In 1988, Ahmad Khomeini, son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, conveyed a message to his father on behalf of Iran’s then-Chief Justice, Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili, who raised some ambiguities about Khomeini’s death decree and how it should be carried out. Khomeini’s answer was that his decree must be carried out as quickly as possible, wherever it is practicable.
The following is the full translation of the exchange:
My Pre-eminent Father, His Eminence the Imam,
With greetings, [Chief Justice] Ayatollah Moussavi Ardebili has telephoned to raise three ambiguities about Your Eminence’s recent decree on the Monafeqin [Mojahedin]:
1. Does the decree apply to those who have been in prison, who have already been tried and sentenced to death, but have not changed their stance and the verdict has not yet been carried out, or are those who have not yet been tried are also condemned to death?
2. Those Monafeqin [Mojahedin] prisoners who have received limited jail terms, and who have already served part of their terns, but continue to hold fast to their stance in support of the Monafeqin [Mojahedin], are they also condemned to death?
3. In reviewing the status of the Monafeqin [Mojahedin] prisoners, is it necessary to refer the cases of Monafeqin [Mojahedin] prisoners in counties that have an independent judicial organ to the provincial center, or can the county’s judicial authorities act autonomously?
Underneath the letter, Khomeini’s reply was written:
In the name of God, the Most High,
In all the above cases, if the person at any stage or at any time maintains his [or her] support for the Monafeqin [Mojahedin], the sentence is execution. Annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately. As regards the cases, use whichever criterion that speeds up the implementation of the verdict.
Ruhollah Moussavi Khomeini