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Khomeini’s Former Heir Recording Sparks off Debate | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei poses before delivering a speech marking Nowruz, Iranian new year, in this handout photo released by the Iranian Supreme Leader website on March 20, 2016. REUTERS/leader.ir/Handout

London- An audio file released on Wednesday sparked off a debate as it revealed a discussion on executions between Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s former heir, and high-ranking judicial officials 28 years ago. During the meeting, Montazeri warned the “death commission” members of the fall-outs of executing by fire squads thousands of opponents.

The 40-minute audio file disclosed the talks, held on August 15, 1988, between Montazeri and a judicial committee composed of Hossein-Ali Nayeri, the regime’s sharia judge, Morteza Eshraqi, the regime’s prosecutor, Ebrahim Raeesi, deputy prosecutor, and Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, representative of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), currently the minister of justice.

He was heard saying to the death committee members: “The greatest crime committed during the reign of the Islamic Republic was executing by fire squads 6,000 political activists. This reign carried out, in its first years only, more executions than during the Pahlavi regime.”

“History will condemn you,” Montazeri added.

During the August 15 meeting, Montazeri expressed concern that history will remember Khomeini as a bloody assassin.

He held Khomeini’s son Ahmed Khomeini, Lord chief justice Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili and other officials responsible for the executions; he also criticized the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) for confiscating funds of opponents and political activists.

The audio was removed hours after being published. Media sources revealed that Ahmed Montazeri, son of Montazeri and head of his media bureau in Qom, was subject to intelligence pressure that led him to remove the audio.

Khomeini’s press office considered that publishing this tape is an attempt to distort the image of Montazeri and to reactivate Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO), which has lost a great number of followers during executions.