Feb. 9, 2009

The Assassination Files

Top Iranian Leaders Ordered Political Murders, Documents show

An explosive Iranian government dossier leaked to a domestic opposition group reveals that Iran’s most senior official, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, personally ordered the murder of hundreds of opposition activists and intellectuals, and that then-president Mohammad Khatami – considered a “moderate” by the West – was actively engaged in covering up the regime’s deadly deeds.

Part 1
Part 2.
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Summary of the MPG report

Section One
preface by the MPG emphasizing the important aspects of the files:

1- The new generation must strongly distance itself from the existing tradition among opposition groups of ONLY defending those victims of the IRI who are close to their own ideology or type of activities.

2- One must keep in mind that the assassinations in question  were just a small part of a pattern of assassinations which took the lives of hundreds , and a yet smaller part of massive campaigns of executions and mass killings of opponents since the 1979 establishment of the Islamic Republic.

3- Assassination has been a long time policy of the Islamic Republic as a method of terrorizing and containment of all the rest of individuals associated with the targeted group. This has included almost all political opposition groups, religious minorities, ethnicities and etc

4- The regime always conducts its strikes in a focused way, leading others to think they are safe, until their turn comes. Also the opposition or even those non-political groips being attacked, not only refuse to defend those under attack but sometimes consider it a convenient event for them, watching their rivals being eliminated by someone else.

5- There has been no period of time, during which the regime has been idle and has NOT been assassinating some targeted group. This includes today.

6- The violent assassination wrath of the regime has not been based upon the type of activity or ideology of the targeted group. Reformists as well as regime opponents have been assassinated,  violent and armed opponents as well as non-violent writers and thinkers or activists have been killed. Communists, nationalists, different Islamic activists, ethnic activists and etc.... have also been included in the assassination campaigns. Even political leaders in the act of negotiating peace and reconciliaton with the regime have been assassinated.

7- The files also show clearly that assassinating opponents or potential opponents as well as  simply different people (non-regime people and groups) has been a routine POLICY of the regime to such an extent that each year the Intelligence Ministry mandates a certain number of assassinations in their annual program, a quota if you will, without specifying names  or circumstances, which will be filled in or chosen by the operatives and departments in the course of the coming year.

8- On the other hand, the files reveal many weak points of the regime, in particular the issue of their fear of widespread and quick publicity domestically as well as internationally. Therefore the MPG emphasizes the need to publicize all regime atrocities and all secrets remaining in the possession of the public in a quick and timely manner.  Saving lives should be at the forefront of everyone's concern, taking precedence over smaller and more selfish agendas,  knowing that each public expose' of regime atrocities will not only stop similar actions for a time , not only alerts other potential victims of the predator's prowl but will also trigger internal and factional arguments or infighting within the regime, giving an advantageous position to the opponents.

7- The best revenge is saving lives. The MPG discourages angry or victimized individuals from taking  personal revenge upon agents and assassins whose names are being published and encourages them to work hard in documenting atrocities as well as gathering evidence for future national courtroom trials and for historical awareness of the nation.

Section 2
contains  some key quotations from credible sources who had access to the original files. These quotations from among many other references to the files give CREDIBILITY to the existing  MPG files (which are copies of the very same ones these authorities are referring to ) and clarify different issues surrounding the two year investigations and public outrage around the issues of the assassinations.

The people quoted include Abdol-Kareem Lahiji, a long time human rights lawyer residing in Paris, France who has followed the case from the beginning, Shirin Ebadi who as a lawyer represented some of the families and had first hand access to the files and who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prise in 2003 (not in relation to these assassinations), and three children of assassinated personalities who also had direct access to the files and to the case.

Here are some of the commens and quotations:

"... considering the religious-ideologic nature of the islamic republic of Iran as well as the structure and chain of command within the Intelligence Ministry, none of these assassinations could have taken place  not only witout religious edicts and orders from the Minister of Intelligence [ himself a religious judge-ruler : one who can declare rulings and edicts or Fatwas] or other authorized religious judges-rulers but  also without authorization by the helmsmen of the internal and external security policies of the country [ a reference to the highest authorities including the Supreme Leader]"---------- Lahiji,  2005

"...Eversince the first day, I told my friend and colleague Mrs. Shirin Ebadi and also my dear ones Parastoo and Arash Forouhar [daughter and son of assassinated leaders Dariush Forouhar and Parvaneh Eskandari] not to delude themselves; the islamic Republic is not the kind of regime that would actually punish the perpetrators of these murders. Indeed we saw that unfortunately I was right. They convicted some agents to s few years in jail and never even identified the ones who ordered these assassinations, let alone indicting them; therefore, we are still after justice until such a day when  the pursuit of justice will be possible. One should not allow the memory of these atrocities be wiped ot from people's minds until that day."-------------- Lahiji,  2005

Shirin Ebadi:

"... my statements are documented and  based upon the contents of the [ assassination] files which contents were read by myself and my colleagues [other lawyers]. According to these files and the interrogations that took place from the accused [assassins] I must say that the murders were perfectly syatemmatic [organized] and the claims about murders having taken place by a bunch of rogue [elements] were not acceptable. Those wo committed the murders were not insane people who decided one morning  who to kill; they were part of special operations and had been trained for this job. [Some] of these accused were surprised during their interrogations,[saying] "why are we being tried" and telling the court  "four hundred special operations were done by us";  indeed they didn't know ahy they were being prosecuted since they had been employed for the very same job [of killing]. Forouhar's killer has said during his interrogation " go and look at my pay check stub... that night you paid me for overtime"   [this assassination took place after hours during late night hours]".----------- Shirin Ebadi , 2008

Parastoo Forouhar (the daughter):
" [President] Khatami abandoned us. Mr.Khatami abandoned us when it was necessary to persevere and involved imself in back door dealings with the other side ..... the reformists used this issue for their  competition against the rival political party...[Khatami]  paid lip service  but when actual  protection was needed by us he engaged in behind the scened dealin with the opposite side [ Khameneii etc...].------------------- Parastoo, 2008

Section 3:
explains some of the more important expressions, professionsal and security special terms and references which may not be understoood by the average reader. These include confusing  titles of some Ministry departments  as well as using words such as "elimination" for actual murders, or "specialist" for persons specializing in stabbing, asphyxiation by rope and etc..........

Section 4:
Beginning with a typically terrorizing quotation from Ayatullah Khomeini in 1979, prescribing the need to "break all the pens, closing all corrupt publications, outlawing all corrupt political parties.... and erecting gallows in major squares...." The MPG reveals the original source of the ideology of assassinations. Many other quotes from regime leaders to assassin's confessions also reveal the following:
a- that Khameneii was the highest authority giving the Fatwa of these assassinations in 1998,
b-that Khameneii and Khatami had agreed in a meeting to end the investigations and close the proceedings in a manner that would not hurt high officials and the Islamic regime while sacrificing some of their own agents.
c-That assassinations were routine, ongoing for years, according to Policy and even mandated by an annual program of the Intelligence Ministry in general and etc....
d- that the Intelligence Ministry was particularly alarmed at that time by a small  and burgeoning rise of secular nationalism and the recent revival of confidence among a small group of writers and intellectuals.
e- that the Minister of Intelligence considered the above events as a "repeat" of Western governments' activities in Iran against the Shah which began by Carter's forcing certain easing of regulations onto the monarch and the Germans holding ten nights of free poetry recitals at the Goethe Institute in Iran which sparked the 1979 revolution.  This is particularly interesting because it shows that the Islamic leaders themselves view their victory in 1979 revolution as the culmination of the original velvet revolution and are still very sensitive to the repeat of same process that toppled the Shah and brought the Mullahs to power, this time against the Mullahs.

Section 5:
The first list of names, published for the first time, of  high ranking MOIS officials and their assassination team members and "specialists" who conducted the four murders selected for prosecution in 2000. These are 19 names, with brief identification details, nicknames and other fictitious names used by them in different venues. The names of the Minister of Intelligence, President Khatami and Supreme leader Khameneii are also added because of their direct roles in either initiating , covering up and ultimate responsibility in the assassinations.

Section 6:
The second list of names, published for the first time of  15 people who had been contacted for conducting the next batch of assassinations, were aware of the recent ones but except for two, did not actually participate in the four publicized killings. These people include MOIS officials, regular police officials and certain sources and informers associated with the MOIS.

Section 7:
The third list of names, published for the first time of ten people who placed bail or personal guarantees for the release of the detained assassins. Most of these people are either MOIS or Revolutionary Guards officials, some are family members.

Section 8:
The fourth list of names, published for the first time of 25 people whose names were mentioned in the files, include names of high officials of different departments of the MOIS as well as other officials and even two secret agents who had been suspected of some involvement in the assassinations and etc.....

Section 9:
The fifth list  also previously unpublished, include about 8 names of key officials within the Military Court in charge of the show trials, Khatami representatives in the investigations mostly active in reducing factional dispute and ending the trials in a pre arranged and convenient way, Military Court interrogators from both factions on loan from the MOIS (!!!)

Section 10:
This interesting section includes a selection of  terrifying confessions by the accused assassins detailing motivations, duties, MOIS operating methods, religious fanaticism and details of the actual killings. Many of the accused also insist upon the legality and religious righteousness of their deeds, saying that these duties are included within their employment contracts and they had been assassinating people for a long time without being even questioned, and indeed being rewarded by official bonuses for it.

Section 11:
Complete and detailed confessions of Mehrdad Aalikhani, the MOIS official commanding the operations of killing the four dissidents. These include harrowing details of selecting, kidnapping and killing of the victims. For the first time it is revealed that the very same people were involved in numerous other sanctioned killings and etc. These also confirm and detail many other issues discussed previously in the MPG files and analyses above.

Section 12 :

Partial and detailed confessions  of Mostafa Kazemi (Moussavi), an infamous IRGC and MOIS official for 18 years, suspected of having killed hundreds in the province of Fars and then in Tehran, now on trial for being the Head of the operations , above Aalikhani, and under the Minister of Intelligence.  Kazemi who did not participate in the operations directly, deals mainly in the higher echelon decision making leading to these specific assassinations. His statements mention Khameneii's involvement, detail the direct and sadistic involvement of the Minister of Intelligence ( Mullah Dorri Najaf-abadi), detail the political and religious motivations behind the assassinations, selection of subjects, the feeding frenzy atmosphere which was leading to the imminent mass killings of many writers and dissidents and references to other simultaneous assassination which were for some reason completely ignored in the show trials.
Kazemi's statements also reveal the jovial and banal attitudes of the decision makers as well as many aspects of the MOIS internal operations.

Select Quotes from the 1998 Assassination Files

[Selected, Translated, with comments by Marze por Gohar (MPG)

A-    Relevant Names:

1-    Said Emami ( AKA Eslami)
Accused of being the master mind behind the assassinations, murdered by “suicide” in jail.
US educated, aerospace engineering at Oklahoma … University (OCU ?) 1976- 1982?
IRI informant in the US, IRI intelligence agent in Iran in 1982 (the old SAVAMA)
Sent to New York in 1984 as the IRI Intelligence Station Chief
Back in Iran in 1985
Officially joins the new Ministry of Intelligence, rises to the post of  Director of  the US-Europe Department .
Appointed to the post of  Deputy of Counter Espionage , Ministry of Intelligence in 1988
DEPUTY Minister in Research and Analysis in 1990
Deputy Minister in Security in 1991
Last Position:  National Security Advisor to Minister of Intelligence in 1997 ( During Khatami and during the 1998 assassinations).

MPG Note:  Said Emami’s file was not included in the general  assassination files presumably because of its immense sensitivity and also because he was dead by the time the military court was being convened. HOWEVER,  part of his interrogation confessions were shown to certain  factional leaders inside Iran (pro and anti-Emami)  and to people among the political factions who subsequently leaked parts of it to journalists inside Iran and abroad (including Nourizadeh) who published certain highlights of the confessions, generally favoring the Khatami  agenda.  Certain references to Emami have been made within other files ( published by the MPG).

2-    (Hojjat ol- Eslam) Ghorban-Ali Dorri Najaf- Abaadi,   AKA: DORRI
Minister of Intelligence  appointed by Khatami and during the 1998 assassinations in question.
Hojjat oll-Eslam is a religious position just under Ayatollah. Hojjat ol-Eslam has the power to issue Fatwa. Jurist Lahiji believes that the IRI always assigns a Mullah with the power of Fatwa to the post of Minister of Intelligence, so that he can easily order assassinations which would also  satisfy Islamic rules and legitimacy.

3-    (Seyyed) Mostafa Kazemi (AKA Moussavi, AKA Moussavi Shirazi)
Accused of having commanded and directed the 1998 assassinations of four victims and condemned to death (knowing that a “Seyyeed” which is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad cannot be killed and that the families of the victims would not dare insist on that penalty). Kazemi’s sentence was officially commuted to life and then he was released at an unknown date. He is said to have been “abroad” until recently.
Kazemi was serving directly under Minister Dorri , received assassination orders from him and organized the assassination teams and supervised them along till the end, reporting back to the Minister.
First known position: IRGC Intelligence in the early 1980s.
Chief of  Department General of Intelligence in Fars Province ( division of Ministry of Intelligence)
Head of the MOIS Department of “Eclecticism” (anti MEK Department)
Last Position : Assisant Deputy of Minister of Intelligence in Security Affairs (in Tehran), appointed by Khatami, under Dorri. In charge of Research and Analysis which despite its innocent sounding academic title,  is an important post directing the policies and programs of the MOIS against different targets at different times.
He boasts that he had been at the service of the regime for 18 years (since 1980) as an interrogator, intelligence official, assassin and etc…..

MPG NOTE: Kazemi is said to have been responsible for many assassinations of Bahaiis, leftists and MEK members in Fars and then in Tehran. Kazemi’s lengthy confession and some of his interrogation statements have been made available by the MPG.

4-    Mehrdad Aali-khani  (AKA:  Sadegh Mahdavi, Sadegh, Agha Sadegh  and etc…)
This is different than Ali-khani
Accused of directing the four 1998 assassinations in question, convicted and condemned to “death”, later commuted to life, following a “pardon” by the terrified families of victims. He is reportedly still in jail (Gohar Prison, West of Tehran) assisting in the torture of prisoners. One recent political prisoners’ letter identifies him as the actual killer of journalist   Zahra Kazemi in 2008. Such a model prisoner(!) is usually treated well and we doubt if he actually stays in jail as a prisoner anymore.
Position during the 1998 assassinations: Head of the MOIS Department of the “New Left”.
Aali-khani, who also had long experience in assassinations, directly participated in the 19989 assassinations, as the chief of the operations. He was directly under Kazemi and above the assassination teams. Reporting back to Kazemi and was present during several meetings with Minister Dorri  who consulted him on the intellectuals and inquired about specific ones who had to be killed- there were 15 of them marked for assassination.

MPG has published four of his mostly lengthy confession statements

B-    Notes on Terms and References:

1-    The  term “AGHAA” literally means “Master” and is usually used commonly as “Mister” ; however, among devout Muslims the term “Aghaa”  without a specific name following  is a reference to their respected Mullah.  Now, among the IRI officialdom who are mostly “Aghaa”s in their own right, the term “Aghaa” is EXCLUSIVELY used for the biggest Master of all, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameneii.

2-    The term “Haji of Haj-…”  which literally means “pilgrim” to Mecca can be used as a title for any pilgrim and even any respected person (who has presumably been to Mecca, otherwise how can he possibly be a respectful man !!!) . Within the IRI culture as well as  inside the MOIS, “Haji” is  sometimes used for the Minister or for the immediate official above the person who is referring to him in a conversation. In the Assassination files, Haji has been sometimes used for Dorri (the MOIS Minister) and sometimes for Kazemi.

3-    The term “Seyyed” meaning the descendant of Muhammad the Prophet, is normally used for all “Seyyeds” but within a certain circle the term will automatically refer to the most respected Seyyed present or from among subjects of conversation. Within the Assassination files this term has been used to denote President Khatami and oerhaps others in different places.

C-    Notes on the Assassination Files:

1-    Even though the final confessions dated 2000 AD, have certainly been heavily edited, they still contain statements that are not only detrimental to the person himself, but to the regime, as far as their brutality, banality, the normal and legal course of events, the existence of experienced assassination teams employed by the MOIS, their intolerant view of even harmless dissidents and etc…
2-    In addition to the final confessions, there are numerous earlier confessions that are very revealing and in fact not so much different than the final edited versions.
3-    The  norm in IRI confessions is that the interrogator will tell the accused to re-write something, to delete a certain name  or add another. In spite of all this, even the final confessions clearly show the defiance of the accused assassins (knowing they had some support in the higher up echelons) and in direct contradiction with the final court statements as well as the regime’s media statements of the time.
4-    There are numerous examples of careless redactions or lack thereof not only within the confession files but also among dozens of pages of police reports or letters attached to the files, some noted “confidential”, between concerned MOIS departments, the police and the court. As an example there are names of Intelligence agents, possibly not related to the assassinations at all, which nevertheless appear among the miscellaneous letters attached to the files, sometimes  from family members inquiring about their missing husbands etc…
5-    All of the above  demonstrate that the files as a whole are much more virgin than your average intelligence related file, perhaps caused by the factional disputes or the sheer volume of the files compiled during a chaotic procedure lasting two years.

D-    Motives and Orders by High Officials for Assassinations

MPG Note:   As we shall see further below, the IRI had always been assassinating, executing and even massacring its opponents. The subject of the interrogations, confessions and proceedings HERE however, was the SPECIFIC and most recent round of assassinations which had become dangerously public and had shaken the confidence of the new administration that feared some kind of coup by their more fanatic brethren, the IRGC, the MOIS structure and etc…

“ … Following the 2nd Khordad (the Khatami era which diverted from the extreme controls of the Rafsanjani era and before) we noticed that the danger which we had neutralized by eliminating opposition leaders outside the country,  was now threatening us within our own home (the country) This was the reason why the physical elimination of personalities inside the country was planned and implemented.” Said Emami,  Adviser to the Minister of Intelligence in Security Affairs,  on the motivation behind the most recent assassinations in 1998, during his confessions in 1999.

“…After that reception at the home of the German  Cultural Attache’ (a reception for Iranian poets and writers in 1998) we understood that the problem is much deeper and if we don’t act quickly, the  story of the Shah’s time would be repeated. There too, the events (the 1979 revolution) began following a few poetry reading nights at the German Embassy ( referring to ten nights of poetry reading in November 1977 at the Goethe Institute, the first such free gathering in over a decade, and the first open sign of Western support for liberalization during the Shah).”  Said Emami, see above.

“ Who says this Forouhar and his wife are just two people (opposition figures and leaders), they hold meetings every day,  they incite students  who go to see them every day, they are interviewed by the BBC radio, the (Voice of) America radio, the Israel radio. Every day they issue statements and newsletters, they say whatever they want, why don’t you do something to them? Do something … why don’t you hit Forouhar? Hit him!” Minister of Intelligence, Dorri, to Kazami his Assistant Deputy and a long time assassination operative in the presence of Aali-Khani another official and assassination expert in 1998, according to Kazemi and separately by Aali-Khani.

“ … about the activities of the  “Writers Association”, Mr.Dorri  (Minister of Intelligence)  asked ‘how many people are they’?  Mr.Sadegh (Aali-Khani , head of the “New Left” Department of the Ministry of Intelligence) said   ‘altogether they are fifty but their main people are fifteen who always attend the meetings’;  Mr. Dorri said  ‘gather them all (the fifteen) in one place and hit them with one (machine gun) burst, place a bomb under them, hit them on their heads, throw a grenade in their midst, just make sure they are all dead… ” Following a report  afterwards that  the Writers Association doesn’t hold meetings too often anymore, the Minister orders the following  “ One or two of hem will have to be hit so that all he rest will gather together for giving a statement and that is when the operation must be implemented on them“ Kazemi, on Dorri’s ordering of the writers assassinations of 1998

“…  Just like all previous meetings held for elimination cases, the specifics of this case was discussed. There was a question (bothering) me which I asked Mr. Moussavi ( real name Kazemi), about who had ordered these cases to which he answered   “ … (deleted) knows about it and the Supreme Leader (Khamenei) has issued the religious Fatwa, but don’t mention this anywhere since if something goes wrong with the (elimination) case, it will be a great blow against the Institution of the Islamic Guardianship ( the definition of Khameneii’s post and position) and the regime as a whole…”.  Ali Ahmadi, a member of the assassination team (AKA Naazeri, AKA Hamidi) in his 1998 confessions.

“ The Article 90 Commission of the Islamic ‘Parliament’ in Iran, which is authorized by the Constitution to investigate all the three branches of power, began an investigation in regards to the 1998 assassinations in August 2000 but was not able to complete it. According to Mr. Ansari Raad, the head of this commission : ‘ While investigating this dossier, we encountered personalities whom we didn’t have the power to deal with them; therefore the investigation was abandoned’ ”.  Human Rights Watch, December 2005
MPG Note: The only person and/or office who the Article 90 Commission cannot investigate is the Supreme Leader and his Institution.

“… Aghaa (The Master i.e. The Supreme Leader) in a visit with Mr. (illegible) and Mr. Dorri (Minister of Intelligence) had said that this (magazine) smells like foreigners….”.  Kazemi about the magazine “Industry and Development”, published by Mr. Pouyandeh, who was assassinated soon after the Aghaa meeting, by Dorri’s specific order.
MPG Note: The fact that Dorri had taken this “dangerous” magazine that smelled like foreigners(!!!) to the Supreme leader, also indicates a connection between the assassinations and the Leader.

Mr. Dorri said:  “ Mr.Moussavi (Kazemi)! These Americans have attacked Iraq; can’t we plan something and implement  an operation on them? (presumably against the MEK opposition group with camps inside Iraq).  I said, (in the past) we had followed this issue (since Kazemi was the head on the anti-MEK Department at MOIS before) ; the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces set up a meeting and specified a series of (possible) operations under such circumstances then they sent it to the Aghaa (the Master, i.e. the Supreme Leader,  Khameneii) and he benevolently confirmed,  so right now Mr. Esmaeeli (Director General of the Anti-MEK Branch) should follow up .” Kazemi’s confessions, on meetings with the Minister of Intelligence in late 1998, after the original assassinations, when the publicity and the internal pressures had led the Minister to close down the operations in Tehran, encouraging assassinations in the provinces and against the MEK inside Iraq.
MPG Note: This is a clear example of the Supreme Leader giving the order for assassinations. If his order was needed for terrorist attacks against a clearly armed opposition group outside the country, inside a lawless and chaotic country of Iraq under Saddam,  then it would be even more important to obtain his approval for problematic operations INSIDE the Capital, against un-armed groups, activists and leaders.

“The Minister (Intelligence Minister, Dorri) said that “Aghaa (the Supreme Leader, Khameneii) had spoken with Mr. Khatami (President of IRI). Name one or two people (patsies to be sacrificed under a false scenario) as soon as possible so that based upon the discussions between Aghaa and Mr. Khatami, the issue can be cleaned up (the issue of the investigations). Aghaa has demanded from Mr.Khatami to wrap up the issue .”  Aali-Khani, in his December 2000 detailed confessions,  focusing on the frantic activities within the regime to find the most convenient false scenario for public consumption and finding a way out of the two year public preoccupation with the assassinations without damaging the regime and high ranking leaders involved.
MPG Note: This is testimony to Khatami’s involvement in closing the investigations without any substantial findings and documentation, saving face and letting the main perpetrators off the hook. This perfectly corroborates Forouhar’s daughter’s statement that Khatami paid lip service to the issue of the assassinations but when action was needed, he swept the rug from under us, got involved in backroom dealings and sacrificed the case for his own factional dealings behind the scenes. There is also ample evidence of Khatami’s role in saving the regime and the main players in the assassinations, in references to Khatami’s official representative to the oversight committee which finally coordinated the events and sealed the fate of the show trials before they even started. Getting into those documents here will involve a lot of translation work.

E-    Testimony to the Continuity of Assassinations as an MOIS Policy

MPG Notes: 
Assassinations have always been part of the policy of the IRI against their opponents or even against people or groups who did not pose any threat but who were deemed potentially dangerous in terms of propagating an idea in some distant FUTURE !
It is important to note that “legal” or publicly announced executions and even mass executions of thousands of political prisoners, killing unarmed demonstrators or armed opposition in firefights, safe house attacks, urban or regional warfare are NOT considered here as assassinations.  Assassinations are killings of people who were usually either not guilty of any crimes even under the IRI laws or those whose arrest, trial, imprisonment or execution would not be to the benefit of the regime due to popular support for the victims or international sympathy or human rights pressures.

ASSASSINATION Therapy:  Most assassinations were conducted  in a way that the groups or people around the victims would  KNOW the IRI had done it but no one would take responsibility , no one could definitely prove anything and the government would even conduct investigations once in a while to increase deniability power.  Such  assassinations are called “open” or “public” assassinations  by the intelligence agents and are meant  to not only eliminate some problematic people but mainly to terrorize their colleagues or communities into abandoning their activities. This has proved to be very effective because most followers of any idea are NOT willing to die for it and will stop doing things that might endanger their lives or the lives of their family members  ( many assassinations have included accompanying children or friends ). People “get the message” and cease and desist. However, this effect is always temporary and once people feel that nothing has happened for a long time ( year or two years…) to their “kind” , they will start again. This is why, the “Assassination Therapy” as it has come to be called, is repeated periodically to keep certain groups or ideas in check. In addition, since there are many unwanted behaviors which the IRI needs to stop, they will have to assassinate many different kinds of people all over the country.

Assassination Targets in the Past Thirty Years:  Most early assassinations were of established religious or ethnic groups that had to be warned even before they themselves knew they were in danger, since only the major players in the IRI knew that in the near future the regime would be ready to implement a fully Islamic rule which was not possible for a few years since people were used to secular practices while the promise of freedom by the Ayatullah was thought by naïve  (and even stupid) people to INCREASE the freedoms attained by the revolution rather than DECREASE them.

Original victims were Bahaiis, Kurds and other ethnic minorities who were restless. Soon, the  emerging rivals within the Islamic movement (some of them terrorists themselves) became targets. Once the regime felt secure from within, they began assassinating more and more of the leftists, MEK members, nationalists, pro Bakhtiar, pro Shah and others who were each posing challenges to the regime. Finally once the regime stabilized itself after the Iran Iraq war (1980-1988), massive executions and eliminations of organized opponents, they  concentrated on  POTENTIAL challenges. Since then, we find that most assassinations were of remaining leaders of exiled opposition parties, Sunni Muslims in the provinces, Bahaiis, Muslims converting to Christianity, and during Khatami, newly re-organized writers, journalists, liberal Muslims, problematic people within the regime and even business partners of the IRGC and MOIS mafia businesses who knew too much ( such partnerships had become a popular trend among IRI yuppies who wanted to get rich quick) or who made too much money while not being really  a “homeboy”. So here are some quotes shedding light on the whole situation:


“I have supervised over 350 murders (assassinations) over 14 years, a few of which I did with my own hands  while I planned and commanded the others”.
 Said Emami confessions, 1999 as referred to by Shirin Ebadi in 2008, and previously reported by journalists abroad. Reportedly, these included Christian priests, Sunni Clergymen, MEK and others.

“ First, I have to say humbly that the job of physical elimination and other jobs like this, the job of arresting, transporting of the accused, self defense training, surveillance and etc… had been indicated for us by the Ministry (of Intelligence) since 1991,  within our employment chart and these were part of our section… and in general such jobs were done a lot in the Ministry (of Intelligence), whether inside or outside the country  but it was only in this particular case that it turned out this way (investigations and trials)…… After brother Safaii held the subject’s neck ( Mrs. Parvaneh Eskandari ) from behind and when brother Hashem held the anesthetic drug in front of her nose and mouth, then I stabbed her several times (in the chest) by reciting the  Zekr ( calling a holy name)….”.  
Mostafa Nowroozi (AKA Mohseni), confessions of June 27th 2000. Employed Agent of the Operations Section of the Security department of the MOIS.
Nowroozi is describing his role in the multi stabbing assassination of Forouhar’s wife (Nationalist Opposition Leader of the Mellat Party) at her home in November 1998.
Zekr, is usually the incantation of the name of a Holy saint, in this case the name of Hazrateh Zahraa, daughter of the Prophet, Mother of the martyred Imam Hossein, avenging Hossein’s blood.

“… For years such acts were done and intelligence or security systems have such tricks (up their sleeves!) this lowly subject (meaning himself!) in coordination with and orders from Mr.Moussavi ( real name kazemi) did this and this had a legal precedence and form; this was a custom in the Ministry (of Intelligence) and there were never any obstacles  in its way.”
Ali Ahmadi (AKA Nazeri), employed as the agent of the General Department of Operations of the Popular Intelligence Department ( a major department in the Ministry in charge of general information, contacts and activities within the general population), in his December 5th 2000 confessions. This agent had participated in the assassinations of two writers and journalists (Pouyandeh and Mokhtari in November 1998).

“… another point is that acts like these (assassinations of two writers and journalists and Parvaneh Eskandari in November 1998)  were routine activities of the Ministry (of Intelligence) and therefore, these acts were not my first either. We were acquainted with these , many years before the eliminations  called “chain murders” to such an extent that within the annual planning forecasts of the major operations, eliminations and kidnappings were considered and right now this exists in writing within the documents of the organization (Ministry of Intelligence).
Asghar Eskandari (AKA Sayyahi), employed agent of the Operations Section , Ministry of Intelligence, in his July 5th 2000 confessions.
MPG Note: The above confession clearly indicates that not only assassinations were routine but were part of the next year’s forecasts even before any particular person was targeted. We know from other confessions that particular persons were usually selected for elimination a few days or weeks before they were killed.

“… considering the background of such acts in the Ministry (assassinations) we see that throughout the life of the Ministry (of Intelligence) each year within the annual forecast of the operations , issues confirmed by the Minister at the time, each had one or several physical eliminations pre-planned …  and during the course of the year the eliminations would take place and would be the subject of encouragement and recognition (for the agents in charge of assassinations).”
Rassoul Katouzian (AKA Rasouli), Director General of Operations Support of the Security Department, provided personnel and inter departmental coordination and contacts for the assassinations, in his April 25th 2000 confessions.
MPG Note: Again, a clear testimony to the pre-planning of annual assassinations, this time by a high ranking official of the MOIS.

“ It is necessary to explain that I was originally in the bodyguard (section) for a few months and then I went to (was employed at) the  (Operations) support of the Security Department and approximately in 1986 or ’87  went to (was employed at) the Operations (department) of the Ministry (of Intelligence) and got busy as a member of the team where I became an operations specialist in arresting, kidnapping and physical elimination  (working against)  the MEK teams, MEK safe houses and the counter revolutionaries and opponents of the regime”.
Ali Safaii, in his May 24th 2000 confessions

F-    Miscellaneous Testimonies Regarding the Methods, Brutality and banality of the Assassinations

“…It was decided that the elimination had to be done the same night. We entered the house (of Forouhar and his wife) at 22:00 hours together with the brothers (the other assassins). According to our orders both subjects were eliminated . I wasn’t involved with other subjects (assassinated writers and journalists)…. We always do these jobs (assassinations) for the sake of God’s satisfaction and begin (the stabbing in these cases) with the name of our Lady, her Holiness Zahra”
Ali Safaii, in his 1998 original confessions.

MPG Note:  Hazrateh Zahrah, was Imam Hossein’s mother and the incantation of her name before the stabbings means that they are dedicating this infidel’s life as a vengeance of Hossein’s blood to his grieving mother H. Zahra. It is noteworthy that when the IRI agents were throwing a student from the window of a high floor of the Tehran University dormitories  during the student movement of July 1999, they were using the same Mantra of Lady Zahra, screaming “ Oh Lady Zahra please accept this (soon to be killed student) from us”.

“ Sadegh (Merdad Aali-Khani) was for using injections for both (Forouhar and his wife) whereupon I told him if you use the injection on both people everyone will know that two people do not have heart attacks at the same time ( the poison the MOIS was using usually caused symptoms of a heart attack) they will know it is the work of the Ministry (of Intelligence)… Mr. Sadegh then said, the Operations (department) kids have made a special dagger for these jobs and we can stab them with daggers and I said OK(!) lets use daggers…..”
Mostafa Kazemi (AKA Moussavi),  high ranking MOIS official, in charge of the 1998 assassinations, bragging about his improvisation during operations in his confessions of March 23rd 2000.

Following the assassination of journalist Pouyandeh, agent Aali-Khani goes to meet kazemi and report back to him…. Kazemi is now talking about this encounter:
“…(Aalikhani) gave me a copy of the publication ‘Industry and development’ (Pouyandeh’s magazine) which I think included an interview with Pouyandeh and said ‘read this so that you know who he was’ so I laughed and said ‘now that you have already hit him (killed him) you want me to read this to know who he was?.....  by the way when  (Aali-Khani) wanted to kidnap and kill Mokhtari and then Pouyandeh, I told him that Mr.Dorri (Minister of Intelligence) was very sensitive over Mr. Golshiri ( a major Writers Association activist) so hit him (first); (Aali-Khani) said  this Golshiri is accessible and we can hit him any time we want, so in his opinion he had chosen Mokhtari and Pouyandeh who he believed were the Writers Association theoriticians. After the elimination of the two above persons, (Aalikhani) said Mr. Ahmadzadeh, the Director General of the Cultural Department of the Popular Intelligence (of the MOIS) (which was in charge of Intelligence gathering from the Writers Association- MPG)  said to me ‘ why didn’t you hit Mokhtari’s son as well to solve our problem too; his son has caused problems for us at the university’…”
Mostafa Kazemi, in his March 23rd 2000 Confessions.

“… one street before his house, Ali and Reza stopped him (writer Mokhtari) and under the guise of the Prosecutor’s office personnel, they ordered him into the car… with previous arrangements we had decided to  use one of the administrative facilities of Beheshteh Zahra (a huge cemetery south of Tehran) under the control of the cemetery security - Nazeri (one of the MOIS officials participating in the assassination) was the head of the cemetery security (!!!)- for the job (of killing)….Roshan, Nazeri and other operatives of the Al Ghadeer Operations (a major long term operation of “executing” MEK members before the 1998 assassinations) had used this facility repeatedly (!) It was decided to use this place for killing Mokhtari. … Due to the long distance, I began a discussion about the Writers Association with Mokhtari (about to be killed)… we reached the destination and entered the building. In the first room they asked him to sit on the floor. Everything was finished  by Roshan and Nazeri. They acted very professionally. Nazeri quickly got the rope from the cabinet in the room, took some white rags, tied up his hands from behind,  covered his eyes, tied the rope around his neck, laid him down on his stomach, and for about 4-5 minutes  he tightened the rope and pulled it back. At the same time nazeri had covered the subject’s mouth with a white cloth to prevent any blood from spilling on the floor or any noise being made (by the victim). These two understood from the color of (the victim’s finger nails) that the job is finished. ………..” The body was subsequently thrown in remote deserted area without identification so that by the time it was discovered and identified, other targets could be lured, kidnapped and killed.
Mehrdad Aali-Khani, in his  April 23rd 2000 confessions.

“….On the Revolution Avenue, across from Lalezareh-Now Street we stopped the subject (Poyandeh, the journalist)… they pulled him into the Daewoo car…. According to previous arrangements we decided to drive towards the Beheshteh Zahra cemetery… to the same place we had taken Mokhtari before. On the way I began talking to Pouyandeh, he wasn’t in the mood (!!!)… half an hour after the evening prayer time, Reza Roshan and Nazeri finished the job just like the job before ( I mean Mokhtari’s killing)… in the end Nazeri suggested just to make sure, it will be good to hang him for a few minutes … There was a steel frame in the courtyard of this building which they had prepared before for hanging people. Nazeri tied a long rope aroung Pouyandeh’s neck and we decided that me, Khosrow (the driver *) and Asghar should help Roshan hang the body, which we did………. We put the body about a hundred meters to the right of the bridge, where every passer by could see him (this time they wanted  the body to be found quickly)…. On the way back, our spy Dariush (inside the Writers Association) called me and informed me that his friend’s take (Consulting body of the Writers Association after finding out about the disappearances and by the way two other assassinations of Islamic moderate Dr. Majid Sharif, and writer Peerooz Davani) that are barely mentioned  during these interrogations and confessions)) is that this method carry’s a message from the killers (to he rest of the writers Association activists), meaning we want to kill OPENLY. The problem is serious. They are  terrified (!!!!)”.
Mehrdad Aali-Khani, in his  April 29th 2000 confessions

MPG Notes:
•    The driver mentioned here, Khosrow Barati, whose job as a non-MOIS employee was a taxi driver and an informant for many years, had been trained and appointed as the driver of a bus carrying 21 members of the same Writers Association on a tour of Armenia about one year before these assassinations. Barati’s job was to drive the bus down a canyon in the mountainous regions or North East Iran, jumping out and killing all the passengers which later could be passed as a tragic accident!!!  Barati failed and no one was killed but everyone saw him steering the bus downwards and jumping out. Surprisingly, all the passengers were arrested and taken to a local MOIS location and were threatened not to say anything about their obvious suspiscions and some were openly told that another writer, Saidi Seerjaani was killed to send YOU people a message but you have failed to shut up.  Interestingly some of the would be victims have said that the agent threatening them was Mehrdad Aali-Khani under the name Hashem.
•    According to these files, after these two assassinations, Minister Dorri chided the assassins by saying that these two were not important people and I told you to kill them all in one place, not one by one.

Concluding Notes

MPG Notes: During the meetings between the Minister of Intelligence and the officials in charge of assassinations (Kazemi and Aali-Khani), sometimes the discussions mentioned in the files take the form of a feeding frenzy, where each person would suggest additional names to be added to the target list and it seemed that every person, activist and leader who was not part of the hard line factions, was one argument away from being officially targeted. At other times, the meetings resembled a sadistic mass murderer reunion, where the Minister would  keep telling Kazemi to go on with the minute details of Forouhar’s stabbing and the seconds before repeatedly saying “great, great!” as if his mouth was watering with cannibalistic hunger.

Kazemi still wanted to continue while Aali-Khani was worried about the situation and claims that he even didn’t show up for work, until repeatedly called by Kazemi:

“….. (Kazemi) asked where (the hell) are you? He said : ‘ think about a meeting – meaning finding a meeting of the Consultative Body of the Writers Association-  to do something substantial. He pointed out that ‘ it would be great to do something at the funeral of Mokhtari or Pouyandeh’. Previously, before Mokhtari’s body had been discovered, it was suggested at a meeting  between  myself, Moussavi (Kazemi) and Nazeri, at reza Roshan’s house that at  the upcoming  funeral either a group would be subjected to machine gun fire or after the conclusion of the  event several people would be kidnapped and murdered. Nazeri had indicated he was ready with three teams : Mohammad Safaii, Roshan (Ghodrat?) and Haghani. In the aforementioned telephone call I told Moussavi (Kazemi) that based upon Dariush’s information (the spy within the  Writers Association- real name:  Ahmad Afghahi)  last  night, following the discovery of Mokhtari’s body, not even one of them would dare to get of his house. He insisted that ‘you have to do something’. I told him I would let him know. I spoke to Amouzegar and said: ‘ Haj Aghaa (Kazemi) insists upon continuing the work; he isn’t concerned about any consequences for us. He said ‘ he is crazy’; I said if he calls tell him you can’t find me’… ….. “Moussavi  (Kazemi) was looking for me till Monday… finally I agreed … I went to the ministry and started my regular work… Moussavi (Kazemi) had encountered  Masssoud Saleh at the Ministry (of Intelligence)  … and Massoud leaks all the results of the investigations of the President’s office and the Police Force regarding these murders to Moussavi (Kazemi) at this time. Massoud agrees to continue the murders of writers in the provinces; prepare the necessary forces (assassins) himself.  In the meantime, (Massoud) offers that if the teams need any number of passports (to escape from the country temporarily or…) he would be ready to issue them- since the department of issuing  Passports in the Police department is  under  the Ministry of Intelligence- …. Moussavi (Kazemi) told me about his meeting with Massoud and asked me to prepare the information on subjects (new victims) in other cities and give them to him. Moussavi (Kazemi) was still  operating openly and widely even after the Mokhtari murder and had invited many to cooperate, such as Mostafa  Tehrani – the Director of Intelligence in the Khorasan Province (MOIS)- and ……  Moussavi (Kazemi) told me that Mehdi Riahi is also ready to join and his specialty is stabbing (!)…. On Thursday  when we were supposed to meet for the psychological job ( sending condolences flowers to the addresses of the targeted victims) at the Children’s World Autobahn, I was supposed to also give him the photos and addresses of  the subjects (new victims) in the Provinces so that he could give them to Massoud. I had requested these from Asghar Sayyah (names of new victims): Mohammad Taghi Saleh-pour (Northern City of Rasht in the Gillan Province) and Masoud Toofan (also in Rasht).I gave these two cases to Moussavi (Kazemi)……….

Mehrad Aali-Khani in his November 23rd 2000 confessions

MPG Notes:

The above mentioned Massoud Salehi was  actually one Massoud Sadr-ol-Eslaam, the Director of the Police Intelligence Department of Iran, a highly effective organization  by itself. Here it is clear that it was not just the Ministry of Intelligence that had  leaders, officials and assassination teams, ready to prey on naïve opponents of this deadly regime.

The above mentioned Mehdi Riahi was  an employee of the Foreign Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Intelligence, in their General Department of Special (!!!) operations. The function of this latter Department becomes clear considering that Riahi’s only specialty was STABBING !!! Again it is revealed that the MOIS, has special departments for foreign assassinations, in case anyone doubted it before!!!
One other person from among 15 who had been recruited for future assassinations is mentioned as one Navid Ramezani, a MOIS source, spy or “sub-contractor”, or IRGC member (??) since they call him a non-Ministry colleague. Before the assassination team decide to kill Forouhar at his home, they had been planning to kidnap him and kill him by injecting a poison that simulated heart attack symptoms. In this plan Ramezani’s home had been prepared for the injection murder.

Kazemi’s follow up  and corroborations  of the above Aali-Khani quote and new assassination plans :

“….Then I spoke to Mr. Massoud Sadr-ol-Eslaam; I asked him what he knew  about these murders; he said: ‘ I don’t have any information but I report (leak) the (results of) the investigations of the (Police) Intelligence Department  which are reported to Mr. Lotfian – Commander of the Police Force – and Mr. Lotfian tells me, to Mr. Dorri (Minister of Intelligence)  and tell him about the clues and footprints and also  I mention them by insinuation and from a distance to Said Eslaami (Emaami)’ .  I said (to Massoud) : ‘if you are not involved in these operations (assassinations) I am !’ .   He said ‘Praise be to Allah ! Now I feel at ease. Let’s hit Mohammad Atrianfar – of the Hamshahri daily paper- he writes some of the articles for Jame’eh magazine ……’    I told him Mr. Dorri (Minister of Intelligence) had already  issued the order for the Writers Association. He (Massoud) said be careful, they have found a syringe from Forouhar’s home and also a magazine (pistol magazine) which I said doesn’t belong to our kids. Massoud said  : ‘give them to me (the assassins , now in trouble), I will  help them get out of the country’  to which I answered ‘ they don’t have any problems, but are you ready to do something?’  He said : ‘ I’ll do anything ….( he found the needed trusted women who would do the “flower” psychological job)…. I have forces, everything needed for operations, for any kind of job, just give me the address and ….’…..”

Mostafa  Kazemi in his July 22nd 2000 Confessions

The Death Van of MOIS:

 â€œâ€¦He said if we talk to Mr. Haghani ( real name : Morteza Khazeni, Director general of Operations Support … including logistics…) to give us a Hias, we can just strangle the subject right inside the Hias ( this is a Toyota van used for cargo, for ambulances or mass transit,  safe enough  for assassinations in the windowless models )…. I spoke with Mr. Haghani who said I only have one Hias (Toyota Van) and I will give it to them if possible”….  ( meaning perhaps that other teams  were already using the death van)…

Kazemi,  Confessions of July 22nd 2000

Targeting Women Activists:

“  … Sadegh (Aali-Khani) was also (insisted) on (killing)  Mehr Angiz ( Mehr-Angiz Kar, lawyer, womens rights activist , writer…) and to a lesser extent  (on) Shirin Ebadi, whereupon I said the situation is not right, not yet.”…..

Kazemi, Confessions of July 9th 2000

Targeting Nationalist  Leader, Mr.Khosrow Seif:

MPG Note: In June of 1981 , Ayatullah Khomeini declared the old National Front  apostate,  which meant their leaders could be killed. This religious order was given as the Front  opposed the  adoption of the Islamic Shariah laws of “Qisass” (eye for an eye etc….) as the law of the land, and called for a protest which drew tens of thousands but never materialized as the Hezbollah thugs, dispersed the crowds from the major streets. Khomeini’s Fatwa, effectively stopped all  legal and major activities of the National Front, sent some of their leaders packing to Europe and the US and made it very difficult to even have meetings. In 1998, the Intelligence Ministry, used the still valid Apostasy Fatwa of Khomeini to eliminate Forouhar who could be connected to the old National Front:

“ In the meeting of November 16th 1998, I had referred to the situation of Forouhar and the Mellat Party – the apostate nationalists- to Mr. Dorri (Minister of Intelligence) and explained how some of the forces in the National Front who were declared apostates in 1981, such as Forouhar, were able to  continue their existence  by changing the name of their political organization  and  to be present currently as one of the active opposition forces and as a bridge between the political activists abroad  with  (the society) inside the country, and vice versa. I told Mr. Moussavi (Kazemi) to consider them as a priority ( top of the agenda for killing).”……

Aali-Khani, in his March 31st 2000 confessions

MPG Note: Following Forouhar’s assassination , Kazemi and Aali-Khani plead with the Minister of Intelligence to allow them to kill Mr. Khosrow Seif who had just replaced Dariush Forouhar as the head of the Mellat Party of Iran :

The meeting with the Minister of Intelligence was arranged for 9:30 Am, November 11th 1998… “ In the above mentioned meeting,  the decisions were made regarding the elimination of certain people and in addition to the persons who had been specified by name, regarding the secular persons (in general) he (the Minister) said ; ‘eliminate them’. …In 28th of November, 1998   based on my  statement  to Sadegh (Aali-Khani ) that  Khosrow Seif has replaced Forouhar , he (Aali-khani) suggested that he too should be eliminated whereupon I said lets talk to Mr. Dorri (Minister of Intelligence). The same day we went to the Imam building (Imam Khomeini Building within the MOIS complex, the main office of the Minister of Intelligence)  at six o’clock in the afternoon, and Mr. Dorri ( minister of Intelligence) did not grant the order to kill Khosrow Seif but insisted upon  the (Writers) Association people. In that meeting , in the beginning I reorted on the elimination of Forouhar and his wife and then based on the opinion and insistence of  Dorri (Minister of Intelligence)  I told Sadegh (Aali-Khani ) that the Minister had insisted upon the  (Writers) Association people, so Sadegh (Aali-Khani) picked two of them from amongst fifteen who had been approved (for assassination) by Dorri (Minister of Intelligence) for elimination.”

Mostafa Kazemi, in his Confessions of  July 9th 2000

The End of One Round of Assassinations

MPG Notes:
Following the five assassinations in November 1998 (of Dariush Forouhar and Parvaneh Eskandari – husband and wife leaders of the Mellat Party-  Mr. Pouyandeh and Mr. Mokhtari – writers and journalists-, Mr. Davani whose body was not found and Dr.Majid Sharif and Islamic moderate writer) , the case of the assassinations  quickly became a National case, the intellectual and writers community  was terrorized and the media was pre-occupied with an unprecedented coverage of all aspects of these assassinations.  Close to one hundred thousand attended the Forouhars  funeral while thousands attended the  Pouyandeh . Forouhar’s body was buried wrapped in the Iranian flag with the  nationalist and ancient Lion and Sun symbol and all IRI symbols were ignored. These events were unprecedented since the beginning years of the revolution before the IRI established its grip on the society.

The Khatami faction within the government and the Islamic “reformist” movement were terrified of a coup and even assassinations of their own people (which actually did happen somewhat later when Hajjarian an important Intelligence figure who was behind the scenes directing a lot of things within the fake reformist movement was shot and disabled by an assassin) and had reacted quickly to investigate the case for its own fears and also for making populist gestures towards the society.

It was in such an atmosphere when the Intelligence Ministry, experiencing external and internal pressures decided to change strategy, stop assassinations in Tehran, begin assassinations in other provinces and wait for the situation to get back to “normal”.  Future assassinations did continue after a while and continue till today with less publicity and  almost no investigations.
There are pages of information within the Assassination Files regarding creating false scenarios, behind the scenes dealings between factions, proposals of sacrificing some agents and absolving high officials and etc. which are very interesting but will be the subject of a different research.

Here are more quotes and notes regarding the situation  in the November-December period in 1998 within the Ministry. This was against the background of a list of fifteen Writers Association activists who had already been officially targeted and the Minister’s back pedaling out of fear of being publicly implicated:

“ … I continued, saying that after Mokhtari who was the theoretic force within the (Writers) Association and Pouyandeh who was their organizer, we have Shirin Ebadi who is the attorney for  Yazdi, Sahabi and Peyman ( loyal opposition  Islamic moderates) in the  next program and we want  to hit her by fire arms. The Minister (of Intelligence) asserted : ‘ these who were killed were not famous people,  and then it was agreed that a bomb would be thrown on them or that we would shoot them with a machine gun burst. To die once and to cry once(!) and to end it. These continuing sequence of the murders have brought a lot of pressure on me …  stop for now until the (Holy)  month of Ramadan is ended….’. Moussavi (Kazemi) said: ‘ We want to send some flowers to some of the addresses of these people with condolences cards ( to those who were marked for death but were still alive), this is psychological work, everyone will know they are within reach of the hit men ’. Mr. Dorri (Minister of Intelligence) said “do this, the flower plan is good, send the flowers, do such work till the end of the month of Ramadan’. Moussavi (Kazemi) mentioned:  ‘ So,  give us the permission  at least  to conclude the case  of Shirin Ebadi – whose preparation work had been done and was ready to go’. The minister got up, smiled and said leave them alone, let them get on with their (Ramadan) fasting’….. In any case after this date, based on (Minister) Dorri’s orders the work was stopped.”

A Recent Statement by Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi was representing the Forouhar family in the case of their parent’s murders and was given access to some of the  assassination files before the show trials of  some of the assassins and officials involved .

“ I and my lawyer colleagues were busy researching the issue of the assassinations of opposition forces in Iran  (the 1998 assassinations) when suddenly I saw my own name in the list of the next assassinations. The  officials  had been too careless to have deleted my name from the list within the files. The list was adorned by the signature of the Minister of Intelligence at the time, Mr. Dorri Najaf-Abadi.  Following the publication of the list and numerous protests, he had no choice but to resign.”

Shirin Ebadi in an Interview with the German Publication Suddeutsche Zeitung, on or about January 21st 2009