Iran's Visible Hand in Terrorism

By Beichman, Arnold | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 14, 1996 | Go to article overview
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Iran's Visible Hand in Terrorism


Beichman, Arnold, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Iran's terrorist program has several targets. One target is Israel and the concomitant Middle East peace process. Western governments have just held a summit in Egypt to discuss measures which might be taken against Iran and other governmental supporters of terrorism. A second target is, of course, the United States. The third target is rarely mentioned: Tehran's war against Iranian exiles living in Western Europe.

Between the anti-shah revolution in 1979, there have been almost 200 "operations" against Iranian exiles who seek overthrow of the theocratic regime. "Operations" is a broad category comprising everything from assassinations to grenade-tossing, abductions and telephone threats.

This report comes from the National Council of Resistance of Iran headquartered in Paris. There is no way of independently confirming the report but past disclosures by the Council have been deemed fairly reliable.

The organized campaign against the exiles in Western Europe emanates from the Iranian Embassy in Bonn and is under the direction of a diplomat by the name of Vahid Attarian. Some 15,000 Iranian expatriates live in Germany.

According to the Council, agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence have threatened some 3,000 Iranian expatriates with reprisals if they do not denounce the Council.

There have been some actual killings by Iranian operatives in Germany. According to the Council, German prosecutors have established the personal involvement of the Mullah Ali Fallahian, minister of intelligence, in the 1992 assassination of four Iranian expatriates in Berlin.

Last Feb. 2, an Iranian was kidnaped near Bonn, Germany, by four Tehran agents, taken to what is called a "safe house," and tortured for two days. The victim, who managed to escape during a transfer to another location, was a former officer in an Iran Guards regiment who was seeking political asylum in Germany. The Council says it has supplied the German government with full details of the occurrence.

On Feb. 20, Zahra Rajabi, an official of the Resistance Council and a sympathizer, Abdol-Ali Moradi, were assassinated in Turkey.

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