Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has written to Enrique Mora, the European Union Deputy Foreign Representative, asking him not to participate in Thursday’s presidential inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi. “You are legitimizing a regime which, among many acts of violence against Iran’s people, engaged in a brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators in November 2019,” Mohammadi wrote in a letter Wednesday.
Mohammadi, who was nominated in March for the Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian parliamentarians, advised Mora not to go to Iran. “If you travel to Tehran,” she wrote, “the regime will win another round in the eyes of the international community because you chose to provide it legitimacy when it has none from everyday Iranians who suffer, for among other reasons, not importing vaccines from the West to combat COVID-19.”
But Mora arrived in Tehran Wednesday and met with foreign ministry officials including Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who had led the Iranian team in talks in Vienna since April over reviving Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Mora also saw outgoing foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has just published a book on the JCPOA.
Raisi, the former chief justice who won the controversial June 18 election, was certified by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday and is sworn-in in parliament Thursday.
As a reason for Mora not to attended the inauguration, Mohammadi cited Iran’s management of Covid, specifically a ban announced by Khamenei in January on British- and US-made vaccines. “Why does the Iranian regime allow a western official to come to Iran for the inauguration of the president but does not allow vaccines to be imported?” she asked in an Instagram post in Persian addressed to Mora Wednesday. “Let me answer, the first is to guarantee the survival of the regime and the second for the survival of the people.”
Mohammadi is among those – ranging from US-based activist Masih Alinejad, to Amnesty International − who have accused Raisi of crimes against humanity over his role in a commission that in 1988 oversaw executions of thousands of prisoners. The majority were members of the Mujahideen-e Khalq, an armed opposition group at the time allied to Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, but others were members of various leftist groups.
Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office in a series of tweets Wednesday noted Mora’s attendance of the presidential inauguration and called on the EU to “publicly demonstrate its commitment to fight against systematic impunity in Iran for extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture.” Amnesty called for a “criminal investigation” of Raisi’s role “in past and ongoing crimes against humanity related to 1988 Massacre,” although the tweet did not address which body might carry out such an investigation.
Source » iranintl