Mostafa Pourmohammadi, former Iran’s Justice Minister in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, has acknowledged his involvement in the killings of dissidents during the horrendous 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners.
Pourmohammadi was the Intelligence Ministry’s representative on one of the three-member committees in charge of interrogating political prisoners prior to the 1988 executions. The committee, dubbed the “death commission,” questioned prisoners who had already been sentenced to prison about their political and religious beliefs.
Those who manifested continuing loyalty to the PMOI, or even those who the death committee would consider were not loyal enough to the mullahs, were summarily executed and in most cases buried in anonymous mass graves.
“This is an active case. This dossier is now very much alive and the enemy has invested on this issue. And now, discussing this matter would be playing into the enemy’s hands. That is why I haven’t talked about this subject. I don’t know when it would be proper to talk about this matter… and unfortunately, the publication of that tape was literally an act of treason,” Pourmohammadi said in a state TV interview on Friday night. He was referring to the publication of a tape of remarks made back in 1988 by Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the then successor of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini, who criticized the regime’s genocide in prisons throughout the country.
“… it was a betrayal to the revolution and [Khomeini], and even to Mr. Montazeri. Mr. Montazeri made remarks, good or bad, wrong or whatever. He made a decision. That meeting and the publication of those remarks led to Mr. Montazeri’s sacking. When people make stupid decisions, seeking to take revenge, they become blind, and can no longer determine what is right or wrong,” he added.
“Well, I defended [Khomeini’s] move. We had a mission in regards to the [PMOI/MEK], back when I was the Revolutionary Court prosecutor. I issued many indictments against the [PMOI/MEK] and sent it to the court. Many of them were condemned, many were executed and many other verdicts,” Pourmohammadi continued.
“Some of the men and others, and reporters, have sought to ask me questions. I have answered that I do not play into the enemy’s hands. Unfortunately, one of the unwise insiders was provoked for an unknown reason and published that tape. There’s no reason that we should be deceived by the enemy’s plans. We should play into their hands. We have much to say and we will say so when the time comes.”