Regarding Iran’s nuclear deal, formerly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian policymakers have stated that in the face of pressure from Western powers, they are unlikely to resume negotiations.
The regime has the ultimate goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon, but meanwhile, it tries to drag its feet with the negotiations and use extortion to pressure the western power. The regime’s new President Ebrahim Raisi has underlined his government’s intention of pursuing the same nuclear extortion as his predecessor.
Following Raisi’s inauguration on August 5, within a month all of the ministers in his new administration had been confirmed by the regime’s parliament. Many of the influential government positions were given to candidates that he had handpicked himself. Many candidates are associated with the notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, while others are currently under sanctions or international arrest warrants.
Iran observers opposite to the regime referred to the new cabinet as ‘the embodiment of four decades of mullahs’ religious dictatorship and terrorism’ and alluded to the notion that they will likely continue to plunder national wealth, expand their nuclear program activities and step up their acts of terror.
The appointment of Mohammad Eslami as the new head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran increases the expectations of stepped-up nuclear activities.
Eslami was sanctioned by the United Nations in 2008 for ‘being engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems’.
Raisi, himself, holds responsibility for his role in the 1988 massacre. He was one of four officials chosen to be on a ‘death commission’ in Tehran which oversaw the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988, many of whom were members of or supported the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Last month, a virtual conference regarding the 1988 massacre was held by the NCRI. Among the participants were many Western experts of human rights and international law, as well as over 1,000 former political prisoners.
In speeches, those experts described how the religious edict underlying the massacre was clearly intended to prompt the execution of any adherent to a brand of Islam that is at odds with the regime’s theocratic fundamentalism.
British human rights barrister, Geoffrey Robertson, who has studied the massacre extensively, stated in his speech that according to the Genocide Convention, countries who adhere to it are obligated to take action against perpetrators who are known or suspected, to have committed genocide.
Since Raisi’s appointment to the presidential role, governments around the world have remained silent on the issue of impunity that is rife throughout the regime, leaving many regime officials free from being prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. By giving concessions to the regime and placing too much focus on the not-fit-for-purpose nuclear agreement, they have only managed to reinforce the regime’s impunity.
And while Raisi’s central legacy remains the 1988 massacre, the international community’s tacit embrace of his administration has implications for the full range of malign activities that stand poised to accelerate under his leadership.