Washington, DC, March 8, 2018 – The Representative in the United States for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Ms. Soona Samsami, urged the U.S. Government to designate Iranian regime officials involved in human rights violations.
Since the beginning of the uprising on December 28, 2017, at least 8,000 protesters have been arrested and over 50 killed, including at least 14 individuals tortured to death.
The officials responsible for the current atrocities have a long history of human rights violations, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI).
In July 2017, the U.S. President signed into law an Act (Countering Iran’s Destabilizing
Activities Act of 2017) that called for the “Imposition of additional sanctions with respect to persons responsible for human rights abuses” in Iran, and noted that these sanctions would extend to “those responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals in Iran” who seek “(A) to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of Iran; or (B) to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly…”
The Iranian regime’s suppression during the recent uprising warrants a response from the United States as outlined in this law.
Those who warrant designation by the U.S. Government for being responsible for human rights abuses, include, but not limited, to the following individuals:
1. Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Hosseini KHAMENEI
2. President Hassan ROUHANI
3. Justice Minister Alireza AVAEI (AVAYI/Avaee)
4. Rear Admiral Ali SHAMKHANI
5. Commander of State Security Forces Hossein ASHTARI
6. General Prosecutor Mohammad MONTAZERI
7. Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari JAHROMI
8. IRGC Commander of Cyber Security Ali FATEH
9. Secretary of Iranian Supreme Cyberspace Council Abolhassan FIROOZABADI
10. Advisor to the Judiciary and former Justice Minister Mostafa POURMOHAMMADI
11. Commander of Sarollah Garrison in Tehran Mohammad Esmail KOSARI
12. IRGC Commander of Isfahan Province Gholamreza SOLEIMANI
13. General Prosecutor of Isfahan Province Hassan RAHIMI
14. IRGC Commander of Khuzestan Province Hassan SHAHVARPOOR
15. IRGC Commander of Hamedan Province Mazaher MAJIDI
16. IRGC Commander of Lorestan Province Morteza KASHKOULI
17. IRGC Commander of Passive Defense Forces Gholamreza JALALI
18. Head of Astan-e Qods Razavi Endowment Foundation Ebrahim Raisi
19. Supreme Court Vice President Hossein Ali NAYYERI
20. Supreme Court judge Ali MOBASHERI
21. Head of the 41st branch of the Supreme Court Ali RAZINI
22. Head of Branch 28 of the Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court Mohammad MOGHISEH
23. Association of Combatant Clergy member Mohammad MOUSSAVI KHOEINIHA
24. Head of Qom Seminary Morteza MOQTADAEE
25. Association of Combatant Clergy member Seyyed Mohammad MOUSSAVI BOJNOURDI
26. Assembly of Experts member Mohammad Mohammadi REYSHAHRI
27. State Expediency Council member Ali FALLAHIAN
28. Former Tehran’s Prosecutor Morteza ESHRAQI
29. Former Justice Minister Mohammad Esmail SHUSHTARI
30. State Expediency Council member Majid ANSARI
31. Minister of Labor Ali RABIEI
32. Former Justice Minister Seyed Morteza BAKHTIARI
33. Deputy Head of Shah Abdul-Azim Endowment Javad ALI-AKBARIAN
More details about these human rights violators can be found below:
Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the clerical regime
Khamenei controls all three branches of power, and is in full command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that is responsible for maintaining power and operates above the country’s army. The IRGC is responsible for suppression inside Iran. Khamenei has played a key role in authorizing extraterritorial activities and the assassination of Iranian and non-Iranian opponents of the regime abroad. These activities have taken the lives of hundreds so far, and are still continuing to date.
President and head of the Supreme National Security Council
As the president of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), he plays a key role in all measures to crackdown on the current uprising started on December 28, 2017. All suppressive bodies including the IRGC, State Security Force, Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and the IRGC Intelligence are members of the SNSC. On December 31, 2017, he threatened the demonstrators with greater suppression. From 2005 to 2013, as the representative of Khamenei in SNSC, and from 2013 to date as the president and the head of SNSC, he has been a decision making figure in suppressive measures including the uprising in 2009 that followed the shame presidential elections. He has always been a key figure within the regime since its inception in 1979. He has played important roles in all suppressive and terrorist activities of the regime. From 1989 to 2005 as the Secretary of Supreme National Security Council and the representative of Khamenei in this body, he played a decision making role in all suppressive measures during the Qazvin uprising in 1991, uprising in Islamshahr in 1995, student uprising in 1999 and hundreds of terrorist operations inside the country such as the chain murders, outside Iran such as the 1990 assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi in Switerzerland and the 1996 Khobar bombing in Saudi Arabia. He has a long track record of brazen statements against people’s basic rights and freedoms in defence of the clerical dictatorship. In July 1980 he suggested: “It would be better if the seditionists (reference to protesters) are brought to Friday prayers ceremony and hanged before the eyes of the prayers in order to have a better impact.” Following the crackdown of student uprising in July 1999, he said: “They are far cheaper than that to be described as a movement to bring down the state… if it were not for the authorities’ objection, our people, and young Muslim and revolutionaries would have dealt with these thugs with the harshest manner.”
Alireza Avayi (Avaei/Avaee)
Avayi has been Minister of Justice since September 2017). He is known for his notorious role during the 1988 massacre, when he was the prosecutor and a member of the “Death Committee” in Dezful (Khuzestan province).
After receiving Khomeini’s fatwa, he was the main person in charge of executions in the UNESCO Prison in Dezful. (A school facility built during the Shah’s regime by UNESCO to help children, it was transformed into a prison operating under the same name by the current regime.) He has been described by witnesses as one of the cruelest murderers of the 1988 mass executions. According to eyewitness accounts, teenage prisoners were executed in the area behind the prison yard.
The European Union sanctioned Alireza Avayi for human rights violations in April 2011. The EU described him as “Director of the special investigations office. In another measure in October 2011, the EU imposed further sanctions. Until July 2016 deputy Minister of Interior and head of the Public register. Advisor to the Disciplinary Court for Judges since April 2014. Former President of the Tehran Judiciary. As President of the Tehran Judiciary he has been responsible for human rights violations, arbitrary arrests, denials of prisoners’ rights and an increase in executions.”
Currently an advisor to Chief of the Judiciary, Pourmohammadi was Justice Minister for the first term in Hassan Rouhani cabinet.
During the 1988 massacre, Pourmohammadi was the representative of Intelligence Ministry in the “Death Committee” in Tehran.
All those executed in Tehran and Karaj were sentenced to death under his ruling. In 2005, Human Rights Watch accused him of committing crimes against humanity for his role in the “Death Committee” and described him as a Minister of Murder. Pour-Mohammadi was quoted on August 28, 2016 by the state-run Tasnim news agency as saying: “God commanded to show no mercy to the nonbelievers because they will not show mercy to you either and there should be no mercy to the [MEK] because if they could, they would spill your blood, which they did. … We are proud to have carried out God’s commandment with regard to the [MEK] and to have stood with strength and fought against the enemies of God and the people.”
Nayyeri is the head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges and Vice President of the Supreme Court.
During the 1988 massacre, Nayyeri was the head of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Courts, a Shari’a judge, who was appointed as the Head of the “Death Committee” in Tehran upon Khomeini’s order, issued on July 26, 1988. The “Death Committee” started its work in Tehran’s Evin prison two days later. The commission operated in both Evin and Gohardasht prisons. It is reported that they used helicopters to commute rapidly between Evin and Gohardasht to issue death sentences.
Mobasheri is a Supreme Court judge.
He joined the Judiciary in 1981 and was responsible for murdering the regime’s opponents in Evin Prison. He reportedly described Assadollah Lajevardi, the infamous governor of Evin Prison who was widely known as the “butcher of Evin”, as a great man representing unique values.
During the 1988 massacre, Mobasheri was a Shari’a Judge, acting as substitute to Hossein-Ali Nayyeri in the “Death Committee.”
Razini is the head of the 41st Branch of the Supreme Court.
During the 1988 massacre, Razini was the head of the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces; member of “Death Commission” in Tehran.
Khomeini assigned him on July 24, 1988 to “set up special courts to deal with war offences in all war zones and deal with offenders in accordance with shari’a, disregarding rules and regulations that can be restrictive and troublesome; and to ensure that any act that may lead to the failure of the Islamic front is punished by death.”
Mohammad Moghiseh (AKA Naserian)
Moghiseh is the head of Branch 28 of the Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court. From 1981 to 1985, he was assistant prosecutor of Branch 3 of Evin Prison. From 1985 until 1986, he was supervisor of Ghezelhesar Prison. From 1986 to 1988, he was supervising assistant prosecutor and Head of Gohardasht Prison. From 1988 to 1990, he was the assistant prosecutor of Evin prison.
Geoffrey Robertson QC and judge for Sierra Leone international Court in his report about the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, wrote, “Mohammad Moghisei (a.k. Naserian) is accused by several witnesses of actually hanging prisoners and participating in their torture.”
Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran (SNSCI)
SNSCI is the highest decision making authority in military and security affairs. Emergency meetings to deal with suppression of the uprising since December 28, 2017 have been held under his supervision. He attributed the protests across Iran to foreign powers in an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV of the Lebanese Hezbollah on January 2, 2018.
Commander of the State Security Forces (SSF)
Ashtari is responsible for the security of the country. Forces under his command have been engaged in suppressive measures against protests and have arrested more than 1,400 protesters and killed at least 30. Since the start of the uprising he has made a number of statements, including one on January 2 giving the order to all security commanders in provinces and cities to crack down on protesters.
General Prosecutor and head of Special Court for Clergy
Montazeri has a long record in the judiciary and involvement in issuing death sentences. He was appointed to the position of General Prosecutor by Mohammad Sadeq Larijani Amoli on April 3, 2016. He has authorized attacks on and arrests of demonstrators and called for harsh measures against them. He also called for Internet access to be disrupted during the uprising.
Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi
Minister of Communication and Information Technology
Jahromi is a veteran member of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and was the head of the Technical Directorate for several years. He played a serious role in controlling communications, telephone and internet lines during the uprising in 2009 that led to the arrest of several hundred protestors. He also ordered the closure of some social networks and the slow-down of the Internet and telephone lines during the 2018 uprising. In an interview on January 3, 2018, he reaffirmed the decision to shut down the Telegram network.
IRGC Brigadier General Ali Fateh
Commander of the IRGC Cyber Security
Fateh has been serving in this capacity since February of 2015. The section under his command is responsible for all security controls of internet lines, and during the 2009 uprising, it played an important role in the suppression and arrests of protesters. During nationwide protests in 2018 it seized control of social networks. The statement by the Public Relations of the Cyber Security Command explained this command: “Identify rioters and if you have any information about people whose photos appear below or any other information including photos, films, reports, emails, internet address or complaints regarding groups causing riots, forward them to us through Gerdab website.”
IRGC Brigadier General Mohammad Esmail Kosari
A Commander of Sarollah Garrison in Tehran
Kosari is a veteran IRGC commander and is currently deputy head of Tehran’s Sarollah Garrison. The Garrison commands suppressive operations in the Tehran province, controlling all military, police, and intelligence forces in the capital. He occupied the same post after the 2009 uprising, and was in charge of suppression in the Tehran province. Kosari has threatened the protesters several times including on January 2, 2018.
Brigadier General Gholamreza Soleimani
IRGC Commander of Isfahan province
The IRGC in Isfahan is also known as Saheb al-Zaman Corps. It has been responsible for the suppression of protests in the province and the wounding and killings of dozens in the towns of Qahdarijan, Shahin-Shahr, Homayoun-Shahr and Jouy-Shahr during the 2018 uprising.
Isfahan province General and Revolutionary Prosecutor
Rahimi has authorized attacks on the arrests of protesters in the Isfahan province and is responsible for the killing and wounding of dozens in the province. Commenting on the protests he said: “People must know that any involvement in these gatherings are considered as crimes and will be dealt with firmly.”
Lieutenant Brigadier General Morteza Kashkouli
IRGC Commander of the Lorestan province
Kashkouli has been serving at this post since 2015. IRGC in this province is also known as the Abolfazl Corps. His forces have been involved in the crackdown on the uprising, especially in Doroud, where a number of protesters have been killed.
Lieutenant Brigadier General Mazaher Majidi
IRGC Commander of the Hamedan province
The IRGC in this province is also known as the Ansar al-Hossein Corps. Majidi’s forces have been engaged in the suppression of protesters in the province and killings of demonstrators in the cities of Toyserkan and Hamedan.
IRGC Brigadier General Hassan Shahvarpoor
IRGC Commander in Khuzestan province
Shahvarpoor has been the commander of the IRGC in Khuzestan since 2009. IRGC in the province is also known as the 7th Corps of Vali-e Asr. During the uprising in Khuzestan several protesters were killed in Izeh, Dezful and Masjid Soleiman by IRGC and State Security Forces, and hundreds more arrested. IRGC forces under his command are responsible for the crackdown on protesters across the province.
Secretary of the Iranian Supreme Cyberspace Council
Abolhassan Firoozabadi is one of the key players in controlling cyberspace and the internet in Iran. The Supreme Council of Cyberspace is the highest cyber-related policymaking body in the regime, headed by the regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani appointed Firoozabadi as secretary of the council on September 16, 2015. Firoozabadi is also the director of the National Electronic Domain Center.
Firoozabadi has been one of the highest officials in the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, and played an important role in spying on the people and controlling telephone and internet use. In the Ministry of Intelligence, he was the deputy of Technical or Technological Affairs and responsible for suppression through the use of electronic equipment.
He was also the head of Technical Directorate in the Ministry of Intelligence for 25 years, from 1984 to 2009. He occupied this position until the second term of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency. Firoozabadi was the chairman of Zaem Electronics, a subsidiary of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. He is one of the most prominent symbols of pressure and suppression against the Iranian people.
IRGC Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali
Commander of Passive Defense Forces in the Iranian Regime
IRGC Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, head of the Defensive Air Defense Forces, is one of the main causes of suppression and human rights violations during the uprising. He was appointed to this position on September 24, 2015 by Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the regime.
Gholamreza Jalali admitted to closing the Telegram network and to his role in arresting protestors, saying: “We have taken a number of measures to deal with this disturbances wave, including closing the Telegram…when Telegram closed, 80 percent of the country’s cyber-security traffic was reduced. The threatened communications were over, and the security forces were able to arrest in time in various cities and find the headlines of the currents. “
Seyyed Ebrahim Rais al-Sadati
(A.K.A. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, Ibrahim Raeessi and Ebrahim Raeesi)
Ebrahim Raisi is the head of Astan-e Qods Razavi Endowment Foundation; President of Governing Board of the Fifth Assembly of Experts; member of the State Expediency Discernment Council; 2017 presidential candidate.
At the time of the 1988 mass executions, as Tehran’s Deputy Prosecutor; and a member of “Death Committee” in that city, he headed the revolutionary court dealing with political prisoners. He instructed the arrests, torture, and execution of members of political groups. Raisi’s campaign in the weeks leading to the May 2017 election continuously sent out messages via the social network Telegram defending the 1988 massacre. With Raisi standing by his side, Yasser Mousavi, the Friday prayer’ leader in Varamin, said at a Raisi campaign rally on 12 May 2017: “This grand gure standing next to me is proud to have executed the members of the MEK”.
Mohammad Moussavi Khoeiniha
He is a member of the Association of Combatant Clergy. In 1988, in his capacity as Prosecutor General and member of the Supreme Judicial Council, he was directly involved in the implementation of the fatwa, including in setting up the three-member commissions known as the “Death Committees.”
During the US Embassy occupation in Tehran, he was Khomeini’s representative among the “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam.” He was appointed in 1985 as the country’s Prosecutor General by Khomeini and remained in that post until 1989.
The French daily Le Monde wrote on 1 March 1989, “Imam Khomeini summoned the Revolutionary Prosecutor, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Moussavi Khoeiniha, to instruct him that henceforth all MEK members, whether held in prisons or anywhere else, must be executed for waging war on God. The executions followed summary trials. The trial was nothing more than a coercive process to extract confessions and forced repentance …”
Moqtadaee is the Head of Qom Seminary and a member of the Assembly of Experts
He joined the Judiciary in March 1979 when appointed as a judge in the revolutionary courts and served in Tehran, Qom, Khorramshahr, Abadan, Malayer and Zanjan.
During the 1988 massacre, he was a member and the spokesperson of the Supreme Judicial Council.
Seyyed Mohammad Moussavi Bojnourdi
Moussavi Bojnourdi is a member of the Association of Combatant Clergy
He started working in 1979 in Khomeini’s office in a section responsible for providing interpretation to legal issues according to shari’a rules. In 1981, he launched the Supreme Court for Judges upon Khomeini’s order.
Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri (A.K.A. Mohammad Mohammadi-Nik)
Reyshahri is a member of Assembly of Experts and the head of Shah Abdul Azim Endowment
Following the 1979 revolution he was head of Army Revolutionary Court. He was also Revolutionary Prosecutor and Special Prosecutor for the Clergy. He was the first Intelligence Minister when the post was established in 1984.
During the 1988 massacre, he was the Intelligence Minister and he appointed all representatives of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in the “Death Committee.”
Fallahian is a member of the State Expediency Council. Before 1985 he was a shari’a judge in Khuzestan courts, where he was directly involved in executions. He replaced Reyshahri as Intelligence Minister from 1989 to 1997, and was a member of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2016. Since November 7, 2007 he has been on the wanted list of Argentina’s Judiciary for his role in the 1994 terrorist bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Interpol also issued a red notice for his role in the terrorist attack.
There is also an international warrant for his arrest for having planned the assassination of Kurdish leaders at the Mikonos Restaurant in Berlin on September 17, 1992. In its April 10, 1997 ruling, a German court issued an international arrest warrant after declaring that the assassination had been ordered by him with the knowledge of Khamenei and Rafsanjani.
During the 1988 massacre, he was the Deputy Intelligence Minister, responsible, along with the Minister, for setting up the three-member “Death Committees” around the country.
In an interview with the state-affiliated Tarikh Online website (aired by the state-affiliated Aparat online video platform on 9 July 2017), Fallahian defended Khomeini’s fatwa, saying that even MEK supporters whose only “crime” was to distribute the group’s literature or to buy bread or other provisions for them were found guilty of waging war on God and executed.
During the 1988 massacre, Eshraqi was Tehran’s Prosecutor and a member of “Death Committee” in that city.
The task of issuing death sentences in Tehran was entrusted to him directly by Khomeini. Death sentences for thousands of prisoners affiliated with the MEK and other opponents were signed by him.
Mohammad Esmail Shushtari
Shushtari was the head of the Presidency’s Inspectorate Office until August 2016.
He served as Iran’s Minister of Justice for 16 years under Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami.
During the 1988 massacre, he was the head of the State Prisons Organization and a member of the “Death Committee” in Tehran.
Ansari is a member of the State Expediency Council. During the 1988 massacre, he was the head of the State Prisons Organizations.
Ali Rabiei , also known by his cover name Ebad
Rabiei has been the Minister of Labor since 2013. Following its formation in 1979, he joined The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and he soon became a commander of one of its intelligence units. He was also head of intelligence Department in West Azerbaijan and was later promoted to the Deputy Minister of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), a position he held until 1993.
While at the MOIS he was personally engaged in harsh interrogations accompanied by torture of the political prisoners. He was infamous for being very ruthless.
Ali Fallahin former Minister of Intelligence has said in public that he confronted Rabiei on a number of occasions for his violent attitude!! (Fallahian is notorious for his ruthlessness and involvement in assassination of opponents). Ali Larijani, the current Speaker of the Parliament, in an article “the youth who aged in the MOIS” said “Rabiei would torture the opponents.”
Seyed Morteza Bakhtiari
Bakhtiari is the Deputy Custodian of Astan Quds Razavi conglomerate (Deputy to Ebrahim Raisi)
He was formerly the Justice Minister from September 2009 to June 2013.
During his tenure as the Justice Minister many people were executed for their political views. During this period widespread torture was used in Iranian prisons, especially in Kahrizak in Tehran, were some who were arrested during the anti-government protests, were killed under torture.
As Minister of Justice, he has played a key role in threatening and harassing the Iranian diaspora by announcing the establishment of a special court to deal specifically with Iranians who live outside the country.
Morteza Bakhtiari was directly involved in the 1988 massacre, when 30,000 political prisoners were killed in a matter of few months. Morteza Bakhtiari was member of the “Death Committee” in the city of Birjand, where at the time he was the Revolutionary Prosecutor.
On 10 October 2011, the European Union published the names of 29 officials of the Iranian regime including Seyyed Morteza Bakhtiari whom the E.U. asserts are “responsible for serious human rights violations” and is thus subjecting to travel bans and asset freezes.
Ali-Akbarian is the Deputy Head of Shah Abdul-Azim Endowment
In the early days after the Revolution, he was in charge of investigation in the office of the Revolutionary Prosecutor General and also served as Revolutionary Prosecutor in Gonbad and Isfahan. He was also in charge of the planning directorate, admin and finance of foreign intelligence of the Intelligence Ministry under Reyshahri. After leaving the Intelligence Ministry in 1989, he was appointed as deputy international head of the Islamic Culture and Communications Organization and vice-chair of this organization.
During the 1988 massacre, Ali-Akbarian was the Deputy Minister of Intelligence.