Iran has increased executions of dissidents in recent weeks. It is publicly doing this to show that it doesn’t have to respond to international pressure. It is also condemning those who critique its decision to carry out the executions.
This week Iran killed two men it accused of blasphemy. According to a report, Iran is one of the world’s top executioners when it comes to the death penalty. A report at Turkey’s TRT noted that Iran has killed at least 203 prisoners this year. This data is based on the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.
According to reports, Iran recently killed Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare. They were accused of “blasphemy” and their main “crime” was apparently involvement in a Telegraph channel that critiqued religion.
Condemning the executions
The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell also called on Iran’s foreign minister to strongly condemn the execution of Swedish-Iranian national Habib Chaab and he asked Iran not to execute German-Iranian Jamshid Sharmahd. However he didn’t want to upset relations too much with Tehran and discussed Iran’s cooperation on nuclear issues. Iran knows that it can use nuclear blackmail to get many countries to stop critiquing its drive to execute hundreds more people.
Iran appears to be rapidly increasing its mass killing of dissidents. It is particularly targeting minority groups.
According to Amnesty International, “the Iranian authorities have executed at least one Ahwazi Arab, 14 Kurds and 13 Baluchis following grossly unfair trials, and sentenced at least a dozen others to death since the start of the year, marking a chilling escalation in the use of the death penalty as a tool of repression against ethnic minorities, Amnesty International and Abdorrahman Boroumand Center said today.”
The group also noted that “the authorities executed at least 94 people in January and February alone, amid horrific sexual violence and other torture allegations, in a notable rise in executions compared to the same time last year, according to research by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center and Amnesty International.”
This means Iran appears to be killing people every day. This looks like a lot more than merely “executions.” Carrying out several killings a day of dissidents is an attempt to massacre those involved in any protests against the regime.
This comes after last year’s mass protests. Iran feels confident in increasing this repression because it is closely allied with China and Russia, two other countries that crush dissent. It is not clear if Western countries, which value human rights, will sanction Iran more than they already have done.