Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of hardliner newspaper Kayhan

Hardline Tehran Daily Urges Taking More European Hostages

Wednesday, 07/20/2022

The editor of a hardliner daily, operating under the aegis of Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, has implicitly called for detaining more foreigners in Iran.

Referring to a Swedish court’s sentencing of former Iranian jailor Hamid Nouri to life imprisonment over executions of political prisoners in 1988, Hossein Shariatmadari, whose newspaper Kayhan is believed to reflect Ali Khamenei’s views, said on Wednesday, "When Iranians aren’t safe in EU, why should EU citizens be safe in Iran?"

He urged authorities to remove obstacles for “punishing Sweden in a regrettable way”.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani called the court “a show” in line with “purification of a terrorist organization,” adding that the court violates the rights of an Iranian citizen as well as Iran's sovereignty. Sweden must stop supporting this terrorist group, referring to Albania-based opposition group, Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK). 

Iran accused Sweden of giving into pressure by the MEK that Tehran considers a terrorist organization. Most of the approximately 5,000 prisoners summarily executed in prisons were members of MEK serving their sentences.

Nouri -- a former deputy prosecutor at Gohardasht Prison in Karaj at the time of the killings -- was charged with “war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, and participating in the continued crime of refusing to return the bodies of executed prisoners to their families.” 

Witnesses have told Swedish prosecutors that Nouri, who went by the alias Hamid Abbasi at the time, was responsible for handing down death sentences and taking prisoners to where they were hanged or shot.

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