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Senior Iran cleric: How I sent my son to the firing squad

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jul. 24 – A senior Shiite cleric in Iran has shed light on his involvement in his own son’s execution in his newly-released memoirs. Iran Focus

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Tehran, Iran, Jul. 24 – A senior Shiite cleric in Iran has shed light on his involvement in his own son’s execution in his newly-released memoirs.

Gholamreza Hassani, the Friday prayers leader of the city of Urumia and the personal representative of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in West Azerbaijan Province, described in chilling detail how he secured the execution of his son, Rasheed, in the 1980s for supporting a leftist group, the Fedayan Khalq. Rasheed had previously been arrested and imprisoned at the time of the Shah for his role in student-led protests against the former regime.

“I spoke to him at great length for him to change his ways, but he didn’t comply”, Hassani wrote. “I sensed a threat. I decided to stop him from continuing his activities. At first I tried to talk to him and threaten him, but it didn’t have an affect”.

“At the time, I was in Tehran and I was a member of parliament. One day, Rasheed had come to Tehran. We identified his whereabouts. I contacted Ayatollah [Mohammad Reza”> Mahdavi-Kani in the Tehran Revolutionary Committee. I told him that they should send armed guards to an address that I gave and said this was a target. I did not tell him that it was my son. I sent one of my own bodyguards, Jalil Hassani, to help them”, Hassani added.

“I told him to shoot him [Rasheed”> if he resisted arrest or tried to escape. I said don’t let him escape. If he surrenders himself, arrest him and hand him over to the Committee. They went and arrested him”, he described.

Rasheed was at first held in Tehran and then moved to Tabriz, northwest Iran, for a summary trial.

“There he was sentenced to execution and this sentence was immediately carried out”, the senior cleric added.

“When I heard of Rasheed’s execution, I did not have any remorse since I had carried out my duties. When it comes to the Islamic Revolution, I will never balk at my duties, even if it comes to my son”.

“Even today, if another of my children, God forbid, tried to act against the Islamic Revolution and the Supreme Leader, I would do to them what I did to Rasheed”, Hassani said.

The founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, publicly praised several leading clerics who had ordered the execution of their own children for membership in opposition groups. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, chairman of the powerful Guardian Council, ordered the killing of son Hossein, and former Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammadi Gilani personally sent two of his sons before firing squads. All three were members of the main opposition group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK).

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