Gérard Deprez, Chairman of the 'Friends of a Free Iran' parliamentary group in the European Parliament, whose image with Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi was doctored by the Iranian regime, issued a statement calling on the European Council to condemn Tehran’s measures.
Deprez’s picture was doctored by the Iranian regime following the assassination of GEM TV director Saeed Karimian in Istanbul, literally placing Karimian’s head on Deprez’s body in an image with Rajavi.
Karimian was assassinated last month by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence(MOIS). His assassination was first broadcast by Iran’s Arab-language al-Alam TV and other Iranian state TV followed afterwards. These media outlets sought to associate Karimian with the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and accuse this organization of his assassination. The image doctoring and publication was carried out in this regard.
The Iranian regime cited the doctored image and claimed the MEK had assassinated Karimian. However, evidence indicates this assassination was a joint operation carried out by Iran’s intelligence service and IRGC teams.
Karimian was threatened time and again by the Iranian regime, and this is exactly why he relocated his residency from Turkey to the United Kingdom, his family said to Reuters.
Following the publication of Karimian’s doctored image, Deprez issued a statement condemning Karimian’s vicious assassination, the image doctoring and lies published by the Iranian regime’s choir of websites against the PMOI/MEK.
“This brutal assassination carries all the trademarks of a clandestine operation by the Iranian revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence (Iran’s secret service),” the MEP added in his statement.
“Iran has a long record of killing of hundreds of opponents and foreign nationals in different countries. Some of the top Iranian officials are still wanted: by the Swiss authorities for the slaying of the prominent human rights activist, Dr Kazem Rajavi in Geneva in 1990, by the German judiciary for the murder of Kurdish leaders in Berlin in 1992 and by the Argentinian judiciary for the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
“But what is significant in this new terrorist case is the absurd preparations for this murder in advance by Tehran. One example is publishing a fake photograph of Mr Karimian standing (instead of me!) alongside the Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi. In fact, the photograph was taken in the Belgian Senate on 27 March 2013, when Mrs Rajavi met with me and other Belgian politicians. Karimian’s face was crudely doctored over my image as can be seen below. That was an attempt to show that the victim was a senior opposition figure which was strongly denied by him at the time,” the statement reads.
“We call on the European Council and the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to strongly condemn this terrorist act and the abuse of my photo. I also call on the Turkish government to track down the murderers and bring them to justice. We urge the EU, US and UN to put the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on their terrorist lists,” the statement reads.