In this news report from Iranian state TV, a regime official talks about the regime’s efforts to extradite members of the Iranian opposition party, the Mojahedin e Khalq (MEK) from Iraq for trial. The Iranian regime has targeted the MEK since the 1980s when it summarily executed tens of thousands of the group’s members for campaigning for freedom and democracy, even attempting to blame the victims for the murder of their colleagues. Iraq’s government is widely viewed as being a proxy of the Iranian regime.
The news anchor introduces the report, saying, “The Iranian nation expects the extradition of the hypocrites [a typical reference to the MEK] from Iraq to Iran to be the most important subject of talks between the head of the Iranian judiciary and his Iraqi counterpart, the head of Iraq’s judiciary.”
The report then shows footage of Amoli Larijani, the aforementioned head of the Iranian judiciary, addressing reporters at a conference where he’s seated alongside his Iraqi counterpart and Iranian regime officials, saying: “These [MEK members] are the criminals who have confessed to assassinating leading figures of the [Iranian Islamic Republic] regime; for one example, they assassinated Ayatollah Dr. Beheshti, who at that time was the head of the country’s judiciary, as well as being the Prosecutor General of the country, as well as another 17,000 martyrs they assassinated. Our expectation from the brotherly and friendly country of Iraq, headed by the judicial system of this country and the honorable head its judiciary is that, inshallah, in the framework of the agreements made, these criminals will be extradited for fair trial; this is the expectation of our nation.”
The Iranian news anchor then continues, saying, “During the meeting, the two sides discussed the development of judicial cooperation and various issues, including the release of Iranian prisoners in Iraq. The head of the Judicial Office indicated that many of these individuals were imprisoned in Iraq due to their traveling illegally to Iraq with the intention of making a pilgrimage.” The news anchor added that Iran views Iraq as a neighbor and respects its legal system, voicing hope that those who visited the country for pilgrimage will be treated according to the relevant laws.
The head of the Iraqi judiciary is seen at the same press conference, alongside his Iranian counterpart; speaking about the Iranian ‘pilgrims’, he says: “We are seeking milder punishment for these people, and in this regard we have held talks with the president who also wants these individuals to be pardoned in order to pave the way for their return to Iran.”
The Iraqi judiciary chief adds that he has met with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, saying, “During this meeting, Rouhani talked about the pervasive problem of terrorism in the region, with the passionate reaction to the Iraqi election showing a decisive response by the people and the Iraqi government to the terrorists. President Rouhani added that terrorist activities in the region are being confronted by its nations, with the war between peaceful supporters and terrorists,” adding, “We should not allow enemies carrying out terrorist activities in the region to create division and ethnic and historical conflict between nations”.