Assassination Bares The Other Face Of `Moderate' Iran
BY using its ``influence'' to help gain the release of two American hostages, Iran is presenting to the world a more mildly moderate face. But there is no sign of moderation in the image the government of Iran presents to Iranians it considers enemies and traitors.
Specifically, there are indications of official Iranian complicity in the assassination of a prominent Iranian opposition spokesman in Switzerland last month.
Dr. Kazem Rajavi was the brother of Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the People's Mojahedin of Iran, which opposes the current Iranian regime. His car was cut off on a road outside Geneva and he was shot in the head at close range by gunmen who sped away and escaped.
Long exiled from his homeland, and out of favor with both the regimes of the Shah and the Ayatollah Khomeini, Dr. Rajavi had taught at the School of Law at Geneva University, where he held a professorship for nearly 10 years.
However he was vocal in the campaign against repression in Iran and represented the Mojahedin in various international assemblies. Each year he headed the Mojahedin delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He had been particularly outspoken against the report of a United Nations human rights investigator earlier this year which appeared to whitewash various Iranian atrocities. It was this opposition that may have cost him his life.
Associates say that he had been publicly warned by Siroos Nasseri, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, and had sought protection from the Swiss police. Ambassador Nasseri, who is said by Iranian opposition leaders to be a prot'eg'e of President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is accused by the Mojahedin of masterminding the assassination of Dr. Rajavi.
Also implicated in the murder are Mohammad Hossein Malaek, the Iranian ambassador to Switzerland, and Karim-Abadi, Iran's consul-general in Geneva. Malaek was one of the student leaders who seized the American embassy in Tehran in 1979 and is known to have interrogated many of the American hostages. Karim-Abadi is said by the Mojahedin to have served as interrogator and torturer in a number of Iranian political prisons before becoming a diplomat.