“The Cabinet had No Role in the 1988 Executions,” Says Moussavi
Blog/Note: Will the secret of the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners be revealed soon? Will thousands of families who lost their loved ones in the span of just a few months know who ordered the executions and who carried them out? Will those responsible for this travesty ever come to justice? And will the seal of silence about one of the most heinous instances of human rights violations be broken? Mir Hossein Moussavi’s statements about the 1988 mass executions yesterday have brought fresh attention to one of the darkest corners of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s existence. The statements by Moussavi, who was Iran’s Prime Minister during the Iran-Iraq War, has also raised fresh questions about the events of 1988.
On the threshold of Reporters’ Day in Iran, Mir Hossein Moussavi appeared at a gathering of newspaper editors, reporters, and families of arrested journalists. Referring to the many questions which have recently been raised about the events of 1988 he said, “The events of 1988 should be reviewed within their own historical perspective. We must then ask, Did the cabinet know about those events? Did it have a role in them? Was it possible for the cabinet to intervene at all? Is there any mention of the cabinet in the orders and documents? The cabinet had no role in these events. Many others did not know about them, either. But I have certain limitations about discussing these things with details.”
Moussavi also said that his silence did not mean that he agreed or cooperated with the events. “The Green Movement’s strength is in its morality. It is in its calling white, white and black, black. We do not approve of appalling actions, but if someone maintains silence at certain times, it does not mean that he agrees or cooperates with what is taking place, and we must give this right to people.” Of course Moussavi did not elaborate on his reasons for remaining silent. He also did not address the rights of thousands of victim’s family members to know the truth of the events of 1988.
A few days ago, a letter allegedly written by Moussavi was published on the Enghelab-e Eslami website, operated by Dr. Abolhassan Banisadr, the first President of Iran. In the letter, which is addressed to the then Iranian President, Seyed Ali Khamenei, Moussavi, who was Prime Minister of Iran, describes his reasons for resigning. In a part of the letter, he describes his reasons for resigning as the cabinet’s lack of knowledge about a set of activities defined as “operations abroad,” referring explicitly to actions which are against human rights and even of a terrorist nature.
In a part of the letter, Moussavi complains about his lack of information about what is happening in the country, stating that he is resignation due to his inability to perform his responsibilities. “The operations abroad which take place without the cabinet’s knowledge or orders. You know better [than me] of their catastrophic and undesirable consequences for the country. After an airplane is hijacked, we are informed. After a machine gun opens fire on a Lebanon street and its sound can be heard all over, we learn about it. After explosives are found on our pilgrims in Jeddah, I am informed of it. Unfortunately and against all the loss this action has brought to the country, the likes of these operations could take place at any moment or any hour in the name of the cabinet,” states a part of the letter.