Iranians massacred in Mahshahr

Masked individuals (© Vahid Salemi/AP Images)
Iranian security forces like these are accused of killing unarmed protesters in November. (© Vahid Salemi/AP Images)

The Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) massacred as many as 100 people in Mahshahr in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official said.

Last month, the IRGC opened fire in the streets of Mahshahr, killing several protesters and sending many others fleeing for their lives, Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told reporters December 5. The IRGC pursued the protesters in trucks mounted with machine guns and surrounded them in a nearby marsh.

“They then sprayed the protesters with bullets,” Hook said. “Between the rounds of machine gun fire, the screams of the victims can be heard.”

Dense crowed of people sitting and standing in street (© Mostafa Shanechi/ISNA/AP Images)
People in Iran have recently protested against the regime’s policies. (© Mostafa Shanechi/ISNA/AP Images)

The Mahshahr massacre is just one of the examples of the Iranian regime’s violence against its own people that has been revealed with the restoration of the internet to the country after a nearly nationwide blackout.

The regime shut down the internet November 16 to mask its response to demonstrations that began with a hike in gas prices. The protests evolved into a widespread indictment against the regime’s decades of repression and economic mismanagement.

In response to the blackout, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo asked Iranians to provide videos of atrocities to the U.S. government. Amnesty International has reported that regime security forces killed civilians and even sought payment from victims’ families before returning the bodies of their loved ones.

In addition to the massacre at Mahshahr, Hook said, hundreds of protesters have been reported killed in and around Iran’s capital city of Tehran, including at least a dozen children, some as young as 13 years old.

“We are learning more and more about how the Iranian regime treats its own people,” he said. “As the truth is trickling out of Iran, it appears the regime could have murdered over a thousand Iranian citizens since the protests began.”

The regime also has detained at least 7,000 protesters, many of them in two prisons that Hook described as notorious for inhumane conditions and gross human rights violations, such as overcrowding, rodent infestations, and prisoner mistreatment, including rape.

“The United States calls for the immediate release of all protesters detained in prison, as well as all the political prisoners currently held by the regime,” Hook said. “Now is the time for all nations to stand with the Iranian people, diplomatically isolate the regime, and sanction those officials who are responsible for murdering innocent Iranians.”