Monday, May 20, 2024

The U.S. Response to Iranian President's Death Is Disgraceful

By Spencer Brown |

Iranian Presidency Office via AP

The United Nations, unsurprisingly, was generally gutted to learn that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi — known as the "butcher of Tehran" — died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. In a Monday meeting of the U.N. Security Council, a "moment of silence" was held to mourn the dead murderer rather than his thousands of innocent victims. 

Most egregiously, United States Ambassador Robert Wood — a Senate-confirmed Biden nominee who serves as America's Alternate Representative to the United Nations and its General Assembly — also stood to join the moment of silence "in remembrance of the loss of life in a crash of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi."

That is, an American ambassador stood to mourn the death of a mass murderer whose government endorsed "death to America." Yet another weak and shameful moment for the Biden administration on the world stage.

So what was Ambassador Wood and the rest of the U.N. General Assembly mourning? A laundry list of atrocities to which the United Nations turned a blind eye for years. 

A condensed listing of Raisi's bloody track record — even before becoming president of the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism — from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) recaps his barbarism:

Raisi — the deputy prosecutor general of Tehran from 1985 to 1988 — facilitated the regime’s 1988 slaughter of thousands of jailed political dissidents by serving on a four-member panel known as a Death Commission, which decided who would live and who would die. The commission would conduct interviews of prisoners — often just a few minutes long — aimed at determining their loyalty to the Islamic Republic. Questions could include: “What is your political affiliation?” “Do you pray?” “Are you willing to clear minefields for the Islamic Republic?” The wrong answer meant death.

The executions were usually by hanging or by firing squad, and typically took place the same day as the interrogations. The commissions allowed neither lawyers nor appeals. Burials occurred in unmarked mass graves. The regime waited months before notifying the relatives of the victims, refused to tell them the locations of the bodies, and told them not to mourn in public. The victims included women and children as young as 13. Raisi has defended the killings, saying in 2018 that they were “one of the proud achievements of the system.”

What a guy, proud of murdering thousands of innocent Iranians, to mourn. FDD also noted that Raisi's subsequent posts as deputy chief justice, attorney general, and chief justice allowed him to preside "over the prosecution, imprisonment, torture, and execution of countless detainees."

Biden's State Department formally expressed its "official condolences" in a statement Monday afternoon:

The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran.  As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms.