On February 11, Turkish security forces detained Mohammad Reza Nader-Zadeh, a 43-year-old staff member of Iran’s consulate in Istanbul, for the murder of Iranian dissident Massoud Molavi Vardanjani on November 14, 2019.
Turkish authorities revealed that Nader-Zadeh had forged travel documents for the terror mastermind Ali Esfanjani and helped him to flee to Iran.
Molavi was a former intelligence officer before he moved to Turkey and launched a social media crusade to expose corruption involving Iranian officials and the Quds Force, a subsidiary of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that improves the Iranian regime’s terror attacks on foreign territories.
In this terror attack, Abdulvahhab Koçak, who was the lieutenant of fugitive Iranian drug lord Naji Sharifi Zindashti, aided Esfanjani. He and Koçak had met in a shopping mall and talked for about half an hour of the murder day. “Esfanjani met Molavi and the two started walking on the street when Koçak approached from behind and fired 11 shots at Vardanjani,” the Turkish Daily Sabah website wrote.
During their investigations, Turkish authorities discovered an Iranian regime’s network in this country, which implemented enormous terror and kidnap operations.
Only within 2019-20, this network assassinated Saeed Karimian, owner of a Persian-language TV station, in addition to Massoud Molavi. Furthermore, they lured another dissident Habib Chaab from Sweden to Istanbul by using a honeytrap. Then, Iran’s intelligence officers abducted and smuggled him to Iran, where he is exposed to torture and the death penalty.
The arrest of a so-called Iranian diplomat for murder activities sounded alarm bells about the Iranian regime’s exploitation of diplomatic privileges for terrorism. Last week, a top Vienna-based Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi was convicted to 20 years in prison for plotting a bomb plot against the Iranian Resistance’s annual gathering in June 2018.
Assadi had misused diplomatic status to smuggle and deliver explosive materials to his sleeper cell in Luxembourg. However, the European law enforcement succeeded to foil the plot at the last moment.
His accomplices, including a woman and two men, were sentenced to 15- to 18-year in prison. According to Belgian authorities, the bomb had made to target Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Earlier, in March 2018, a terror cell backed by the Iranian embassy in Albania had bombed against the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) gathering. Albanian authorities also foiled the plot and detained two so-called journalists.
The Albanian government later discovered that Iranian ambassador GholamHossein Mohammad-Nia and his aides were directly involved in the plot. In this respect, Tirana expelled Mohammad-Nia and several terrorists under diplomatic coverage since then.
These events apparently highlight the imperative of a firm approach toward the world’s number one state-terrorism. The international community should hold the Iranian government accountable and hamper Tehran from using diplomatic privileges for either terror attacks or improving its hostage-taking technique to escape justice.