Skip to comments.Iran's New Leader Suspected in '89 Attack
Posted on 07/02/2005 6:14:10 AM PDT by nuconvert
Iran's New Leader Suspected in '89 Attack
By WILLIAM J. Kole
July 2, 2005
Austrian authorities have classified documents suggesting that Iran's president-elect may have played a key role in the 1989 execution-style slayings of an Iranian Kurdish leader and two associates in Vienna, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Austria's Interior Ministry and the public prosecutor's office are investigating alleged evidence pointing to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's possible involvement in the attack, the daily Der Standard reported.
Officials were not immediately available to comment on the report Saturday.
The allegations against Ahmadinejad come as some of the Americans who were taken captive in Iran in 1979 implicate the newly elected leader in the hostage crisis. Radical Iranian students took over the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
In Austria, Green Party leader Peter Pilz told the newspaper he wants a warrant issued for the arrest of Ahmadinejad, who he alleged "stands under strong suspicion of having been involved."
Pilz accused the hard-liner of planning the murders of Kurdish resistance leader Abdul-Rahman Ghassemlou and two of his colleagues, all of whom were shot in the head at a Vienna apartment by Iranian commandos on July 13, 1989. A fourth victim survived the attack and was able to crawl out of the apartment and alert Austrian authorities.
Pilz told Der Standard his source was an unidentified Iranian journalist living in France, who he said also claimed to have evidence that former Iranian President Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani gave the order to have Ghassemlou killed. He did not elaborate.
He said Ahmadinejad, then a high-ranking member of Iran's elite revolutionary guard, allegedly traveled to the Austrian capital a few days before the slayings to deliver the murder weapons to the commandos who carried out the attack. Austrian authorities have said the gunmen apparently entered the alpine country with Iranian diplomatic passports.
Pilz said the journalist was contacted in 2001 by one of the alleged gunmen, described as a former revolutionary guard who has since died in a drowning accident.
"The descriptions of the informant contained details of the scene (of the slayings) which could only have come from someone who was there," Pilz said. He said the gunman's account, which included "very convincing" evidence implicating Ahmadinejad, was turned over at the time to Austria's federal counterterrorism agency.
Prague's Pravo newspaper reported similar allegations on Friday, quoting Hossein Jazdan Panah, an exiled Kurdish opposition member, as saying Ahmadinejad "was in charge of hit operations abroad" at the time of the Vienna killings.
Ghassemlou, the gunmen's principle target, was secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan. His delegation had been in Vienna for secret talks with envoys from the Tehran regime.
The gunmen managed to slip out of Austria after the attack and were never arrested.
Pilz's Green Party pressed unsuccessfully in 1997 for the creation of a special parliamentary inquiry to look into a possible cover-up by Austrian officials, who it believes bowed to pressure from Iran's government and allowed the commandos to leave Austria, allegedly providing them a police escort to Vienna's international airport. Those allegations have never been proven.
On Friday, the United States said it would not be surprised if Ahmadinejad turns out to have been a main participant in the holding of American hostages in Tehran a quarter-century ago, although the Bush administration cautioned that it was still trying to determine the facts.
Five former U.S. hostages who saw Ahmadinejad in photographs or on television said they believe he was among the hostage-takers. One said he was interrogated by Ahmadinejad.
"I don't think it should be surprising to anyone if it turns out to be true," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in Washington. "This is a regime run by an unelected few that only allowed its hand-picked candidates to run in an election that was well short of free and fair."
Bill Clinton stated that Ahmadinejad's behavior may be just youthful excess and at any rate it depends on what one's interpretation of assassinate is.
Look closely. A real "Great Satan" leads Iran.
"Read his biography"
I read it before he became the president. None of this is news to me. He's an avid dissident hunter and murderer.
I've been to that site, thanx.
Please be advised that 'Iran Focus' is a front group/website for MEK, a State Dept. FTO. (Foreign Terrorist Org.)
They have their own agenda against the Iranian regime, and the information on their site is usually exaggerated and can be false. They are the ones that first posted the suspected (and incorrect) Ahmadinejad photo, though it did lead to people observing the other man in the photo, suspected of being Ahmadinejad.
thanks - some of the referring sites were okay,m I didn't flip to all -
did you see the link to the sites about the
"Islamic Council Demands a seat on the UN's permanent Council"?
'Since Muslims constitute 20% of the world's population, they should be accorded a seat....'
This guy gets around.
Yes, I've read about that. It's CAIR's big issue.
I agree. I'm sure there were some irregularities, but I don't think it was fixed. It's kind of hard to fake a landslide like that. The fact that there isn't a national uproar leads me to think that's it's a legitimate result.
Saddam won in a landslide, and there was no uproar...
But there were consequences to be had for voting against Saddam.
"was the election fixed? I haven't heard any evidence that it was"
And the elections are never fixed in Cuba.
Read more. Go thru the archives here and on Google. Listen to what Condi Rice and the President have said. The only people saying it wasn't fixed, are Khamenei and his devout followers, Castro, Chavez, ..... I think you get the picture.
He looks exactly like an Irainian who was in my Thermo Class in 1980. I'm certain it was him.
Saddam never had an opponent and won 99%. These elections though imperfect were open. Khatami's win in 1997 was a big shock, so the claims of fraud are weakened here. If the Iranian people are going to accept the election, as they have done so, then your indignity regarding the result is misplaced.
"Saddam never had an opponent and won 99%."
That's the point.
"These elections though imperfect were open. "
Oh yeah, Iran, big shining example of 'democracy.'
"Khatami's win in 1997 was a big shock, so the claims of fraud are weakened here."
Just like the dead voting out west makes it unlikely to happen again.
"If the Iranian people are going to accept the election, as they have done so, then your indignity regarding the result is misplaced."
The Iranian students spoke up for more freedoms, and got crushed.
YOUR attempts to 'ho-hum' things are more than a disgrace.
Iranian student blogs have been shut down, students have been arrested, and guess what, people have died over there.
What is your agenda?
A hardline backlash is not a surprising result, considering that we referred to them as members of the Axis of Evil and are harping on them on the nuclear issue. Watch what you wish for regarding democracy. The Iranian people overhelmingly want to have nukes.
If you seriously think that "Death to America" Iran is capable of honest elections when ruled by a thugocracy, you are in pretty bad shape.
Interesting that you could think it through about Khadaffi.
Apparently in your eyes Iran is no longer crazy and not on the list of bad guys, all over an election that has a hard liner in office.
Why are you thinking of Iran through Carter's eyes?
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