In a piece published on Sunday, September 11, Booker remarks that Britain celebrated new diplomatic relations with a ‘moderate’ Iran on Monday, September 5.
This celebration came just days before Iran announced that it had finally sentenced a British-Iranian charity worker to five years in Evin prison for espionage and attempting to overthrow the regime.
Nazanin Zaghari‑Ratcliffe, who worked with the Thompson Reuters Foundation, was on a family holiday with her daughter Gabriella, now aged two.
She’d taken Gabriella to visit her parents but when they arrived at the airport to return to the UK she was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards who separated her from Gabriella and locked her up without charge.
Nazanin’s visits by her parents, who are looking after Gabriella, and calls to her husband, Richard, who is in the UK, have been controlled and restricted by the Iranian authorities.
Moderate governments tend not to hold people for five months without charge, separate babies from their parents or hold other countries to ransom over the release of its citizens.
However, this is only one piece of evidence that the regime is not moderate. Another example comes from leaked audio footage regarding the 1988 massacre which killed 30,000 political prisoners in Iran, over just a few weeks.
The tape revealed the extensive planning behind the massacre and those who were involved. Those Regime members who were responsible for the mass murder of 30,000 political opponents, mainly members of the People’s Mujahidden of Iran (PMOI), did not face any kind of punishment, instead, they received promotions like the former deputy head of defense who is now President Rouhani.
Indeed, Ayatollah Montazeri, the heir to then‑Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, was featured on the tape calling the murders “horrendous” and warning that “history [would] condemn [them]” for the massacre.
He was sacked and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.
His son, Ahmad, released the tapes last month and could now face the death penalty for revealing the regime’s involvement in the slaughter. Much like Nazanin’s family holiday, the tape was deemed “a threat to national security”, Iran’s go to response to actions which embarrass the regime.