In an official request, a former Scottish MP, along with the families of five political prisoners executed in Iran, called on the country’s police to detain the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi if travels to Glasgow to attend a climate change summit.
The Times of London newspaper reported Friday (October 8) that the petition was signed by former Scottish MP Struan Stevenson, as well as a number of human rights activists, victims of torture, or relatives of those executed in Iran, and handed over to Police Scotland, to arrest Ebrahim Raisi if he travels to Glasgow.
Following this event, the spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry announced on Monday that despite claims in previous reports, the Iranian regime president Ebrahim Raisi will not be attending the United Nations’ upcoming climate change conference in Scotland.
The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is due to be held between November 1 and November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, but in a regime press conference, the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that Raisi will not be in attendance and said that there were never any plans for him to travel to Scotland.
Ironically, in June, the regime’s own media had widely publicized that Raisi had been invited to take part in the conference, giving the impression that he would be taking part.
As Iran is not a member of the Paris Climate Accord, there was never any need for Raisi to attend the conference, but it would have been an opportunity for him to build up his profile as the regime’s latest president by posing for photos and meeting with some of the world’s top leaders.
The truth that Khatibzadeh did not acknowledge in his remarks is the efforts spearheaded by the Iranian resistance to hold Raisi to account for his crimes against humanity.
Due to Raisi’s history of brutal human rights violations, exiled Iranians have held protests around the world in recent weeks. In the summer of 1988, Raisi was one of the main officials involved in the mass execution of over 30,000 political prisoners, serving as a judge on the ‘death commission’ tasked with processing prisoners through minute-long trials and sending them to the gallows if they refuse to denounce their affiliation with the MEK.
In an Iranian Resistance conference held this summer, several legal experts and academics argued that the 1988 massacre should be classed as an act of genocide, and its perpetrators should be tried accordingly in international criminal courts.
Human rights organizations and UN rapporteurs have called for an impartial investigation into the 1988 massacre, and former political prisoners and families of the victims of the 1988 massacre have testified in court about the role of Raisi and other regime officials in the brutal torture and execution of dissidents in Iran’s prisons.
Perhaps the decision for Raisi not to travel to Glasgow is in his best interests as there has been a formal complaint that was filed to Scottish authorities calling for his arrest if he ever sets foot in Scotland. The plaintiffs behind the complaint include the former Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson, and human rights activist Tahar Boumedra, as well as many witnesses of the 1988 massacre and the families of the victims.
All of this has put a heavy burden on the newly sworn president of the regime, who now finds himself entangled by his own crimes. In September, Raisi canceled his trip to New York for the annual UN General Assembly.
No official explanation was given by the regime for the cancellation of the trip, and instead, Raisi sent a pre-recorded message. Iranian state-run media speculated that the regime feared that Iranian expats might have put Raisi’s safety in jeopardy.
Raisi’s appointment has come at a heavy price for the regime, and his bloody past—which symbolizes four decades of the mullahs’ rule—follows him wherever he goes.