Mrs. Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called for action, and for the evidential use of an audio recording of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, from a meeting in August 1988, weeks after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering the massacre of all political prisoners.
As can be heard on the recording, Montazeri pleads with Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, and a number of judiciary officials to stop the killings. He criticises execution of teenagers, pregnant women and those whose only crime was to read the newspaper of the People’s Mujahidin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
He said, “The greatest crime committed during the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us, has been committed by you. Your (names) will in the future be etched in the annals of history as criminals. Killing is the wrong way to resist against a thought, an idea. Responding to a process, a logic – even a faulty logic – with killing will solve nothing. It will make it worse,” and continued, “We will not be in power forever. In the future, history will judge us.”
Montazeri, who died in 2009, was to follow Khomeini as leader in Iran, but after his opposition to secret political trials, he was dumped, and placed under house arrest between 1997 and 2003.
The recording was published on a website maintained by his son, Ahmed, a moderate cleric, and his supporters. The day after it came into the public domain, the Iranian ministry of intelligence ordered it removed. Ahmed was summoned to a special court of clergy, where he was interrogated for three hours.
He says that he is also in possession of other documents which he may be revealed later.
Several members of the “death committee” are still active in the regime of Hassan Rouhani. Mostafa Pourmohammadi is the justice minister, and Hossein-Ali Nayyeri is the head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges. Ebrahim Raeesi was recently appointed head of the Astan Qods-e Razavi foundation, a multi-billion dollar religious, political and economic body that uses public funds to support some of the regime’s policies.
Mrs. Rajavi said the recording was “irrefutable evidence” that leaders of the mullahs’ regime were responsible for the unprecedented genocide. She said Montazeri’s statements “confirmed the illegitimacy of the ruling regime from the 1980s and the people’s abhorrence for the velayat-e-faqih (absolute rule of the clergy).” She added, “The international community, therefore, is obligated to bring them to justice. In particular, because these individuals and the others who carried out the massacre of political prisoners referred to in this meeting have, from the beginning of this regime to the present day, held posts at the highest levels of the judicial, political and intelligence apparatuses.”
Mullah Ali Razini, a judiciary official, said, “The security that we have now in Iran… is because Imam Khomeini did not neglect on carrying out the sentence.”
A grandson of Khomeini, Mullah Ali Khomeini, said, “What was the regime supposed to do with these people? It had to fight, and had to fight hard. Praise be to Allah, it did happen and the country saw peace.”