Iranian President Rouhaniâ€™s appointment of Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as Justice Minister proves that Iranâ€™s leader is no moderate.
This was the warning provided to the Clarion Project by members of Iranian opposition groups and victims of Pour-Mohammadi who shared their personal stories with us.
In 1988, Pour-Mohammadi oversaw the execution of over 30,000 political prisoners, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The Clarion Project has been given eye-witness testimonies by two of Pour-Mohammadiâ€™s near victims.
Hassan Zarif, currently located in Iraq, personally saw the massacre take place. He told Clarion: â€œFor a couple of months, I was sent to solitary confinement for participating in the protest sit-ins during the war. On July 29, 1988, I was once again taken to Ward 208 in Tehranâ€™s Evin Prison for interrogation. In the entrance of the Ward 209 corridor, I saw 40 to 50 of my cellmates blindfolded and sitting on the ground.
â€œA couple of minutes later, the â€˜Death Commission,â€™ comprised of â€¦ Pour-Mohammadi … entered. Within an hour, they took the inmates to court and issued death sentences for them all. And so they were all executed in the basement of Ward 209.
â€œThree months later, when I came out of solitary confinement, I realized that of the 175 inmates in our ward, only 15 were alive and the rest were executed in July-August in the basement of Ward 209. Whatâ€™s shocking is the fact that today Pour-Mohammadi, who had taken part in the execution of 30,000 prisoners, is Mullah Rouhaniâ€™s Justice Minister.â€
Hossein Farsi is another former political prisoner that is now in Iraq and also witnessed atrocities committed by Pour-Mohammadi. He told Clarion:
â€œI faced the â€˜Death Commissionâ€™ twice on the days of July 30 and August 13, 1988. There were three individuals, Morteza Eshraghi (prosecutor), Mullah Nayeri and Mullah Pour-Mohammadi. These three signed the execution verdicts.
Among them, Mullah Pour-Mohammadi made the final decisions. He was the Ministry of Intelligenceâ€™s representative in the â€˜Death Commission.â€™
â€œDuring the days of July 30, August 9, 12 and 13, I witnessed long lines to the gallows. In each turn, some 70 to 100 people would be sent to the gallows, all of whom were supporters of the MEK/PMOI [two Iranian opposition groups] who had been given execution sentences merely for their stance of supporting the MEK/PMOI.â€
Ayatollah Khamenei appointed Pour-Mohammadi as a regime prosecutor in 1980, specifically tasked with persecuting teachers and students that challenged the Iranian regime. He was one of three officials chosen to serve on a Death Commission. He remained a prosecutor until 1986, after which he became Deputy Minister of Intelligence until 1999.
Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad appointed Pour Mohammadi as Interior Minister in 2005. Human Rights Watch reacted by calling him a â€œminister of murder.â€ (Interesting that we have been led to believe that Rouhani is different from his predecessor.)
Sahar Mohammadi is an Iranian woman whose entire family killed was killed by the Death Committee to which Pour-Mohammadi belonged. She is only 33 years old today, making her about 8 years old at the time of the killings.
Mohammadi told Al-Monitor, â€œI am not surprised that Rouhani has Â appointed one of the members of the 1988 Death Committee to the Justice Ministry. Pour-Mohammadi has proved that he is the most â€˜capableâ€™ and â€˜suitableâ€™ executioner of the â€˜Islamic justice.â€™â€
If the new Iranian President were really a moderate, he would not have chosen Pour Mohammadi for such an important post, let alone any post.
As if more proof was needed, in related news, Rouhani chose General Hussein Dehghan as his Minister of Defense. Dehghan is one of the founders of the Hezbollah terrorist group. He was also involved in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon that killed 241 Americans when he held Revolutionary Guards forces in that country.
On August 6, the Clarion Project reported on a video that showed Rouhani talking about using deception to advance the nuclear program. The danger of this strategy is apparent in these appointments.
By any measure, Pour-Mohammadi and Hussein Dehghan are war criminals and, in the latterâ€™s case, a terrorist. Rouhaniâ€™s â€œmoderateâ€ persona is nothing more than a politically calculated ruse.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.orgâ€™s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.