris earlier this month.
The initial order for the massacre was based on a fatwa by the Supreme Leader, who ordered the execution of all prisoners affiliated with the main opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK). While the government has continued to deny the massacre, evidence gathered by international NGOs and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) points to a different reality than the one that the regime would claim.
In addition, a tape was released where members of the “Death Commission”, charged with carrying out Khomeini’s order, was recorded discussing the executions. One of the members of this group, Raisi, ran for the office of President in Iran’s last election with Khamenei’s approval and backing.
The PMOI members who fled Iran for Iraq, continued to suffer attacks by the regime before being removed, thanks in part to the efforts of the NCRI and the international community, to Albania. Throughout the recent gathering, various speakers praised Albania for opening its arms in support of this particular group of refugees.
As part of his comments addressing Camp Liberty, Poe noted that “the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) was behind all of these attacks. And I have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity.”
Various members of the U.S. Congress has been working to have the IRGC receive this designation, although there are questions about whether it will pass and be signed into law. Those who look to appease Iran’s regime argue that this designation will be a violation of the nuclear agreement, but there seems to be no proof that is the case. The IRGC is responsible for around 60% of the economy, so this designation would have a significant impact on the IRGC financially. Poe also addressed the current situation in Iran regarding the nuclear agreement signed in 2015.
“I think…the world got a bad deal in the Iranian sanctions lifting where they now can develop nuclear weapons. But we can overcome that because I think before they get to the point where they actually have nuclear weapons, there’s going to be a regime change in Iran led by the people of Iran to change that situation,” said Poe.
He also highlighted that the people of Iran did not crave the dictatorship that they currently live with, but longed for the freedom and rights that all humans deserve.
“Have faith and hope one day the people of Iran will be able to throw off the shackles of the Supreme Leader and become a nation committed to the rule of law and freedom for everybody. And that will happen soon,” said Poe.