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Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi leaves a conference hall after speaking at his first news conference in Tehran on June 21, 2021. Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.N.'s human rights investigator in Iran on Monday told Reuters he supports an independent probe into alleged state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi's role as Tehran deputy prosecutor.

The big picture: Javaid Rehman, a U.N. investigator, said that his office has received testimonies and evidence over the years relating to the mass executions that took place under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

  • “The scale of executions that we hear imply that it was a part of a policy that was being pursued ... It was not just one person,” Rehman told Reuters.
  • Amnesty International earlier this month called for Raisi to be investigated for his alleged role in "crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture."

Driving the news: Raisi is under U.S. sanctions for a past that the U.S. says includes involvement as one of four judges who oversaw the 1988 killings, per Reuters.

  • When asked about allegations Raisi said: “If a judge, a prosecutor has defended the security of the people, he should be praised ... I am proud to have defended human rights in every position I have held so far.”
  • Rehman is expected to be sworn in as president during the first week of August.

What they're saying: "I think it is time and it’s very important now that Mr. Raisi is the president [-elect] that we start investigating what happened in 1988 and the role of individuals," Rehman told Reuters.

  • "Otherwise, we will have very serious concerns about this president and the role, the reported role, he has played historically in those executions," Rehman said.

Go deeper: Conservative cleric Raisi elected Iran's president

Go deeper

Jun 28, 2021 - World

Biden assures Rivlin he won't allow Iran to go nuclear

Joe Biden meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in the Oval Office on Monday, June 28, 2021. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden assured Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during talks at the White House Monday evening that he won't allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon during his time in office.

Why it matters: The United States' already struggling effort to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was made more complicated by last week's election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.