While several Western governments have passed resolutions over the years condemning the massacre, there have been few practical steps taken to help bring the perpetrators before the International Criminal Court, which meant that the murders continue to go unpunished.

It should be a major priority for every democratic government that the Iranian Regime is punished for the mass murder of political prisoners.

The massacre

In 1988, Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for the extinction of the people his regime labelled “hypocrites”, more accurately known as the democratic opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

There were several thousand MEK members and supporters in Iranian jails for the “crimes” of reading the MEK’s newsletter or attending a protest; many had actually already served their sentences and were awaiting release when the fatwa was ordered, but this didn’t spare them.

The mullahs formed death commissions in various cities throughout the country to interrogate the political prisoners about their political affiliations and their views on the Regime. These so-called trials last less than a minute in most cases and those who refused to renounce their political beliefs were executed, including teenagers and the elderly. Their bodies were then hastily buried in mass graves.

The US Reaction

The US appears to be taking some serious action on the Iranian Regime already, with the formation of an Iran Action Group within the State Department that is designed to compel a change in the Regime’s behaviour.

Ambassador Ken Blackwell wrote: “That noble goal, which is a concrete step in the right direction under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, cannot be accomplished as long as the people who are responsible for the very worst of that behaviour continue to occupy some of the most influential positions in Iranian government and society, including, shockingly, the position of Justice Minister. These individuals must be removed and brought to justice if there is to be any hope of change. And it should be clear from the past 30 years of impunity and from the complete collapse of President Hassan Rouhani’s supposed reform initiative that the current institutions of Iranian government will never take action to remove them on their own.”