Over this short series, we will look at what Maryam Rajavi, who has led the Resistance for nearly 30 years and lost many relatives and friends to the mullahs, said in that interview.
In this piece, we will look at what Maryam Rajavi said about the price paid by the Iranians who have opposed the Iranian regime for the past 41 years.
Maryam Rajavi began by speaking about how the Iranian Resistance spent two years peacefully opposing the new dictatorship and all its wrongful laws, including absolute clerical rule (velayat-e faqih), which gave all the power to the Supreme Leader. However, there came a point where voting against things and civil disobedience was not enough to stop the mullahs.
She said: “The regime’s suppression intensified by the day until [Ruhollah] Khomeini, the founder of the theocracy, ordered the mass killing of opponents, starting by shooting young girls as young as 15 or 16 who had refused to give even their names to the executioners. During the summer of 1981, tens of thousands of members and sympathizers of our resistance were arrested. It was the beginning of the reign of terror, mass executions and medieval tortures. Some days, one hundred, two hundred, or up to four hundred resistance members were shot every 24 hours.”
The numbers were not recorded by the regime, but by other prisoners who ended up being released or escaping. Sadly, this was just the start.
In 1988, Maryam Rajavi recounts, Khomeini was desperate to prevent his regime’s overthrow after the Iranian Resistance forced him to sign a ceasefire with Iraq and end the disastrous Iran-Iraq war. So he turned on the Resistance again and, in a 230-word fatwa (religious decree), ordered the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Most of these prisoners were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
This crime against humanity took place in secret over just a couple of months, with many victims have already served their jail sentence and being subjected to show trials. Even some Resistance members who had been released were arrested.
Their bodies were buried in mass graves and their families were not told the location of their loved one’s grave (or in some cases, even that their relative had died). The regime has never given information on the burial sites, the number of victims, or the identity of the victims. When information does trickle out, the regime hides it and punishes the people who leak it.
Maryam Rajavi said: “In a climate of absolute terror, our resistance movement has managed to collect the names of thousands of people who have lost their lives during this episode. Last year, at a conference in the European Parliament, I presented for the first time a book containing the names of 5,000 [Resistance] supporters massacred in 1988.”
She lamented that Western governments and the United Nations have “remained silent” over the massacre, which is the worst of its kind since World War Two.
Maryam Rajavi said that the UN Security Council should refer this massacre to the International Court of Justice to bring the perpetrators to justice, including:
- supreme leader Ali Khamenei
- judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi
- justice minister Alireza Avaei
She said: “Overall, more than 120,000 political opponents have been executed throughout the theocratic regime’s time in power.”