By INU Staff
INU - Iran’s intelligence minister during Rafsanjani’s presidency back in the early 90s, Ali Fallahian, known for his role in the elimination of many dissidents, has recently made shocking allegations regarding mass executions, especially those targeting members and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Charges were raised against Fallahian by a German court for his involvement in the assassination in September 1992 of Iranian Kurdish dissidents in Berlin. Interpol placed Fallahian on its most wanted list for his role in the 1994 bombing the AMIA in Buenos Aires Jewish center that left 85 killed in 2007.
In this past year inside Iran, a major issue for the general public, especially the younger generation who are beginning to demand answers, is the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly MEK members and supporters. Aired in a recent interview, Fallhian’s remarks have caused a stir in social media inside Iran, and in Iranian communities abroad. In this interview, Fallahian reveals his role in the Iranian regime’s enmity against the MEK.
Following are some remarks from this interview:
Q: “Can we blame only the MEK for taking up arms, or did we also make mistakes… for example, attack their gatherings, pressure their members and supporters…?”
Fallahian: “They had such an analysis. [Iranian opposition leader Massoud] Rajavi had maybe written 36 articles against armed conflicts.” (Khazar website – July 18) This is Fallahian acknowledging the fact that the MEK had sought to continue their peaceful political activities. The mullahs’ regime, however, dispatched their forces to attack, arrest, torture and kill MEK members. Fallahian moves on to discuss the 1988 mass executions across Iran.
Q: “Did the Intelligence Ministry suggest the 1988 executions to [Iranian regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini?”
Fallahian: “Khomeini himself ordered it… saying the ruling for all moharebs [term used for MEK members, meaning enemies of God] is execution. There were discussions in this regard back then. Mr. Mousavi Tabrizi believed there was no need for prosecution, arguing prosecuting those who are at war with us has no meaning. Others believed those arrested should be prosecuted… however, [Khomeini] constantly emphasized to beware they don’t slip out of your hands… [Khomeini] would always say be careful in this regard… how? For example, if there was a confusion about someone being a murderer or not, execution would not be the first option of punishment. However, about the MEK [Khomeini] would say an opposite approach is needed. I know them, he would say, they must not slip away and their rulings are execution. This was his constant ruling, before and after the 1988 issue…
“… There are discussions and some are asking why were those sentenced to prison terms again condemned to death? First of all, keep in mind their rulings are execution, even if a judge hadn’t ruled for an execution, he had violated the law… If an armed mohareb was arrested, his/her ruling would be execution, even if he/she hadn’t killed anyone… the ruling for a hypocrite (another term used for MEK members) and mohareb is execution. This was [Khomeini’s] fatwa. There was no discussion in this regard. In 1988… the discussion reached the point that all of them must be executed, even those not sentenced to death. [Khomeini] would ask why you have still kept them alive.”
During the past year, the Iranian opposition launched a justice movement to shed light on the 1988 massacre both inside Iran and across the globe. Their efforts went into high gear in the weeks before Iran’s May 19th presidential election, and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei lost his bid to have conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, known to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate, replace the incumbent Hassan Rouhani as president. Raisi was defeated following revelations about his role in the 1988 massacre when he was a member of the four-man “Death Commission” appointed by Khomeini to facilitate the execution process.
Q: “Raisi was in the commission. Who were the other members?”
Fallahian refrains from naming other Death Commission members and begins discussing the process which political prisoners were executed and the summer 1988 massacre. He placed all the blame on Khomeini, who had issued the execution and massacre ruling.
Fallhian: “Yes, the poor guy [referring to Raisi] insisted he hadn’t issued the ruling, the ruling was issued in advance… but no one would listen, and they would also think the executed were innocent… if we hadn’t killed them there would be no country today. These are not my words; they are the words of [Khomeini]…”
The interviewer refers to an audio file unveiled last September of Khomeini’s then successor, the late Hossein Ali Montazeri, in which he sheds light on unknown aspects of the 1988 massacre.
Q: “What was Mr. Montazeri’s mistake?”
Fallahian: “He came in disagreement with [Khomeini]… [He] believed history would judge these executions against Islam and us. He would say it would be better to refrain, as when the enemy begins to write, they won’t cite us harshly. However, [Khomeini] ordered to carry out your religious duty and don’t wait for history’s judgement.”
Q: “Were all those executed arrested while armed?”
Fallahian: “No, not all of them were involved in the armed revolt. However, many of them were living in team houses. We would go there and find only one or two weapons, or arrest them on the street without any arms.”
Q: “So how were they linked to the armed revolt?”
Fallahian: “Well, they were part of the organization.”
Q: “Wasn’t it necessary for each individual to have taken up arms to be convicted of being a mohareb?”
Fallahian: “No, when someone is a member of an armed current, the individual being armed or not, their ruling is mohareb.”
Q: “Even if they are arrested with a newspaper?”
The interviewer is talking about the fact that many MEK members and supporters were arrested, and eventually executed, for merely having a pro-MEK newspaper in their possession.
Fallahian: “Yes. They were part of that organization and were operational. Now, its possible someone would merely buy bread for those living in ‘team houses’, another would, for example, procure other necessary items. They were all involved.”
Fallahian then refers to the role of the MOIS in dispatching its spies abroad under various pretexts. He says, “… we do not dispatch an intelligence officer, let’s say to Germany, the US or Russia, and there he would say, ‘well, I am from the Ministry of Intelligence, please provide me your information.’ (They would do it) under the cover of business or media jobs. Many journalists are intelligence agents ... A journalist is not paid well, so he needs to work with an intelligence service.”
Efforts by the Iranian opposition through its vast network of brave activists inside the country and abroad have forced the regime to discuss their role in the executions carried out during the horrific summer of 1988, nearly three decades later. Now, the international community must demand the facts, and bring the perpetrators to justice.