Open Letter from the Families of Iranian Victims of Terrorism to the UN Secretary-General:
Mr. Antonio Guterres,
Respected Secretary-General of the United Nations,
On Thursday August 21, the international community observed the second international day to honor the victims and survivors of acts of terrorism.
Although acts of violence and terror are largely born out of political objectives by some groups or governments, unfortunately, as you have stated, the trauma from those acts causes lasting damage to families, communities and nations as a whole.
These peoples become victims of hostile and hegemonic policies of some governments and often remain forgotten.
As the families of Iranian victims of terror, we appreciate your attention to the victims of violence and terrorism by designating August 21 as the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism.
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
As you know, Iran has been one of the biggest victims of terrorism in the world during the last four decades. With more than 17,000 victims of terror, our country has been among the main victims of the horrific phenomenon of terrorism.
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, more than 30 terrorist groups, a considerable part of whom have been supported by some regional states and international powers, have murdered Iranian citizens in terror attacks with all sorts of lethal tools, leading to the killing of more than 17,000 Iranian citizens.
Almost four decades after those terrorist acts, these groups and their foreign supporters have not abandoned their terrorist crimes, and we are still witnessing the sabotage and terrorist operations committed by these groups in different parts of the country. The terrorist incident in Ahwaz on September 22, 2018, in which 25 civilians were killed and 70 others were wounded, has only been one out of the many terrorist attacks in Iran during the last year.
Similar terrorist incidents in Sistan and Baluchistan province, terrorist attacks by subversive and terrorist groups in the northwestern areas of the country and the constant victimization of Iranian citizens and military forces should also be added to the series of ongoing terrorist incidents in Iran during the past year.
Your Excellency Mr. Guterres,
This volume of terror victims in Iran has its roots in some countries’ support for domestic terrorist groups in Iran.
These groups have offices and bases in Western countries, in which they freely operate and lobby with Western parliamentarians and from there they direct their actions against innocent civilians inside Iran. Unfortunately, Western political authorities have turned a blind eye to the activities of these terrorists and, in practice, have been involved in their subversive and terrorist plans.
In addition to supporting violence, unrest and terrorism in Iran, terrorist groups such as Harakat al-Nizal and other similar separatist groups, are free to flaunt their activities in UN member states like Denmark and the Netherlands, where they deploy their plots without the slightest reaction from their host governments.
The PJAK terrorist group, whose leaders are based in Europe, too, is engaged in constantly harassing of civilians in border and rural areas of Iran and clashing with border forces, in which a significant number of Iranian border guards have been killed.
In the case of Takfiri terrorist groups, although their activities have been largely restricted by the Iranian armed forces, they are still practicing their blind or targeted operations now and then. These groups are supported or led by some countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and are unfortunately increasingly spreading religious hatred among followers of various religions in Iran.
Alongside these groups, there is the Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MKO, a.k.a MEK, PMOI, NCRI) which is responsible for the killing of 12000 out of 17000 Iranian victims of terrorism. Fully supported by Saddam Hussein's dictatorial regime until 2003, the infamous MKO has carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Iranian, Iraqi and American civilians and is currently spreading hatred and forming violent groups in Iran by promoting violence in its Media outlets. The MKO, which had been listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European countries for many years, is now supported by these states and is free to carry out its activities in their territories due to West's political disputes with Iran.
Despite dozens of reports published by Western think-tanks and security agencies warning against the MKO, Europeans and the United States have neglected such reports and even supported the group instead of limiting their activities.
It is unfortunate that the MKO has been able to gain support from some US officials to the extent that they are allowed to hold rallies in front of the White House. This will remain a black spot on the record of the United States of America and all supporters of this group. What will these governments have to say about the thousands of peoples assassinated by this group, according to the dozens of reports published by their official entities?
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
Unfortunately, dealing with the phenomenon of terrorism has become a matter of taste and politics. Hostile and hegemonic policies of some powers have led to ignoring the rights of victims of terrorism around the world. To this, one should add ethnic and religious hate-mongering, which sheds more blood. Undoubtedly, if the UN member states had been acting fairly and impartially against terrorism in different parts of the world, we would not have witnessed a wave of religious violence around the world.
We hope that the United Nations will be able to take serious actions to reduce the causes of violence and terrorism in the world, far from political motivations and without being influenced by the great powers.
Habilian Association (Families of the Iranian Victims of Terrorism)
August 21, 2019