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Giulio Terzi’s Remarks to the International Conference on the 1988 Massacre — August 27, 2021

Giulio Terzi, Foreign Minister of Italy (2011 – 2013), addressed at the International Conference on the 1988 Massacre, attended by 1,000 Former Political Prisoners — 27 August 2021.

Thank you very much. I like very much to thank President-elect Madam Maryam Rajavi for this invitation and to congratulate her for convening this very important meeting, attended by significant personalities, very distinguished personalities and guests. The clips that we have just going through are providing an incredible evidence of the horror of the Iranian regime. That is why this meeting is providing elements, opinions and input at a very special occasion  to encourage once again the international community to finally bring to justice those who are responsible for the 1988 Massacre.

It is important to know that this meeting is attended by 1,000 former political prisoners of the clerical regime. All from this movement, the MEK and the NCRI.  Many of these former political prisoners were in jail for 10 to 15 years or more and 30% of them are women. Many of them are carrying horrible signs of torture on their bodies; many of them, have one or more members of the family and even 10 members of their families executed, and they all are witnesses of crimes against humanity committed in 1988 by the regime.

The memory of the martyrs of the 1988 massacre is, therefore, very much alive today and is becoming more forceful every day, every day. The massacre does not only belong to the past of this criminal regime. It is one of the most significant and marking references for Iran’s present, and future history, because more than 30,000 political prisoners have been executed, over 90% of them were active members of the MEK.  All of them, had been summoned in front of the death commission, but none of them bent on their loyalty and commitment to the MEK. They knew exactly the had a price, they were going to pay, but they chose to stand tall by refusing to renounce their affiliation with the MEK.

Let me also remind the prominent figure professor Kazem Rajavi cowardly assassinated while he was in Geneva and he was bringing to Geneva the evidence and the consideration, the need to react to this heinous crime of 1988 and to bring this crime under the lights of the International Community. But nowadays, his powerful the mission, the mission that was pursued in Geneva by professor Rajavi, for which reason he was killed by the regime, this powerful mission is joined by many more voices of politicians, experts, members of the civil society from all over the world.

Now, it is the time to close ranks against this inhuman and bloodthirsty regime in which in the recent sham election as president of a mass murderer, like Ebrahim Raisi, has really crossed the line. Let me recall the words of Mr. Janez Jansa the Slovenian Prime Minister when he addressed the Free Iran World Summit 2021, and I quote: “For nearly 33 years, the world has forgotten about the victims of the massacre, this should change. A UN led commission of inquiry is of crucial importance to shed light over the horrible 1988 massacre.  Families of the victims seek a commission of inquiry, so they could finally obtain Justice and closure.”

While the lobbies for the Iranian regime are now attacking Prime Minister Jansa for supporting a UN inquiry into the massacre, the Slovenian Prime Minister’s call has gathered strong international support both in Europe and in North America. In particular, a group of European lawmakers in a letter that have welcomed his position. The former Canadian foreign minister John Baird pointed to the moral leadership and courage of Slovenia, and in the U.S. former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Slovenia should wear the wrath and criticism coming from Tehran as a badge of honor.

Let me say that as a former Foreign Minister of an EU country, Italy, I believe Prime Minister Jansa’s call for action was the most responsible act by a sitting European prime minister in defense of accountability justice and the rule of law against crime against humanity that has gone unpunished. At the same time, I don’t have choice here but to stigmatize the high representative Joseph Borrell for his attempt to distance himself from the Jansa declaration, by emphasizing that the comments by the Prime Minister comments at the Summit were “most definitely not a reflection of the EU position.” But I only note that EU officials have a legal obligation to condemn the violation of human rights.  The long-standing position as a leading example of human rights are at stake.   

Not only Prime Minister Jansa called for a UN inquiry. On June 20, 2021, current UN human rights rapporteur for the situation of human rights Javaid Rehman called for an independent inquiry into the massacre and role played by Raisi as Tehran deputy prosecutor. On May the 3rd this year, more than 150 former UN officials and renowned international human rights and legal experts wrote to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet calling an international commission of inquiry into the Massacre. The signatories include former UN High Commissioner and Irish President Mary Robinson, former UN Deputy Secretary General, 28  former UN Special Rapporteurs for human rights and chairs of previous UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights in Eritrea and North Korea.

Furthermore, Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Calamard said on June 19, 2021, “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran. We continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction.”  

In light of this, High Representative Borrell should end his business-as-usual approach to the Iranian regime led by mass murderers. He should strongly encourage other EU member states to join Slovenia, instead of distancing himself from Mr. Jansa’s declaration. He should encourage all EU member states to join that statement by Prime Minister of Slovenia in demanding accountability for Iran’s greatest crime against humanity.

The very questionable approach shown by the High Representative of the European Union raises serious concerns. First of all, on the one hand he has blamed the Iranian regime as a threat to international peace and security together for its support for the militias and non-governmental military forces, while he was referring to the drone attack on an Isreali tanker in the Persian Gulf sometime ago.  On the other hand, he did send his emissary, Mr. Enrico Mora, to the inauguration ceremony of President Raisi, legitimizing one of the major officials responsible for terrible  crimes against humanity.  

There are thousands and thousands of people out there expecting a much more assertive response by the international community, in particular by the European institutions, to the malign activities of the mullahs’ regime instead of practicing appeasement that we have seen until now.  Now is the time to change course. Our call and that of thousands of innocent victims’ families mut no longer be postponed. Thank you, Madam President.

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