By Iran Probe staff
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Former Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) Basij chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi is one of the closest colleagues of Hasheminezhad, head of Iran’s Habilian Association, taking part in his sessions focusing on Iranian dissidents and delivering speeches especially against the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). He is known to advocate repressive measures targeting the MEK.
As head of the Basij, he played a direct role in killing and torturing those opposing the Iranian regime. On February 23rd, 2011 the U.S. blacklisted Naqdi for committing numerous crimes against Iranian dissidents. He is currently banned from entering the U.S.
The European Union made a similar decision on April 13th, 2011, forbidding him from entering Member States for his role in widespread and severe human rights violations against Iranian citizens. The EU announced all his assets in Europe will be confiscated. The EU wrote in this regard:
“As commander of the IRGC’s Basij Forces, Naqdi was responsible for or complicit in Basij abuses occurring in late 2009, including the violent response to the December 2009 Ashura Day protests, which resulted in up to 15 deaths and the arrests of hundreds of protesters. Prior to his appointment as commander of the Basij in October 2009, Naqdi was the head of the intelligence unit of the Basij responsible for interrogating those arrested during the postelection crackdown.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sacked Naqdi from this role in December 2016 considering the general abhorrence people have about Naqdi and in a move aimed at decreasing public hatred regarding the IRGC and Basij. Khamenei then appointed him as head of the IRGC Cultural and Social Department. However, Naqdi remains a close Habilian colleague and actively takes part in their sessions.
Naqgi (middle), blacklisted by the U.S. and Europe for his atrocious human rights violations, is a close Habilian colleague taking part in most of their sessions next to Hasheminezhad (left) to deliver speeches against the PMOI/MEK and encouraging their crackdown.