According to Iran’s first deputy of the Chief Justice, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has granted the judiciary permission to hasten the punishment and execution of economic offenders, whom they deem as carrying out the intention of “enemy countries”.
Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ezhe’I announced in comments carried by state media that the US and Israel sought to overthrow the Iranian regime and that these countries wanted to instigate popular uprisings.
These comments come after waves of protests by various social classes in Iran in recent months.
“The enemy countries want to instigate the people to revolt against us”, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ezhe’I said.
“Today, the enemy is using all its power and facilities to counter the Islamic Republic of Iran, and with the experience of their past failures, it has based one of its strategies on instigating the people against the system in any way possible,” he said.
“Because if they don’t do this, their military, economic and propaganda activities will not work alone. Therefore, we are currently witnessing a very intense psychological operation and very heavy pressure against our country,” Mohseni-Ezhe’I added in comments carried by Javan Online website.
He said that Iran was engaged in an economic war adding that “at times of war, one cannot move about in a normal state and (times of war) demand (certain) regulations, tools, facilities, and appropriate measures and under these circumstances, the government, parliament and Judiciary have to carry out special measures.”
He also said that those who committed economic offenses are helping the “enemy”.
“In these conditions when the enemy wants to hurt the system through pressure on the people and engaging in psychological operations, those who carry out criminal acts such as hoarding (goods), selling goods at high prices and smuggling(goods) have to know that they are helping the enemy, putting more pressure on the people and making the people lose hope in the future… and the end result of such actions is hurting the (ruling) system even if there was no intention to do such a thing.”
“The law to counter those who disrupt the country’s economic system states that if someone intends to hurt the (ruling) system or has knowledge of such a consequence, their punishment is death,” he said adding that during the investigative process, it had to be taken into account whether the accused had knowledge of such a consequence.
The Judicial official also said that the Supreme Leader had issued bylaws specifying how the Judiciary was allowed to accelerate the punishment for economic offenses.
“In light of the problems and obstacles we faced in countering economic corruption, the head of the Judiciary requested in a letter a number of issues from the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader confirmed those issues… which were communicated (to the Judiciary) last week in a bylaw made up of 35 articles and eight amendments.”
Mohseni-Ezhe’I said that according to the new regulations, special court branches would be established in Tehran’s Revolutionary Courts or any other province that the head of the Judiciary deemed necessary. The special court branches had the power to finalize all sentences, with the exception of death sentences, without the permission of the Supreme Court.
The new regulations, which bypass the established laws of the Islamic Republic, have been set forth as a way to speed up the punishment for what the regime deems as offenses that “hurt” the regime. These not only include “economic” offences but also popular protests as the Iranian regime links all protests to foreign sources and constantly raises concerns about“enemy” countries taking “advantage” of popular protests.
According to the judicial official, this is not the first time that Khamenei has stepped in at times of crisis.
“The Velayat-e faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) can according to the constitution and sharia law play a leading role whenever needed and during the whole four decades of the revolution (Islamic Republic)the Velayat-e faghih has played such a role in difficult circumstances,” Iran’s first deputy of the Chief Justice said.
In 1988, feeling threatened by the dissent against his absolute rule, Ruhollah Khomeini, who was the Supreme Leader and founder of the Islamic Republic,issued a religious decree, known as the “death decree” to execute all political prisoners.
With this decree, 30,000 political prisoners were extrajudicially executed.