By Jubin Katiraie

These days, the world has been taken aback for seeing the photos of a detained obese “mufti” of the Islamic States (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq.

However, the old, thin judges, who are hundreds of times more dangerous and criminal than him, are ruling in Iran. They, of course, don’t issue horrible sentences from hideouts. Instead, Iran’s ayatollahs boast about their barbarism on official floors.

“He should have been ‘chopped into pieces,’” said one of the representatives of Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei referring to the arrest of the British Ambassador in Tehran on January 14. While the recent protests across the country made Khamenei’s representative in Mashhad Ahmad Alamolhoda mad, he shows his genuine nature in a sermon.

“Some say the UK Ambassador must be expelled. Expelling the UK Ambassador is the greatest act of kindness toward him. If our people accepted for him to be expelled, this would be the greatest act of pardon. No. The UK Ambassador must be chopped into pieces,” said Alamolhoda.

These remarks prompted the wrath of many people on social media. However, it is not the first time that Iranian officials threaten people with excessive sentences.

But it was the first time that a foreign citizen, the UK Ambassador in this specific case, was addressed by the ayatollahs. On January 8, after three days of concealing the IRGC’s role in downing the Ukrainian civil airliner, the Iranian government was compelled to admit the truth. The admission came under international pressures and raising reliable evidence and documents by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Ukraine. While, two years earlier, authorities whitewashed their responsibility for crashing a domestic flight into a mountain in February 2018. At the time, the world turned a blind eye to the issue perhaps because no foreign citizen was killed.

Nevertheless, Iranian officials’ remarks are always bizarre and refer to medieval punishments. Notably, brutal claims have been raised by different factions in Iran and are not limited to Khamenei’s proponents alone. As the Iranian people don’t differentiate between the “hardliners” and “moderates,” the government-linked politicians have grasped that the game is over!

In this respect, it is significant to mention the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's threat against the Iranian diaspora in Sweden. On August 22, 2019, Zarif was hosted by Iranians’ anger as he visited Stockholm. They described him as a “liar” and “showcase” of the religious tyranny in Iran. A little later, Iran’s foreign minister lost his patient and made unusual remarks about the protesters. In a TV interview, he addressed exiled Iranians, saying, “These guys who are standing outside, ask any of them to come to any Iranian meeting and see if they can’t survive. They won’t survive a minute and they will be eaten alive [by the government agents].”

The current Vice President of Iran for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar was also a hostage-taker. She is still proud of being part of the crowd that captured the U.S. Embassy in 1980s and took U.S. diplomats as hostages. Ebtekar who insists on portraying herself as “moderate,” said, “No ‘student’ regrets taking the U.S. Embassy.” At the time, she bluntly announced that is ready to “kill hostages” in an interview. The footage about her remarks circulates on YouTube and raised many reactions on social media.

Notably, the anti-establishment protests deeply shook the pillars of the Islamic Republic regime in last November. The supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who well felt the people are willing to do anything to overthrow his rule, made public remarks and described protesters as “rioters.” He openly ordered the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as the force most loyal to the government to do whatever it takes to end the demonstrations. Khamenei plainly and simply said that those who love their lives shouldn’t protest.

There is no need to refer more to the strange statements of Iran’s hardliners, but there are two prominent examples in this context to show that there is no difference between hardliners and reformists in Iran. In November, after the Iranian government-employed violent crackdown on protesters a senior cleric Ahmad Khatami, who speaks for Khamenei, made public remarks about the fed-up people. He as the leader of Friday prayer said the ringleaders of “unrest” should be executed for “waging war on God.” Khatami mentioned the government’s ill-treatment with a member of Mojahedin-e Khalq in the 1980s and demanded the judiciary system to employ similar suppression. “I believe that they [protesters] should be pursued house to house and presented to officials,” Fars News Agency quoted Khatami as saying on November 22.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Iranian “judges” boast about issuing the death penalty for thousands of people. In this context, there are many “judges,” like the current head of the Judiciary system Ebrahim Raisi, who sent thousands of political prisoners to the gallows in the summer of 1988, as well as the former minister of Justice Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who was with Raisi as the representative of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in 1988. Several months ago, Pourmohammadi defended his crimes against the MEK members and supporters, who were consisting of the greatest number of victims of the 1988 massacre. He also vowed to continue his crimes against this group despite not being an official judge anymore. Additionally, there are Mohammad Moghisseh and Abulqassem Salavati who are notoriously renowned by issuing excessive sentences against dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities, journalists, etc. Notably, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Moghisseh and Salavati for horrible human rights abuses.

Of course, there are many others who use brutal punishments against both ordinary people and political opponents. Aziz Hajmohammadi is one of these “judges.” He boasted about issuing thousands of death penalty for convicts in an interview with Mehr News Agency in October 2019.

However, after the government’s brutal crackdown on the November protests that resulted in at least 1,500 killed and over 12,000 detained, Iranian authorities competed to take more vicious positions against the fed-up people. In this context, Abolfazl Bahrampour, a government-linked jurist, bluntly demanded the judiciary system to cut the fingers of protesters. “They [protesters] should be tortured, crucified, or hanged to death. [The Judiciary system] should cut their hands and feet in a different direction… If we won’t face any [protest] in the future if we implemented one of these sentences… [Protesters] should be publicly punished where they did [protests]… [Protesters] should be chopped into pieces in a disastrous state… For instance, four fingers of the right hand and the toes of the left foot should be cut, then they should be released in this state in the society [to spread suffocation sphere among the deprived people],” Bahrampour said in an interview with the state-run Channel One TV on November 27.