The tape, leaked by Montazeri’s supporters, demonstrates the lengths that the Iranian regime had gone to, to protect their power.
Many of the people in that room have remained in power to this day; Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a leading figure in the Intelligence Ministry, now serves as justice minister under President Hassan Rouhani.
On the July 1988 tape, Montazeri said: “In my opinion, the greatest crime committed during the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us, has been committed by you.”
An Amnesty International report in 1990 stated: “Thousands of people were executed between 1987 and 1990 including more than 2,000 political prisoners between July 1988 and January 1989.”
The number is now thought to be closer to 30,000.
The Washington Post wrote: Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran opposition group, urged international prosecutors to use the tape as further evidence that can be used to press charges for the political slayings of the late 1980s. She noted that some of the officials who helped carry out the purges — such as Pourmohammadi and the others who met with Montazeri — “have, from the beginning of this regime to the present day, held posts at the highest levels of the judicial, political and intelligence apparatuses.”
For his stand, Montazeri had his position taken away, was declared an enemy of the state and was placed under house arrest for six years but in comparison to PMOI supporters, he was lucky.
Montazeri’s supporters say that under his rule, Iran may have stayed truer to the spirit of the 1979 revolution but this is all conjecture.