Caption: On 17 September 1992, Iranian-Kurdish opposition leader Sadegh Sharafkandi and his assistants were assassinated at the Mykonos Greek restaurant in Berlin, Germany.
Twenty-nine years ago, this day, Tehran’s terror squad assassinated Iranian-Kurdish opposition leader Sadegh Sharafkandi and his assistants and translator at the Mykonos Greek restaurant in Berlin, Germany. Local authorities launched an investigation into the mafia-style attack, revealing the ayatollahs’ involvement in the crime.
During the trial, which began in October 1993, a German court found Kazem Darabi, an Iranian who worked as a grocer in Berlin, Abdolraham Banihashemi, an Iranian intelligence officer, and Lebanese citizen Abbas Hossein Rhayel, guilty of murder and sentenced them to life in prison. Two other Lebanese, Youssef Amin, and Mohamed Atris were convicted of being accessories to murder.
Furthermore, the court concluded that the terror attack was ordered by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, then-President Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, and then Parliament Speaker Ali-Akbar Nategh-Nouri.
In its April 10, 1997, ruling, the court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Ali Fallahian after declaring that he had ordered the assassination with knowledge of Khamenei and Rafsanjani. The trial led to diplomatic turmoil between the Islamic Republic regime and several European states for several months.
However, German authorities released Darabi and Rhayel in December 2007 despite international and domestic protests. At the time, Iranian observers severely condemned the German government’s unreasonable incentive to the world’s foremost state-sponsor of terrorism, which practically paved the path for further terror attacks on European soil in subsequent years.
Since then, German intelligence apparatus in various states such as Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia highlighted the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) espionage and surveying operations against dissidents, particularly the members and supporters of the main opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI).
Also, in its 2019 annual report on the Protection of the Constitution published on July 9, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsshutz (BFV), the Federal Republic of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, wrote about the Iranian government’s activities in Germany and other EU countries.
“Spying on and fighting the opposition movements and actors at home and abroad continue to represent the priority areas of work of the Iranian intelligence services. In addition, the facilities in western foreign countries collect information from the fields of politics, the military, and business and science,” read the report.
“As already stated in the Constitution Protection Report 2018, a diplomat accredited to the Iranian embassy in Vienna (Austria) was arrested in Germany on July 1, 2018, based on a European arrest warrant issued by the Belgian law enforcement authorities. As the full-time employee of the MOIS, he is accused of being the string-puller of a planned explosive attack at the annual meeting of the ‘Mojahedin-e Khalq’ (MEK) in Villepinte near Paris (France), on June 30, 2018.”
“In this context, the Iranian diplomat led a Belgian couple of Iranian descent as agents and commissioned them to carry out the crime. The suspect was extradited to Belgium in early October 2018. In addition to the MOIS, the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which also operates in secret, is active in Germany,” the report added.
In recent years, Iranian authorities have constantly targeted opposition groups across the globe. Since 2018, Tehran has intensified terror plots in various European countries, including Albania, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Moreover, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) carried out several missile attacks against Iranian Kurdish groups in Iraqi Kurdistan.
In September 2018, the IRGC carried out a deadly attack against the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) headquarters and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) via a dozen ballistic missiles, killing at least 16 people.
During the past week, the IRGC launched a series of drone attacks on Iranian-Kurdish groups in the Erbil governorate, north of Iraq. “Iranian warplanes, drones, and artillery targeted several locations in the Sidakan and Choman areas of Erbil province where several Kurdish opposition groups have small bases on September 9,” Rudaw reported.