On Wednesday, November 25, Swedish media reported that 49-year-old Swedish-Iranian scientist Ahmadreza Djalali imprisoned in Iran faces imminent execution. Recently, authorities transferred him from Tehran Evin Prison to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj city where the government implements death sentences. On Tuesday morning, Djalali had told his wife Vida Mehrannia in a short phone call that he would be executed soon, the media cited Mehrannia as saying.
In April 2016, Iran’s intelligence officers arrested the dual-national scientist on espionage charges while he was on a trip to Tehran to attend a scientific conference. The Revolutionary Courts sentenced him to death the following year.
To justify Ahmadreza Djalali’s death penalty, the state-run television wired a video of him, confessing to working with the Israeli Mossad. Djalali and his family denied the charges, saying that the alleged confession was torture-induced.
“Sweden condemns the death penalty and works to ensure that the verdict against Djalali is not enforced,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted on November 24 following the reports about the risk of the imminent execution of Ahmadreza Djalali.
Mot bakgrund av uppgifter om att Iran eventuellt planerat att verkställa dödstraff mot den svenske medborgaren Djalali har jag idag pratat med Irans utrikesminister Zarif. Sverige fördömer dödsstraff och verkar för att domen mot Djalali inte ska verkställas.
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) November 24, 2020
In response, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh falsely claimed that “The Islamic Republic’s Judiciary in independent and any meddling in the issuance or execution of judicial rulings is unacceptable.” This is while in Iran, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei endorses both the judiciary chief and president. In other words, they are just puppets and the Supreme Leader pulls all the strings.
Supreme Leader Is Iran’s Final-Say
In the past four decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran frequently used hostage-taking as a method to coerce other nations to accept its ambitious demands. However, once, Mesbah Yazdi, a close ally to Khamenei, explicitly explained the ayatollahs’ expectation of the rule heading by Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.
“In the Islamic State, the people’s vote has no legal or religious credit. Neither in choosing the type of their country’s political system, nor in the validation of the constitution, or the election of the president, members of the Assembly of Experts, or the leadership. The only verification is the Supreme Leader’s satisfaction,” Parto weekly quoted Yazdi as saying on December 28, 2005.
“If there are elections so far, it was because the supreme leader has believed that the elections still hold, and the people express their opinion… The government’s legitimacy not only does not rely on the people’s votes and satisfaction but also the nation’s vote has not any impact and influence in its verification,” he added.
Previously, the Islamic Republic Founder Ruhollah Khomeini simply institutionalized the Supreme Leader’s power. “If all the nation vote for something but the Supreme Leader opposes, the Supreme Leader’s opinion must be implemented.”
Several Facts of Iran’s Hostage-Taking Method
U.S. Hostage-taking Crisis (1979-1981)
The Islamic Republic began its terrorist activities by raiding the United States embassy in Tehran in November 1979. Khomeini’s thugs, who called themselves “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line,” took 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days until Khomeini ordered the thugs to release hostages in fear of the then-U.S. President-elect Donald Reagan’s approach.
At the time, former hostage-taker and current vice president Massoumeh Ebtekar announced her readiness to shoot and kill the hostages in an interview with foreign media. Furthermore, almost all hostage-takers, including Ali Khamenei, Mohammad Ali Jafari, Hamid Abutalebi, Ezzatollah Zarqami, Mohsen Rafiqdoost, and others, were awarded high-ranking positions in the religious rule.
Abduction of President of American University in Lebanon
In July 1982, Iran-backed forces in Lebanon abducted David S. Dodge and transferred him to Tehran. Kidnappers hoped to use the president of American University in Beirut as a part of a prisoner swap between Iran and Israel. However, the exchange never happened, and Syrians circumvented Tehran and swapped Dodge with several of their captives.
Hostage-Taking and Bomb Attacks for Releasing Tehran’s Terror Squad
In 2009, in his book “I narrate for the history,” former Minister of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Mohsen Rafighdoost revealed damning details about the IRGC’s extraterritorial and blackmailing operations.
He explained that he dispatched a terror squad under the command of Lebanese terrorist Anis al-Naqqash to assassinate the Shah’s last Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar in France.
However, their plan was exposed, and French authorities detained al-Naqqash and his operative cell. To release the Iran-backed assassins, the IRGC launched a series of terror activities, including bomb attacks in Paris and the abduction of French civilians in Lebanon.
Finally, al-Naqqash demanded French authorities for his release from prison, a $1 million ransom to Iran, and the expelling of Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi from France in exchange for an end to Iran-backed terror activities and bomb attacks.
“The first condition is that one million dollars must return to Iran. They said OK, and what is the next demand? I told them to expel Massoud Rajavi from France,” he explained in a televised interview on February 11, 2017.
Former IRGC Commander Hassan Abbasi Explains How the IRGC Earns Money
Hostage-taking is one of the IRGC’s illegal methods for making money. In this respect, the IRGC has a notorious background of implementing these deals. The IRGC has frequently taken hostage coalition troops in Iraq and dual nationals inside Iran.
In February, former IRGC commander Hassan Abbasi explained how his comrades blackmailed the former U.S. administration on releasing a “journalist.” However, the journalist later became one of Tehran’s lobbies to whitewash the religious tyranny’s crimes against dissidents and improve the ayatollahs’ misinformation campaign against the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
“Look at how the IRGC generates funds. The IRGC detains a spy like Jason Rezaian. The U.S. pleads for him to be released,” Abbasi said and added that in response to the U.S. appeal, “we say: No, you have to pay for him. Our government gets paid $1.7 billion to hand over this spy. Thus, by detaining just one spy, the IRGC earns the equivalent of the $1-2 billion it was supposed to receive from the government budget.”
Iran’s Detained Diplomat Threatens Belgian Authorities with Retaliation
In July 2018, European law enforcement detained a senior Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi for being involved in a bomb attack against the annual gathering of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The foiled attack was supposed to kill dozens of Iranian dissidents and foreign dignitaries who attended the event.
On November 27, Assadi will stand for trial for recruiting the operative team, transferring and delivering one pound of explosive material TATP and detonation, and in summary, orchestrating the terror plot. In the past months, Iranian authorities did their best to release terrorist diplomat.
#LIVE@iran_policy hosts an online conference, titled:
"#Iran Regime’s Terrorism in Europe and EU Obligations"
Iranian dissidents call on EU leaders to #ExpelIranDiplomatTerrorists and #DisbandIRGChttps://t.co/KjLcar2CIm
— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) October 22, 2020
They tried their previous experience. For instance, Assadi bluntly threatened Belgian authorities on retaliation attacks by armed groups. “During his preventive detention, Assadolah Assadi refused to collaborate with the Belgian justice, but he threatened reprisals,” Le Monde reported.
On March 9, 2019, he informed the director of Beveren prison that he wished to meet with an investigator. He told him that if he was convicted, ‘armed groups’ were ready to act against police officers, witnesses, or the PMOI/MEK supporters,” the report reads.
Earlier, Tehran took Franco-Iranian Fariba Adelkhah as a hostage, pushing French authorities to force Belgium to release Assadi. In fact, Iranian authorities repeated the same method they used to free al-Naqqash. However, their approach did not answer this time.
The Language of Firmness and Power Is the Only Solution to Release Ahmadreza Djalali
In conclusion, as the Iranian government has no Belgian-Iranian hostage, it would pressure other European nations to persuade Belgium to release its jailed terrorist. However, the release of Assadi or any hostage swap that would include Assadi’s release would have disastrous outcomes.
First, the ayatollahs will grasp that their hostage-taking method is still working. They can take hostage the fate of many innocent people in the European States in return for political-economic incentives.
It would also be a hazardous message by the international community that it is ready to turn a blind eye to terror activities to decrease Iran’s terror machine. In other words, the appeasement policy toward Tehran’s terrorism and hostage-taking will only fuel the ayatollahs’ unlawful activities.
Instead, the Swedish government must exert pressure on the Iranian government and compel Iranian authorities to release Ahmadreza Djalali unconditionally. Experience shows that Iran’s ayatollahs only respond to pressure. They only understand the language of firmness and power, and the international community must deal with them in the language they know.