A former Iranian Justice Minister blatantly defended the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988. When asked by the state-run Mosalas Magazine about the 1988 mass executions and the “slander” directed at the regime for the massacre, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who was pivotal in the executions in Tehran, said that the regime was “at war” and no one should expect it to follow “legal procedures and consider citizen’s and human rights” at a time of war.
He called the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), whose supporters and members were the main victims of the mass executions, “the worst kind of enemy”.
“They have destructed our image in the whole world. In the past 40 years, nothing has happened against us that the Monafeghin (derogatory term used for the MEK) did not play a direct role in”, the former Minister of Justice said.
The regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners after show trials that lasted only a few minutes.
Despite this, Pourmohammadi said that the regime had still not “settled the score” with the MEK.
The former Minister of Interior said that all the members of the MEK had to be “sentenced to the capital punishment”.
Pourmohammadi also expressed regret over not killing prisoners who said that they were not with the MEK in fear of execution.
“Whoever is with the enemy, is with the enemy”, he said adding that now was not the time to speak about these things.
“It’s time for settling scores”, he reiterated.
In the interview, Mostafa Pourmohammadi seemed stunned that the regime had to “answer” for killing 30,000 political prisoners 31 years ago.
“We have to answer? Why should we have to answer?” he said defiantly, adding that it was not time to respond to “legal questions” about the executions and whether the judges took suitable action.
In 1988, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, entrusted the decision of whether or not to execute political prisoners to “death committees” – three-member panels consisting of an Islamic judge, a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence, and a state prosecutor.
Pourmohammadi, was a member of Tehran’s death committee.
According to Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, he was “the representative of the Ministry of Intelligence in charge of questioning prisoners in Evin Prison” during the mass executions.
Montazeri saw Pourmohammadi as being “a central figure” in the mass executions of prisoners in Tehran.
In 2016, Mohammadi said that he was “proud to have carried out God’s commandment concerning the People’s Mojahedin of Iran”.
“I am at peace and have not lost any sleep all these years because I acted in accordance with law and Islam,” he said.
Mostafa Pourmohammadi was Minister of Interior from 2005 to 2008 and Minister of Justice from 2013 until 2017, despite his role in the massacre.