A NOTORIOUS cleric poised to be named Iran’s next leader is a torturing killer who will spread terror and bloodshed across the world, claim those who say they suffered at his hands.
Ebrahim Raisi, 60, is the runaway favourite of seven contenders battling it out to replace sitting president Hassan Rouhani, 72, in an election due to be held this Friday.
The Sun Online can reveal the hardliner allegedly ordered the torture of pregnant women, had prisoners thrown off cliffs, had people flogged with electric cords, and has overseen countless other brutal acts of violence.
The so-called “Butcher of 1988” is the favoured choice of the Islamic Republic’s ruthless regime with the Iranian press now calling him the “unrivalled candidate”.
As head of Iran’s judiciary, the traditionalist cleric is a close ally of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose confidence he has gained after holding key positions of power over four decades.
Activists, however, hold a very different view of Raisi because of his alleged involvement in the mass execution and horrific torture of political prisoners in the 1980s.
In 1980, at the age of just 20, Raisi was appointed prosecutor of the revolutionary court of Karaj, west of Tehran, and by 1988 he had been promoted deputy prosecutor of Tehran.
He then became one of four individuals selected to carry out the slaughter of imprisoned activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
Some 30,000 men, women and children held in prisons all over Iran were lined up against the wall and shot within just a few months, say those battling to oust the regime.
Raisi is nothing more than a product of a regime that produces monsters
Farideh Goudarzi was eight months pregnant when she says she was seized by the authorities in Iran over her support of the PMOI, also known as Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
However, despite her condition, she told The Sun Online she was not spared the horrific and brutal torture regularly doled out in the Islamic Republic at that time.
She said the very first time she came across brutal Raisi was when she was dragged into a courthouse torture chamber at the age of 21 in the summer of 1983.
He was one of the seven men tasked with torturing her after she was taken into custody, she claims.
She exclusively told The Sun Online: “Two days before I was arrested my husband was arrested. My brother was also taken into custody.
“When I was arrested I was immediately taken to the torture chamber. It was in the basement of the court in the city of Hamedan.
“They took me to a room which had different sized cables on the floor.
“There was also a lot of blood on a bed and on the floor. It was clear before me another political prisoner had been tortured.”
What Farideh did not know at the time was that the blood belonged to her own husband – later hanged from a crane.
CRUEL & CALLOUS
She went on: “When I was arrested I was pregnant and doctors said the birth of my child was just one week away.
“Because of my condition, they could not lie me down so they lashed my hands instead. They also slapped my face.
“There were about seven or eight torturers. One of the men was a young person about 23 with curly hair.”
“He was standing there watching the lashing of a pregnant woman,” she revealed.
“One of the most callous and merciless people I encountered in prison was Ebrahim Raisi.
Farideh says Raisi truly deserves his nickname – The Butcher – and says all the torture and execution orders were handed down by him.
She said he was tortured for days before then being hanged from a crane aged just 24 – with their son being born in prison having never met his dad.
Farideh’s brother was also executed in 1988 after being sentenced by The Butcher.
She believes Raisi was singled out for power at such a young age as he was notoriously brutal – with the regime enjoying the stonings and beheadings he ordered.
Farideh – who now lives in Albania – says if Raisi does land the top job it will prove disastrous for the people of Iran and the rest of the world.
“For our people that will be more execution, more oppression, and more murders,” she said.
“And for the international community, there will be more terrorism and an increased threat from Islamic fundamentalism.
“For the past 40 years there has been non-stop resistance against this regime and a lot of blood has been spilled. We will not stop and we will eventually overcome them.”
However, she says for the regime to be toppled then the West must play a very big part.
That’s a view echoed by Mahmoud Royaee who was rounded up by the Iranian authorities when he was an 18-year-old student for a “thought crime.”
Royaee spent ten years in prison where he suffered tortured after being offered the chance to make a TV confession – which he declined.
Mahmoud was later found guilty of being at “war with God” and was told he “deserved to be killed.”
However, he claims his only “crime” was reading newspapers and supporting freedom.
Mahmoud had hoped the torture he endured while being questioned would stop once he was jailed – he was wrong.
Hours after entering prison his head and eyebrows were shaven by guards and he was forced to EAT them.
He said: “Raisi used to beat prisoners with an electric cable. The first time I was beaten on the soles of my feet I tried to count but the pain made that impossible.
Mahmoud added: “To imagine this heinous creature could be put in the president’s seat is unthinkable. The families of all those that have been killed just cannot tolerate that.”
He has now called on the international community to call time on Iran’s archaic leaders.
Mahmoud said the thought Raisi could be elected and then accepted by the international community will be too much to bear for the relatives of those killed.
“Raisi will be used as a wolf to terrify the people of Iran. What other reason is there to put a person hated all over the world in such an important position.
“The Iranian people do not expect the international community to go along with the so-called appeasement policy.”