—Seven executions took place on August 20
—Eight prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on August 21
—Two prisoners were hanged on August 22
At the same time, thousands of inmates, including political activists, women, and juvenile offenders, are still on death row.
According to the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), authorities in Iran have executed at least 226 prisoners between March 21 and July 21. The Iranian regime launched another wave of issuing and implementing the death penalty in August under orders from President Ebrahim Raisi, the man infamous for leading thousands of political prisoners to the gallows in Tehran’s prisons in 1988.
In August 2021, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei engineered the Presidential election to appoint his protégé Raisi as the regime’s next president. In his Nowruz lecture, Khamenei described the Raisi presidency as the “sweetest event” of the last year.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said that with Raisi in power, the mullahs’ regime has turned to its usual tactics of “executions and savage repression of women” to “counter internal and external crises.”
Dissidents believe the Supreme Leader assigned the “butcher of Tehran,” with the aim to quell society’s socio-economic grievances. Raisi gave around 50 promises during his presidential campaign.
Among his promises were the convictions that, “We will create one million careers in a year. We will build one million residential units yearly, eliminate coronavirus, and ensure people’s access to the internet.”
Today, even the Iranian state media has affirmed that the Raisi government has failed to meet all these promises. Nevertheless, the number of arrests and executions has unprecedentedly increased under Raisi instead.
In social protests up and down the country, many protesters can be heard chanting, “Liar Raisi; what happened to your promises?”
Khamenei’s puppet has also failed in quelling people’s protests. “Death to Raisi” and “The sixth grader government—referring to Raisi’s lack of academic education—would collapse soon,” citizens from different walks of life chant in their rallies.
Former U.S. Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Jack Keane said, “The appointment of Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner, mass murderer responsible for killing 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988, was designed to strike fear in the Iranian population. Raisi has failed.”
The Regime Accelerates Executions as Crises Intensified
The regime has accelerated and increased the execution number following the social, economic, and even environmental crises, including the severe water shortage in several cities.
As millions of citizens suffer from the lack of piped water in Shahrekord and many regions, Raisi sent the Minister of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Esmaeil Khatib, rather than the Minister of Energy, to deal with the situation on the ground.
Khatib spoke about “enemies’ conspiracies against the ‘Islamic Republic’ system” instead of addressing people’s coherent water crisis. He also called on “intelligence, security, military, and judicial apparatuses” to counter the “enemies!”
However, the regime’s response to people’s demands is only execution and repression, particularly against the primary force of change: women and youths.
In addition to death sentences, the regime has recently formed Gasht-e Ershad [morality police], applying further pressure on women and girls under the ‘bad hijab’ rules. On the other hand, security forces have humiliated several youths by patrolling them on the streets.
Despite these circumstances, the regime’s president Raisi plans to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in September. Iranians across the U.S. and E.U. states have condemned Raisi’s presence in the U.N., describing it as an insult to victims of the regime’s atrocities and terrorism.
Iranians across the world have launched a massive campaign, calling on U.S. officials President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to deny granting a visa to the regime’s president and his delegation. Moreover, many dignitary politicians and prominent individuals have joined the Iranians’ cause to bar Raisi from attending the U.N.
Freedom-loving Iranians, opposition supporters, and the families of 30,000 political prisoners executed in the 1988 massacre demand the U.S. and U.N. should hold Raisi to account rather than welcoming him with open arms and letting him reiterate his hateful beliefs on the U.N. General Assembly floor.