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Met police urged to prosecute Iranian accused of backing Rushdie fatwa | UK news

The Metropolitan Police are being urged to crack down on Iranian terrorism in the UK by bringing criminal charges against a former senior Iranian government official accused of defending a fatwa against Sir Salman Rushdie.

The Metropolitan Police are investigating a legal file accusing UK-based Syed Ataollah Mohajerani of promoting terrorism in violation of the Terrorism Act 2006. He denies the claims.

Four months after the dossier was submitted, the police told those bringing charges that the complex issues raised required significant resources and more time to investigate.

The fatwa was imposed on Rushdie by Iran’s previous Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989 and has never been lifted. Last August, Rushdie was stabbed several times at a literary festival in Chautauqua, New York.

The UK promised a new tougher line on Iran after the execution of former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Alireza Akbari there, but so far has only recalled its ambassador from Tehran and imposed sanctions on Iran’s Attorney General.

Iranian human rights lawyer Kaveh Moussavi and British attorney Rebecca Mooney, representing human rights organization Ending Immunity, filed a lengthy complaint against Mohajerani in August. They contend that Mohajerani was Deputy Prime Minister in 1988 and Vice President for Parliamentary and Legal Affairs from 1989 to 1997, a period when hundreds of assassinations of dissidents in Europe were ordered by the Iranian regime.

They claim that he did not try to stop the killings, and since he lived in London, he has often praised the late General Qassem Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a national hero of Iran and Islam.

Specifically, they claim that his 1989 book, The Satanic Verse Conspiracy Critique, with the support and collaboration of the Iranian regime’s propaganda organs, supports and justifies the fatwa against Rushdie, arguing that it “promotes, encourages, and urges Muslims to kill him, his editors, translators and publishers, as well as all authors who have publicly supported it.” Subsequently, the book was reprinted 30 times.

They say that the statements contained in Mohajerani’s book make it clear that his point is that the fatwa is religiously justified and irrevocable, and that since Rushdie is identified as “dying” [apostate]that renunciation is impossible. “Thus, Rushdie is powerless to do anything to continue the permanent existence of the fatwa,” they say. “According to the fatwa substantiated and promoted by Mohajerani, there is no place on Earth where Rushdie could be free from the constant threat of death.”

Rushdie is described in the book as an apostate, anti-Muslim, anti-revolutionary mercenary and agent of the West. At one point, Mohajerani writes:[Rushdie] was born into a Muslim family; his slander, slander and slander are deliberate and Salman Rushdie is mature and sane. Therefore, considering what has just been said, he is an absolute mortad, and the punishment of mortad, and especially slandering the Prophet of Allah, is execution.”

Mohajerani, who has lived in the UK since 2004, said the book does not justify a fatwa, but is simply a critique of the novel and attempts to explain its religious origins. He adds: “When Salman Rushdie was attacked by an American citizen, I tweeted: ‘I hope Salman Rushdie recovers from this event and, following the advice of William Faulkner, writes a novel focusing on beauty and moral values, on service.’ people. On the contrary, in The Satanic Verses, he added an enormous amount of fuel to the fire. I hope he finds the right chance to improve.”

He also claims that due to the separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive in Iran, he did not participate in the executions of prisoners in 1988, saying, “Not only did I, as Deputy Prime Minister, play no role. in this case, the Prime Minister himself played no role. I must emphasize that the Iranian judiciary is completely separate and independent from the government and therefore there is no interference in its affairs.”

Mooney argued: “The UK has an obligation under international law to prosecute international crimes. The sole discretion is whether the international prosecutor has sufficient evidence to have reasonable prospects for prosecution and whether this is in the public interest. But there is a ton of evidence.

“The first duty of a state is to protect its citizens, which requires preventive, prosecutorial and punitive measures where appropriate. That’s why we have laws on terrorism, including verbal propaganda of terrorism. It’s pointless to have these laws if we don’t persecute.

Moussavi predicted that the equivalent of a thermonuclear explosion would occur at the headquarters of the IRGC if a man like Mohajerani was arrested. “It will mean that none of these people will be safe, because they recognize that international criminal law does not allow amnesty.

“The IRGC already has plans to leave the country. Look at the state of the currency, the collapse in real estate prices and the scale of the activities of money brokers.

He continued: “If Mohajerani was a member of the government whose ‘independent’ judiciary carried out these murders, he is guilty. The very fact that he claims that the judiciary in Iran is independent testifies to his guilt. The idea that this is or was an independent judiciary is simply absurd. The fact that he repeats this further confirms who he really is.

“By law, he was required to protest and do everything possible to stop these crimes, and if he is not able, he must resign. I highly doubt that his defense attorney would offer these concoctions in court as a defense or mitigation.”

The Metropolitan Police have been contacted for comment.

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