London, 7 October – Iran is a hot topic in the 2016 elections, as much as it has been for the past 40 years.
During the Presidential Debates on Monday, September 26, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump discussed the 2015 nuclear deal and the trouble caused by Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf.
The elephant in the room, however, was the consistent violations of human rights within Iran; this is a dangerous thing the candidates to ignore, one that has been ignored since 1978.
Iran’s foreign policy relies on support for terrorism and military aggression which has destabilised the middle east and has repercussions around the world but it has strong links to their domestic policy of suppression and violence.
This began with the supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, who oppressed his own people under the guise of revolution.
Following the revolution, which was supposed to bring in democracy, the regime imposed medieval restrictions on a fairly modern populace. This increased discord and discontent within the people of Iran but the Regime suppressed their resistance, culminating in the 1988 execution of over 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or Mek). In August, the leak of audio files proving the involvement of high-ranking Regime officials in the massacre made headlines.
Ayatollah Montazeri, former heir to the supreme leader, can be heard on the tape decrying the executions and telling the perpetrators that they would go down as the biggest criminals in history.
The rest of the world has proved him wrong, by failing to hold them to account and bring a trial about to get justice for the 30,000 victims and their families.
Indeed, we have created such a situation that current Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmahaddi, who was one of those responsible for the massacre, felt comfortable telling reporters that he was proud of his role in the massacre.
That is why we must hold Iran responsible for its crimes at home and abroad, its why the UN must form an international tribunal to investigate the 1988 massacre and its why we must impose sanctions upon Iran for its human rights violations and rising executions.