When I read the departed Imam’s [Khomeini] letter that was also without a date I was deeply saddened. My son-in-law, Mr. Seyed Hadi , was present too, and he told me that now that Imam has finalized his words in a letter, it would not be right to say something [in refute, or as an objection.] I replied: “How could it be not right?” When a man has been sentenced to two to three years in prison based on the interpretation of Judge from his crimes, now we can’t send him to his death just because (s)he remained faithful to their ideology.
This is not right by any criteria. Nevertheless my son-in-law was still insisting that I should not talk against what Imam has said. What has been rumored as this statement belonging to him is a lie, he went home, and I prayed the noon and the evening rites, and had small lunch. No matter how I approached the issue, I though we had a share in this revolution, now if things are committed in the name of the revolution we are responsible too. So I finally decided to send a letter to the departed Imam, I also send a copy to the supreme judiciary committee. I also told my son-in-law that I had sent the letter anyways. He replied that we had discussed the issue, and that I was not supposed to send anything to Imam. I said: “No, it was my duty.” All in the same letter that I send and which exist now and in which I announced my dissent. After that one day I called upon Mustafa Pour Mohammadi ( I do not remember what his responsibility was at that time) and the Judge in Evin at that time Nayyeri and told them: “ Right now is Moharram. At least for the sake of this month stop the executions”. One of them told me: “we have 700 of them ready for execution. Let us execute this 700 people and then we will follow your word”. I told them: “What on earth?! I am telling you it is Moharram. Don’t do this. Killing is not necessary. What is this talk? [It is true] these people are our opponents and they have killed my son, but this does not necessitate violating other people’s rights. So I have tried my best. [Unfortunately] they executed either 2800 or 3800 people. Then they said: “Why are opposing the word of Imam [Khomeini]? Since you are his deputy you should confirm his words”. I told them “being the deputy is not translated to being a dumb goat. I have my own thoughts and ideas on this matter and I should be able to express my opinion. This is not standing up against any one. A human being should be able to express his own opinion.
What happened that made Ayatollah Khomeini issue such order?
I am not sure. I suspect that they have told him that these people [that they wanted to execute] are the same MKO members who have attacked Iran in the Mersad mission. However, these people [that they wanted to execute] are not the same as those [who attacked Iran and wanted to occupy the country]. They have captured some of them (MKO members that attacked) and prosecuted them and the rest of them ran away. Those who had been detained before did not participate in the Mersad mission. I do not know how they lead him to believe otherwise. Nevertheless, it is behind us now.
But the Islamic Revolution was supposed to have a compassionate message? What happened?
I do not know. After this incident, apparently they had gotten another written order from the Imam. This time it was for the communists, although I have never seen such written order. One day Mr. Khamenei which was the president at that time came to our home. He told me: “ They have gotten a letter from Imam to execute the communists in prison.
What year was it?
I think it was two or three months after that incident in 1988. He [Mr. Khamenei] told me that they have got such letter and this is a very bad thing. I told him: “ How come you did not say anything at the time that a similar letter was produced for MKO member [in prison]?” He replied surprisingly: “ Had Imam issued a similar letter before?” Apparently, the president at that time was not aware of such letter at all. I had objected to this. According to him he was not aware. I told him that about three to four months ago they had taken a letter from him (Imam) and have executed this many people. I told him: “How come you did not say anything about those [ MKO member] who were religious [and were executed] and now you feel sorry for the communists? He said he was not aware of such incident and I have mentioned this in my memoir.
What was Ayatollah Khomeini’s reaction on your objection?
I am not sure. As I have mentioned this in my memoir, I have warned against it three times. I suspect some have said, that no one is supposed to oppose the word of Imam. I have heard recently that Mr. Mahdavi has said that since I was the deputy at that time I was not supposed to oppose the word of Imam. As I have said, being the deputy can not be translated to being a dumb goat.
From the religious view point and the view point of Islamic Jurisprudence, this mass execution and their burial in masses without a single sign of their whereabouts. Was this…
It was not right. I do not know about others, but I have said it then. It was not right.