Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has called the execution of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 He continued, “There is a group [within the country] that want to seek revenge from the regime and destroy it.” He also alleged that Iranian political dissidents are in with foreign intelligence services. “There are links between the [dissidents] and the outside world and we have to confront them harshly so as to prevent future acts [of protests].”

Comment:

Shirazi is a staunch defender of some of the regime’s most controversial policies and repressive actions. His remarks about the regime’s mass executing political prisoners in 1988 as a “revolutionary act” are meant to whitewash an event that has been roundly condemned internationally and inside Iran itself. The reference to a “group” that wants to “seek revenge” is an attack on political dissidents who were once part of the regime and have been willing to embarrass it by revealing its secrets from the past.