News : Terrorism

An eyewitness account of Iranian regime's role in assassination of Prof. Kazem Rajavi

INU - The following is the English translation of parts of a program aired by Voice of America TV (Persian language) on the role of the Iranian regime's embassies in assassination of opposition members including Prof. Kazem Rajavi.

Prof. Kazem Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance's Swiss representative, was murdered by the regime's terrorists in Geneva in 1990.After the fall of the Shah, Dr. Rajavi was Iran's first Ambassador to the U.N. headquarters in Geneva. However, shortly after his appointment, he resigned his post in protest to the repressive policies and terrorist activities of the ruling clerics in Iran. He then intensified his campaign against mass executions, arbitrary arrests, and the medieval tortures exercised by the clerics in Tehran.

Since the formation of the National Council of Resistance in 1981, Dr. Rajavi had been representing the Iranian Resistance in many international assemblies, and every year headed the resistance delegation to the U.N. General Assembly in New York and the Commission of Human rights in Geneva. His constant and effective efforts, prompting international attention to the horrible situation in Iran, resulted in condemnation of the Iranian clerical despotism by the United Nations and a variety of other human rights organizations in the past few years.

He held six doctorate degrees in the fields of law, political science, and sociology from the universities of Paris and Geneva.

Voice of America Persian language TV

May 31, 2013

Program name: 'Safhe Akhar'

Interview with Darvish Ranjbar

TV host Mehdi Felahati: The guest of this part of our program is Mr. Darvish Ranjbar, a former cadre of International Relations at the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a former diplomat of the IRI in the European Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva....

During the years that you were on a mission aboard, during the years that you were in Geneva and Vienna, in 1989 and 1990, two important assassinations occurred that became known as the state terrors.. One was the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi in 1990 in Geneva. The question is, do you know if the IRI has been using its embassies and representative offices in different countries to carry out these state terrors? Please tell us about the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi.

Darvish Ranjbar: Regarding the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi, I should say first that Dr. Kazem Rajavi was active in the UN human rights commission.

In my opinion he was assassinated by (the Iranian regime's Intelligence Ministry) because he was very active in the UN human rights commission which is now the UN human rights council.

He had PhDs in law and also in political sciences and was fluent in English and French. He was familiar with the diplomatic principles and practices and would negotiate with delegations from the European Union, Canada, Australia and other countries and played an important role in the ratification of human rights resolutions against the Islamic Republic. For this reason he was targeted.

A couple months before his assassination when I was the permanent representative [in the human rights council], I noticed some people who didn’t look like followers of Hezbollah (Iranian regime's supporters). They shaved their beards carefully and used a tie whenever they went out and did not use embassy’s vehicles.

When I asked one of them which ministry he was from, because they usually came under the guise of temporary assignment, he said his name was Nouri and came from the ministry of commerce, but the ministry of commerce had no such relationship with UN agencies in Geneva.

TV host: But when you were there, were you the permanent representative of the Islamic Republic in the UN headquarters in Geneva?

Darvish Ranjbar: Yes, I was on a permanent assignment. In fact, as I mentioned a couple of months before the assassination [of Professor Kazem Rajavi], I noticed some people who didn't look like [the Iranian regime's] Hezbollah followers and realized that they were preparing the scene for the assassination. They put him [Professor Kazem Rajavi] under surveillance and followed him to find out how they could assassinate him.

However, I am only commenting on their appearances. I just want to say at this point that one day when I went to present my daily report to Mr. Sirous Nasseri [the Iranian regime's Ambassador at the time], I saw that a man who shaved his beard carefully and did not look like a [Iranian regime's] Hezbollah follower.

TV host: What was Nasseri’s position then?

Darvish Ranjbar: At the time Sirous Nasseri was ambassador of the Islamic Republic, the highest ranking representative.

TV host: Please continue.

Darvish Ranjbar: Yes, Mr. Nasseri was ambassador and when I went to give him the report to sign, I saw that man with a moustache and shaved beard who said he came from Tehran and was an employee of the Ministry of finance.

I saw him sitting on a chair stretching his legs and putting his feet on Mr. Nasseri’s desk.

You see he was feeling so comfortable because Mr. Nasseri was not important to him. When I saw that I realized he must be an important person in the system (the Iranian regime).

Anyway, maybe a few days later, one morning when I was coming to the agency as usual and from there to go to attend a UN disarmament convention, I saw the agency was surrounded by Swiss police. Because I was driving a car with diplomatic license plate they let me enter the place.

I tell you this in parenthesis that the difference between the embassy and the agency is that the agency is an office that works with international organizations on behalf of the country but the embassy is a center that works on bilateral relationships.

When I entered the agency, the atmosphere was very disturbed. There was a notice on the bulletin board saying that no one may go to the UN, and that there was going to be an emergency meeting at 10:00 a.m.

When the emergency meeting was held at 10 a.m., Mr. Nasseri, the ambassador, said that we all knew that the situation was now an emergency and that two people must remain on duty and I ordered the local employee to buy a set of clubs and place them near the back door in case the Mojahedin attacked the agency. I told them to defend themselves with clubs and also call Swiss police to come and help you.

Mr. Nasseri was extremely scared and frightened. He felt that this act of terror might lead to the same happening to him by the Mojahedin.

Meanwhile a local worker named Sasha from former Yugoslavia entered the conference room as the meeting finished.

Mr. Nasseri gave us security recommendations while wearing an bullet-proof vest and pistol.

When I left the room I realized that there were about 10 to 15 well-made clubs behind the agency’s back door so that the two people on shift duty every night could defend themselves.

In fact we, who were supposed to use our pen to work for our national interest, effectively became club wielding agents for their terrorist activities here.

TV host: Mr. Ranjbar, we don’t have much time, only two minutes left. Please tell us if you have any description of the people who came here to Geneva in the hotel or in the embassy and the agency, do you know their names?

Darvish Ranjbar: I don’t know their names and surely these people came with aliases. But according to the latest investigation, they were 9 people who arrived on service passports, which as you know are different to diplomatic passports.

They did not use any facilities of the agency and did not even come to the agency. When they came for the assassination, they went to a hotel and did not use the facilities of the embassy or the agency so as to not to leave any trace.

They rented a car and three people were responsible for the management of the assassination; One was Mr. Mehdi Akhondzadeh who rented a room in hotel Laleh in Geneva; Another one was Mr. Nasseri; and the third one was Mr. Karim-Abadi, Consulate General of the Islamic Republic in Geneva; the management of the assassination was with these three sides of the triangle.

Mr. Nasseri at the agency, Mr. Mehdi Akhondzadeh at Laleh hotel in Geneva, and Mr. Karim-Abadi as consulate general were in fact directing the assassination team. The assassination team did not use any facilities of the embassy because they didn’t want to leave any trace.