Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Naser Kanani warned Saturday of “political and legal” measures against Sweden over the life sentence imposed on former Iranian political leader Hamid Nuri for the mass executions and torture of opponents in 1988 in a prison in the city of Karaj.
Kanani has called for Nuri’s release, described his imprisonment as “illegal” and claimed that the trial is based on “baseless accusations,” the Iranian news agency IRNA reports.
Nuri’s imprisonment is “totally unacceptable,” according to Kanani, who has also called for the release of Iranian Asadollah Assadi, an Iranian citizen imprisoned in Belgium. Assadi is an Iranian diplomat accused of involvement in a plot to carry out an attack in France during an event of the opposition People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), outlawed in Iran.
Kanani has also taken the opportunity to defend the Iranian foreign policy shift called Look to Asia promoted by President Ebrahim Raisi.
Nuri’s case has led to an increase in bilateral tension between Sweden and Iran and Tehran announced last Wednesday the recall of its ambassador to Stockholm for consultations.
Nuri, was arrested in the European country in November 2019, after which a trial was opened against him in 2021 for his role in the killing of thousands of people.
The executions were carried out following a secret edict issued by the then-great leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, after an armed incursion into Iran by the PMOI, an Iraq-based opposition group outlawed by Iranian authorities, according to the report published by Amnesty in 2018.
Khomeini’s order came in the final stages of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), in which the PMOI, which actively participated in the revolution that overthrew Shah Reza Pahlevi with an Islamist discourse mixed with an adaptation of Marxist ideology, fought on the side of Saddam Hussein’s regime after denouncing the actions of the religious leadership installed by the ayatollahs.
The group was persecuted by the religious authorities installed in Iran, which led the then leader of the group, Masud Rajavi, to reach a pact with Hussein in 1986 in the middle of the war between the two, which led Iran to the supreme leader of Iran to order the execution of alleged members and sympathizers of the organization.