The Iranian regime has executed at least 33 people in the past month, according to the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), despite worldwide criticism of their human rights abuses, and even the United Nations last month issuing its 67th resolution condemning the mullahs over these violations.

Some major examples of violations that sparked condemnation were the execution of protester and wrestling champion Navid Afkari in September or the execution of French resident and journalist Ruhollah Zam in December. Also in December, just days after the UN resolution, the regime executed 14 prisoners.

The regime is using capital punishment as an intimidation tactic to prevent uprisings, with State Security Force (SSF) deputy commander Brigadier General Qassem Rezaei telling his forces earlier this month to “break the arms” of deviant youths, saying they would have to answer why protesters were not harmed.

Capital and corporal punishments are part and parcel of the regime, rising under the “hanging Judge” Ebrahim Raisi as Judiciary Chief, who is best known for his role in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.

This massacre was also recently the subject of a letter by UN experts, initially written to the regime in September but made public in December after they received no response.

The letter said the massacre “may amount to crimes against humanity” and called for an independent investigation because the regime has given “systematic impunity” to the perpetrators. The letter also criticized the inaction by the international community, which emboldened the regime to continue its abuses.

This can be seen most horrifically in the crackdown on the November 2019 uprising, where the state security forces fired into crowds of protesters indiscriminately, killing 1,500 people in just a few days.

The world condemned the regime in statements and tweets, but that was all. Many countries continued or increased their business relations with Iran, even as the people made clear that they do not support the mullahs and that the regime’s grip on power relies on widespread abuse.

In December, the European Union adopted a new global sanctions regime specifically to target human rights abuses in any country, but why then do they continue to work with Iran, which has the highest per capita execution rate in the world.

Iran’s Human Rights Situation in 2020

They must go further and take concrete action against Iran using this act or the words will be worth less than the paper it’s written on. They must impose sanctions on all regime leaders and make conditions with Iran dependent on an end to human rights violations.

Notably, Iranian officials do not announce the real number of executed persons. According to human rights defenders, authorities have implemented over 72 percent of death penalties in secret. Furthermore, human rights organizations reported the regime carried out between 243 to 272 executions in 2020.