Professor Kazem Rajavi was the older brother of the Leader of the Iranian Resistance Massoud Rajavi. He was born in 1934 in the northeastern city of Mashhad in Iran. As a young man, Kazem went to France in 1958 to continue his education. At the University of Paris he met and married Michele, his wife of 30 years. In 1968 the couple moved to Switzerland where he was granted political asylum in 1973.
The family grew to include two sons and a daughter and over the years Professor Rajavi earned six doctorate degrees, in law, political science and sociology, and taught at Geneva University for nearly 10 years.
The Iranian regime and Khomeini in particular had many reasons for their hatred of Kazem Rajavi, a distinguished human rights advocate. One such reason was that he had worked round the clock to save his younger brother, Massoud Rajavi, in early 1970s from being executed by the Shah’s regime. In 1971, Massoud, along with members of the PMOI/MEK (People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran) central committee, were arrested by the Shah’s secret police and sentenced to death in Shah’s military tribunals. As soon as Professor Rajavi learned of his brother’s sentence, he started an international campaign and fought a political battle to gain the support of tens of human rights advocates and put pressure on the Shah to change his decision. The Shah, at the peak of his dictatorial power, yielded to the international pressures and commuted the death sentence for Mr. Massoud Rajavi to life imprisonment. Professor Rajavi had finally managed to save the life of his brother through his nonstop efforts. Following the uprising in 1979, Kazem Rajavi was appointed as Iran’s first post-revolution ambassador to the United Nations, but he soon resigned from his post and joined the Resistance. He was also ambassador to an African country.
When the National Council of Resistance of Iran was founded by Mr. Massoud Rajavi in 1981, Professor Kazem Rajavi was appointed as its representative in Switzerland. He also served as the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran) envoy to the United Nations. His restless activities to expose the breach of human rights by the theocratic rulers since the early days of their ascendance to power flared up their anger. He appeared many times before the media in the UN headquarters in New York and in Geneva and in other countries along with the people who had been tortured but had managed to save themselves from Khomeini’s inferno and disclose the real inhuman face of the ruling religious dictatorship.
There were not many people left in the United Nations and other human rights bodies who had not been personally informed by Professor Rajavi disclosing the violation of human rights in Iran.
When the UN General Assembly for the first time condemned the human rights abuses by the Iranian regime in autumn 1985, it once again infuriated the ayatollahs who knew Professor Rajavi’s role was instrumental in that development.
Despite numerous death threats by Tehran’s terrorist diplomats who had personally warned Professor Rajavi in the hallways of the United Nations and elsewhere to stop his human rights activities, he never relented. In a landmark interview with The New York Times in 1985, Professor Rajavi made the historical statement that “we write the history of human rights in our blood.”
Professor Kazem Rajavi was assassinated on April 24, 1990 while returning home in the suburbs of Geneva where his car was sprayed with bullets and he was killed instantly. On that sad day, he testified to what he had said during his unremitting campaign against the horrific violations of human rights and truly became “the great martyr to the cause of human rights.
Khomeini issued fatwa to assassinate Kazem Rajavi
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa (decree) in 1986 for killing Professor Kazem Rajavi. Ever since Khomeini’s infamous fatwa, Tehran continued to give a high priority of the murder of the distinguished human rights advocate.
Abolghasem Mesbahi, a leading intelligence official in the Iranian government who later defected to the West, testified as witness “C” in the “Mykonos trial” held for some of the regime’s agents implicated in the assassination of four Iranian Kurdish dissidents in a Berlin restaurant. As a part of his testimony, Mesbahi recalled how the ayatollahs were bent on liquidating Professor Rajavi: “The aim of eliminating Rajavi in the beginning of Rasanjani’s term as President… they wanted to prove that they were powerful and possessed all the means they needed.”
Following the fatwa, the Special Operations Committee consisting of the Tehran regime’s top leaders including Seyed Ali Khamenei (president), Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (the then parliamentary speaker), Ali Akbar Velayati (Foreign Minister), Mohammad Reyshahri (Intelligence Minister), Ali Fallahian (deputy Intelligence Minister) and Mohsen Reza’ie (IRGC commander) studied the assassination plan, approved it and allocated a large sum of money to finance the mission.
In mid-April 1987, the assassination of Professor Rajavi was placed on the agenda of the terrorist agencies of the Iranian regime. The intelligence unit of the IRGC led by Ahmad Vahidi was assigned to conduct the assassination. But in 1988, based on a suggestion by the Intelligence Minister Reyshahri and approved by Rafsanjani, the mission was taken from the IRGC and relegated to the VEVAK/MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence and Security).
Selecting and training death squad
Reyshahri immediately started the work and formed a team comprising some of the most professional murderers. In February 1989, he sent a letter to Colonel Massoud Mazinirad, the training officer in the counter-espionage school in Lavizan Barracks in Tehran, and introduced 12 selected terrorists to receive the necessary training. Reyshahri wrote: “Give full training to Messrs. Danesh, Araqhi, Fazeli, Kamali, Sajadian and… Take notice that these 12 people must contact Mr. Emadeddin Taherpoor 041 after completing their training. Therefore, offer them maximum cooperation…”
In the code book of the training school in Lavizan Barracks, the code number 041 meant Düsseldorf in Germany. Emadeddin Taherpoor was an agent working for the VEVAK/MOIS, running a cover “guest house” in Düsseldorf used to provide accommodations for the VEVAK/MOIS agents sent out to Germany. In cases that the VEVAK/MOIS did not want any trace of its agents being left, it avoided reserving hotels and instead used the guest houses prepared for such purposes.
To receive the special guests, the Iranian embassy or consulates in Germany or even other countries would inform Taherpoor that they were on their way. Taherpoor would know that he should not ask them for their papers or IDs.
The guest house was located at the following address:
35 Schützen Str
The office of Taherpoor was situated on the first floor of the building. There was no sign or mark on the building to specify its nature. There was another office on the second floor run by a person called Bani Jahed and it was used for scheduling backup tasks and accommodating the agents. The VEVAK/MOIS agents arriving at the guest house would have been accommodated in secret houses by Bani Jahed.
A secret house was situated at the following address:
87 Prienzgerg Str
Lavizan counter-espionage training school, Abyek training center
High ranking army personnel taught at the Lavizan school the intelligence and counter-intelligence subjects in theory to the would be spies and terrorists. The full training course consisted of five parts the third of which covered the methods of using arms accurately in a terrorist mission. The 12 members of the death squad along with other trainees completed a two-month course under the supervision of Colonel Massoud Mazinirad. They, however, went through practical exercises separately in the Abyek training center located before the Raja’ie Power Station off the Old Karaj-Qazvin Road.
The Abyek training center had been arranged to look like a half built town with houses, shops, stores, etc. The houses and buildings in the town were fake and it only bore the appearance of a town. The final part of an assassination maneuver was practiced in this center where real unidentified corpses were used as targets and the assassins shot at real human bodies. In the maneuver, the scene was set to look exactly similar to the place where the assassination was going to occur. For example, if the weather conditions of the target area were rainy, icy or snowy, then the practice would have been done in the same conditions. The entire stages of the assassination plan, including entering the houses and shops, approaching the target, running away from the scene, etc., were all practiced.
The 12 members of the death squad were organized into three teams in the training center. The first two weeks of the training exercises were carried out by motorcycle. But subsequently motorcycle was eliminated from the plan and replaced by cars.
Each team was given a car. One of the exercises included shooting at a target on a street from three cars using Uzi submachine guns and getting away from the scene. The terrorists drilled driving the cars in a specific formation and practiced this 12 hours every day. In this exercise, the first car carrying three men followed the target and opened fire at it from a close distance and ran away. Then the second car with a team of two passed the scene checking the first team’s performance and fired the final shots making sure the target was dead. Shortly after the second car, came the third one and photographed the scene.
Considering the rainy weather conditions of Europe, training was conducted under the same conditions and on slippery roads. The training took two months to complete and four corpses were used as targets during the course; they were totally disintegrated because of the large number of bullets fired at them.
Three alternative plans
In 1988, a meeting was held by Rafsanjani (speaker of the parliament at that time) to study the three alternative plans and evaluate the information gathered. The following people attended the meeting:
• Brig. Gen. Pasdar Ahmad Vahidi (head of the IRGC intelligence)
• Ali Fallahian (deputy VEVAK/MOIS Minister)
• Mohammad Mehdi Akhond Zadeh Basti (a terrorist diplomat, also director of political and international relations in the foreign affairs ministry)
• Mohammad Azadi (a professional assassin; he later took part in Dr. Shahpour Bakhtiar’s assassination in Paris)
• Mohammad Danesh (team member)
• Mohammad Araqhi (team member)
• Kazem Darabi (VEVAK/MOIS agent in Germany who later played a key role in the assassination of Dr. Sadegh Sharafkandi in Mykonos Restaurant in Berlin)
• Mohsen Sharifian (an experienced assassin)
• Sarmady (an VEVAK/MOIS official and head of the Security Administration during Najaf Abadi’s term as VEVAK/MOIS Minister)
According to the information gathered in the primary reconnaissance, the meeting discussed three initial plans to assassinate Professor Kazem Rajavi. They were:
a. Plan No. 1: Massacre Professor Kazem Rajavi along with the members of his family at home.
b. Plan No. 2: Plant a bomb in Professor Rajavi's car. The bomb would have exploded after the car had accelerated over 40 km/h speed. According to this plan, the bomb was to be connected to the brake system or to the starter switch.
c. Plan No. 3: Assassinate Professor Rajavi on his way home or vice versa.
In 1989, the primary plan for assassinating Professor Rajavi was discussed and approved in the Special Operations Committee consisting of Khamenei, the Supreme Leader; Rafsanjani, the President; Velayati, the Foreign Minister; Reyshahri, the former VEVAK/MOIS Minister; Fallahian, the newly appointed VEVAK/MOIS Minister and Pasdar Mohsen Reza’ie, the IRGC commander. Subsequently, on August 30, 1989, a team headed by Akhond Zadeh Basti, a terrorist diplomat from the foreign ministry with a diplomatic passport, traveled to Geneva to study the feasibility of the plans in the field. Saeed Hemati (an assassin of Professor Rajavi) also accompanied the team. After primary evaluation, the second plan was left out and the first and third plans were chosen to work on. The practical steps of the assassination had started.
Death squads arrive in Geneva
Basti’s team returned from Geneva completing its evaluation of the plans. Over the next eight months to the assassination of Professor Rajavi on April 24, 1990, the death squads were sent to Geneva on three occasions to do the job. They failed in the first and second attempts and returned to Tehran without any success.
The first team consisting of Yadollah Samadi, Sadegh Baba’ie, Mahmoud Sajadian and Ali Kamali arrived in Geneva on October 18, 1989. The team sought to execute the first plan, i.e., massacring the whole family of Professor Rajavi, but it was foiled due to his trip to Paris on October 22, 1989 and the team had to return to Tehran.
The second team arrived in Geneva on January 31, 1990 and stayed there until February 4, 1990. This team was composed of Yadollah Samadi, Sadegh Baba’i, Mahmoud Sajadian, Mohammad Reza Jazayeri and Ali Hadavi. They had entered Geneva under the cover of diplomats. The team first started gathering information in order to evaluate the situation and consequently determine the plan with a higher degree of success, automatically eliminating the other. But due to severe arguments among the team members they had to return to Tehran before carrying out the assassination.
Third death squad takes up the job
On April 10, 1990, six terrorists arrived in Geneva aboard an Iran Air flight. They were carrying diplomatic passports with the names of Mohammad Saeed Rezvani, Yadollah Samadi, Saeed Hemati, Mohsen Poorshafi’ie, Ali Reza Bayani Hammadani, Nasser Poormirza’ie and Saeed Danesh. (1)
Prior to the assassination act, the following events took place:
(1) Cited from the Swiss Police report
Mohammad Ali Hadi Najafabadi, the Iranian ambassador to the UAE, flew to Geneva on April 17, 1990. He carried a diplomatic passport. Najafabadi rented room No. 625 in the Intercontinental Hotel. (1)
Mohammad Mehdi Akhond Zadeh Basti arrived in Geneva aboard an Iran Air flight on April 17, 1990 and stayed in the same hotel.(2)
These two men were in charge of supervising the assassination. During their stay in the hotel they were in constant contact with Tehran reporting how the plan had progressed and getting advice on the issues where Tehran's decisions were necessary. Every contact with Tehran was followed by a phone call to Siroos Nasseri, the then representative of the clerical regime to the UN headquarters in Geneva.
Other agents by the names of Kazem Darabi, Ali Kamali, Mahmoud Sajadian, Ali Hadavi, Ali Moslehi Araqhi and Mohammad Reza Jazayeri arrived in Geneva by other flights.
Finally, at 11:50 a.m. on April 24, 1990, the terrorists attacked and killed Professor Kazem Rajavi in cold blood after he had left home to go to the bank.
On the same day in the afternoon, Akhond Zadeh Basti, Hadi Najafabadi and a number of the assassins returned to Tehran by an Iran Air flight.
Report to Rafsanjani
After returning to Tehran, the assassins prepared a 40-page report on their savage and inhumane crime for the regime’s president, Rafsanjani. According to the report, the assassination act was initially led by Kazem Darabi and his deputy, Ali Moslehi Araqhi. They wanted to massacre Professor Rajavi’s family, i.e., execute plan number 1 but some arguments broke out between them.
Akhond Zadeh Basti contacted Tehran to report the situation and wait for new orders. The VEVAK/MOIS officials in Tehran responded stressing that the mission had to be implemented. They also quoted Rafsanjani as laying great emphasis on the significance of carrying out the plan.
Akhond Zadeh Basti eliminated Darabi from the operation and assigned the assassination to Moslehi Araqhi’s team. Araqhi revised the plans and according to what Darabi had earlier said, he left plan number 1 out. The terrorists decided to go on with plan number 3.
From that point, the assassins put Professor Rajavi’s house and all his movements under constant surveillance for a period of one week while making final preparations. According to the plan, three cars were to be used with the following tasks:
a. Car number 1 carrying the death squad leader Moslehi Araghi who also led the attack on the target.
b. Car number 2 carrying the support team led by Saeed Danesh.
c. Car number3 carrying the cameraman shooting the scenes.
Closing in on the victim
On April 24, 1990, the assassins put Professor Rajavi’s house under a close watch after 9 a.m. He left home at 11:15 a.m. to go to the bank but he did not drive the car he usually did and drove another one instead. The assassins doubted whether the person driving the car was Professor Rajavi himself. Moslehi Araghi chased him and when Professor Rajavi got off the car to go to the bank, the assassins made sure that the person they were following was indeed Professor Rajavi. Ensured of the target’s identity, Moslehi Araghi organized the other cars via his radio. After leaving the bank, Professor Rajavi called on a shop on his way home and spent a few minutes there. Moslehi Araghi thought that the target had realized he was being chased and that was why he did not leave the shop. He first decided to withdraw and cancel the assassination. But exactly at that moment, Professor Rajavi emerged from the shop and the assassins decided to continue their evil mission.
Terrorists line up their cars
Professor Rajavi’s car was chased for some distance and at the suitable point the assassins’ car number 2 approached it from behind and fired two shots. The first shot missed the target but the second hit the car causing it to go off the road. The third car following right behind purposely hit it at a high speed. Meanwhile, Moslehi Araghi and Sameei’s car approached Professor Rajavi’s car which at this point had swerved to the left and stopped after hitting a tree. Then two assassins from the second car walked to the either side of Professor Rajavi’s car and opened fire at him pointblank. Shortly thereafter, the third car arrived at the scene and all three hurriedly left the area. The submachine gun used in the assassination was a 9 mm caliber Uzi fitted with a silencer. Throughout the last terrifying moments of his life, Professor Rajavi was sounding the horn of his car.
The investigations launched by the Swiss police into the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi included testimonies of eyewitnesses. Part of the testimonies appears below:
A housewife who was a neighbor of the Rajavi family said that she suddenly heard the sound of the machine gun fire and tires skidding on the road. She looked out the window and saw two people running around a red car that had stopped on the shoulder of the road. The unknown assailants carried long weapons with both hands and wore working clothes, green on the top and white on the bottom.
Approaching her children’s school bus, a woman observed that three cars were zigzagging toward her. The lead car was red, and hit the gatepost of house number 68, where it stopped. Then a white car stopped next to it. Simultaneously a smaller, dark-colored Golf car stopped behind the red car, blocking its path. Everything happened very fast. The driver of the white car left his vehicle carrying a machine gun. The witness then heard the suppressed sound of gunfire. The unknown man between the red and white cars was firing. A short while later, the dark car left the scene.
A husband and wife who live several houses down from the Rajavis’ said that on Saturday and Sunday (two and three days before the assassination) they had seen a white car keeping something in the neighborhood under surveillance.
Bullets pierced Prof. Rajavi’s car
According to these witnesses’ testimonies and other information, no doubt remains that the assassins had kept Professor Rajavi under surveillance for several days before the assassination. In light of these frequent and unregulated, even sudden errands, the murderers had been waiting for an opportune moment to carry out the assassination. The eyewitness testimonies confirmed that two vehicles were at the scene.
The assailants had positioned one car near the Tannay train station, which Professor Rajavi had to pass leaving and returning to his house if using the western route.
However, if he used the eastern route, a second car would have been needed to keep watch on that route. The investigations proved that for several days prior to the assassination, persons in different cars had kept the Rajavi family’s comings and goings under observation and that they possessed sophisticated communication and wireless equipment.
Who Were the Terrorists?
Tehran’s terrorist diplomats deployed in Europe
1) Mohammad Mehdi Akhond Zadeh Basti: Akhond Zadeh Basti, born in 1955, is a terrorist diplomat who served as the general director of political and international relations in the foreign affairs ministry at the time. He also served as ambassador in different countries for a while. He had traveled to Switzerland with diplomatic passport bearing the serial number 006588.
Akhond Zadeh Basti, who had been appointed as the coordinator of various agencies of the Iranian regime in Switzerland, arrived in Geneva on August 30, 1989 to assess the feasibility of the assassination plans. Seven and a half months later he again flew to Geneva on April 17, 1990, i.e., six days before the assassination, on an Iran Air flight with ticket serial number 096 4261 831174. Saeed Danesh and Nasser Poormirza’ie were also on the same flight. Akhond Zadeh Basti stayed in an Intercontinental Hotel room already reserved by Mohammad Mala’ek, an Iranian consul in Geneva. Accompanied by Hadi Najafabadi, he returned to Tehran on Iran Air flight 737 a few hours after the assassination.
2) Mohammad Ali Hadi Najafabad, born in 1948, Najafabadi was the Iranian ambassador to the UAE and flew to Geneva from Abu Dhabi a few days prior to the assassination. He was carrying a diplomatic passport with the serial number 006646 and joined Akhond Zadeh Basti in the Intercontinental Hotel. During the period April 19-24, 1990, he made many phone calls to Tehran. After each contact, he also telephoned Siroos Nasseri, the Iranian representative to the UN headquarters in Geneva.
3) Siroos Nasseri, born in Tehran in 1955, he headed the Iranian delegation to the UN HQ in Geneva. Nasseri had personal hatred towards Professor Rajavi for he had exposed the true nature and dishonest conduct of the Tehran regime and its terrorist diplomats such as Nasseri in the UN Geneva office. When the theocratic regime was condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission, Nasseri threatened Professor Rajavi in public, saying: “You will see! We shall kill you.”
4) Karim Abadi served as a consul in the Iranian embassy in Geneva. He provided weapons for the assassins through diplomatic parcels and reserved tickets for their return to Tehran.
It is noteworthy that soon after the crime, the Iranian Resistance disclosed the tape recording of a phone conversation between one of the assassins and Abadi on the assassination of Professor Rajavi.
Agents of Assassinations
The following Iran's terrorist agents were directly involved in the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi in Geneva. Ali Moslehi Araqhi, was born in Tehran in 1947 and was the leader of the assassins at the scene. Moslehi Araqhi was carrying a diplomatic passport with the serial number 056503 when he arrived in Geneva.
At first, he was deputy leader of this terrorist act but when some differences aroused between him and Kazem Darabi, he was assigned to lead the assassination team. Therefore, a day before the event Moslehi Araghi joined Mohammad Saeed Rezvani, a member of the assassination team in his hotel.
At 1350 April 24, 1990 -- immediately after the assassination -- Moslehi Araghi left Geneva heading for Vienna on Swiss Air flight number SR 434. He was accompanied by Rezvani, Ali Reza Bayani Hammadani and Nasser Poormirza’ie.
Saeed Danesh, was born in 1954. He was carrying a diplomatic passport with serial number 0642393 when he arrived in Geneva. Accompanied by Samadi, Rezvani, Bayani Hammadani, Poorshafi’ie and Poormirza’ie, Danesh flew to Switzerland by Iran Air on April 10, 1990. His ticket had been issued in Tehran on April 9, 1990 with the serial number 891 9604 261096. Following the assassination, Danesh flew to Tehran on Iran Air flight 734. A seat had also been reserved for him on Swiss Air flight to Vienna but he never took that flight.
Ali Reza Bayani Hammadani, was born in Tehran in 1958 and was carrying a diplomatic passport with serial number 06439. He arrived in Geneva on April 11, 1990 by Iran Air and his ticket was bearing the serial number 096 4261 960890. He, too, left Geneva immediately after the assassination and flew to Vienna on Swiss Air flight SR 434 at 1350.
Mohsen Poorshafi’ie, was born in Khansar in 1958. When he flew to Geneva on April 10, 1990, he was carrying a diplomatic passport with the The police investigations later revealed that the food leftover in the hotel room matched the foodstuff found in car number 1, a Volkswagen Golf, used in the act. Having committed the murder, the terrorists were driving the Golf so fast that it exceeded the normal speed and was photographed by the Swiss Highway Police. The photograph helped the police find the vehicle in a car parking. serial number 043782 issued on July 4, 1987 and his ticket number was 096 4261 960889. Accompanied by Poormirza’ie, Poorshafi’ie rented room number 16 in La Résidence du Salou Hotel in Viria, Geneva for 10 days, April 18-28, 1990. But on April 20, 1990, Poormirza’ie informed the hotel that Poorshafi’ie had left for Bern. On May 1, 1990, however, Poorshafi’ie phoned the hotel and said that he had taken the room key by mistake and he would return to pay for the room and bring the key back, but he never turned up.
Nasser Poormirza’ie, born in Tehran in 1956, was traveling with a diplomatic passport having the serial number 064388; his ticket had been issued on April 9, 1990 with the serial number 096 4261 960887. He landed in Geneva on April 10, 1990 with Samadi, Rezvani, Bayani Hammadani, Poorshafi’ie and Danesh. After the assassination, Poormirza’ie quickly packed up and left Geneva for Vienna at 1350 on the same day on Swiss Air flight number SR 434.
It is worth noting that most of the diplomatic passports were issued on the same date -- April 9, 1990.
Yadollah Samadi, was born in Tehran in 1958. He had received his diplomatic passport with the serial number 060198 in Tehran on October 16, 1989. On a mission to gather information, he flew to Geneva on the same date his passport had been issued. Samadi’s next trip to Geneva was on January 31, 1990 and he was accompanied by Saeed Hemati, Sadegh Baba’ie, Mahmoud Sajadian, Mohammad Reza Jazayeri and Ali Hadavi. Their assassination plan was a failure and it was abandoned. His third trip to Geneva, however, took place on April 10, 1990. He flew by Iran Air and his ticket’s serial number was 096 4261 960892. Samadi was responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the assassination including renting cars.
Mohammad Saeed Rezvani, was born in 1966 and flew to Geneva by Iran Air on April 10, 1990 carrying a diplomatic passport with the serial number 064394 issued on April 9, 1990. His ticket had been issued for a Tehran-Geneva flight with the serial number 096 4261 960888. Car number 2 in the terrorist act had been rented by Mohammad Saeed Rezvani who, similar to other terrorists, left Geneva for Vienna.
Saeed Hemati, was born in Tehran in 1948. He had a diplomatic passport with the serial number 058833 issued in Tehran on August 30, 1989. Hemati was a member of the assassination team which arrived in Geneva by Iran Air on January 31, 1990.
Sadegh Baba’ie, was born in Tehran in 1958. He had a diplomatic passport with the serial number 056543 issued in Tehran on May 17, 1989. A member of the assassination team, Baba’ie arrived in Geneva on an Iran Air flight on January 31, 1990.
Ali Hadavi, was born in Gorgan in 1957. He had been issued a diplomatic passport in Tehran on January 29, 1990, with the serial number 062592. Also, a member of the assassination team, he arrived in Geneva by Iran Air on January 31, 1990
Mohammad Reza Jazayeri, was born in Qom in 1958. Carrying a diplomatic passport with the serial number 032014 issued in Tehran on July 11, 1985, he arrived in Geneva by Iran Air on January 31, 1990. Jazayeri, too, was a member of the assassination team.
Mahmoud Sajadian, was born in Tehran in 1958. He was another member of the assassination team who arrived in Geneva by Iran Air on January 31, 1990. Like other terrorists, Sajadian had a diplomatic passport with the serial number 60348 issued on October 24, 1989.
Ali Kamali, was born in Tehran in 1956. He had a diplomatic passport with the serial number 056540 issued in Tehran on May 16, 1989. He followed Yadollah Samadi by two days and flew to Geneva by Iran Air on October 18, 1989 and joined him in his hotel. They stayed in Adriss Hotel in Geneva until October 22, 1989 and then moved to the Modern Hotel in the same city where they stayed until October 26, 1989.
France arrests two assassins
On November 14, 1992, the German intelligence and security services informed their French counterparts that two Iranian secret agents had crossed the border at Strasbourg into France. The Germans also informed the French authorities that the real names of the two secret agents were Mahmoud Sajadian and Ali Kamali and that they were under prosecution by Judge Roland Chatelain in Switzerland for the murder of an Iranian dissident.
The two terrorists had entered France by false names of Ahmad Taheri carrying an Iranian passport with the serial number 3049434 and Mohsen Sharifi Isfahani holding an Iranian passport with the serial number 3798086. They were traveling by a Mercedes Benz sedan with German license plate number HHJH2448.
The French authorities arrested the two suspects on November 15, 1992. The initial number of detainees involving the case was 12, but the Iranian ambassador to France, Ali Ahani, intervened and 10 were released. On Chatelain’s request, the Swiss inquest judge issued an arrest warrant for Ali Kamali (alias Sharifi Isfahani) and Mahmoud Sajadian (alias Ahmad Taheri), and they were kept in custody.The two terrorists had entered Germany a few weeks prior to their arrest. They were associated with an Iranian company in the German town of Aachen run by Yahya Deramgozin, a long time serving VEVAK/MOIS agent born in Tehran in January 1956. He had been living in Germany since 1987.
Assassins return to Iran
While pursuing the case of Professor Rajavi’s assassination, Judge Chatelain officially demanded the French authorities several times to surrender the assassins to Switzerland in order to appear before the court. But the French government rejected the demand and made a dirty deal with the Iranian government instead under the pretext of “national interests.”
In the last days of autumn 1993, Tehran sent a delegation to Paris to strike a deal. The delegation was headed by Mullah Mohammad Hejazi who was also in charge of the Special Operations Section in the office of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the highest coordinating body for assassinations. The other members of the delegation were Hussein Taghavi, head of the VEVAK/MOIS Foreign Administration and Ali Reza Moayeri, Rafsanjani’s political adviser, former Iranian ambassador to France and the foreign minister’s adviser. The infamous deal was cut and the delegation returned to Tehran on December 29, 1993 accompanied by the two terrorists. On the same day, the French Foreign Ministry informed the Swiss authorities via a memorandum that the two Iranian suspects would not be extradited to Switzerland due to high national interests.
Switzerland officially protested against France’s measure and complained to the French Supreme Court for the breach of international law. The Supreme Court considered the matter on November 23, 1994 and announced that the French government should not have sent the two terrorist suspects back to Iran.
Iran's spy in Swiss Police helped assassinate Rajavi
In a report published in Tribune de Geneve on August 8, 1997, it was disclosed that Tehran regime’s spies in the Swiss police force had been involved in the assassination of Professor Rajavi. The report said in part:
A Geneva policewoman and her Iranian husband were arrested on June 30 on the charge of espionage by the order of the confederation prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, but they were released three days later.
Seven years after Rajavi’s murder, Judge Chatelain reached the conclusion that there was a great possibility that an espionage network could be at work in Switzerland. He informed the General Ministry of the Confederation, the only liable body, of his fresh findings and then Mrs. Carla Del Ponte started her investigations. On July 3, 1997, the General Ministry declared that there was a suspicion that Iranian opposition in Switzerland could have been the subject of espionage. But the only suspects arrested were that policewoman from Geneva and her Iranian husband.
In his testimonies in Switzerland and Germany, Abolghasem Mesbahi, a former Iranian intelligence official known as witness “C”, shed further light on the role of the Swiss policewoman in the murder operation.
I am sure Iran received a great deal of information about Kazem Rajavi through the policewoman from Geneva. I initially obtained this information from Mahmoud Rajabi in 1991 when he was the head of the presidential office in Tehran Mehrabad Airport. He told me that he had received detailed information about Kazem Rajavi from a source in Swiss Police. He referred to the source as “Hajj Khanom.” I also once met with Hadavi and Kamali [assassins of Professor Rajavi] in the office of Semsa Kala Company where Kamali said: “We defeated Rajavi” adding, “Hajj Khanom helped us in this job, especially on Rajavi’s movements.”
In 1992, I had a visit to building 15 of VAVAK [the Iranian term for the VEVAK/MOIS] and since I had to show myself to the VEVAK/MOIS authorities every now and then, I took the time to have a chat with an old friend. When I saw my friend I realized that Kamali was with him. I asked Kamali what he had done with Jacques Sotlou with whom I first met. [Jacques Sotlou was a member of the French Action Directe group which had contacts with the Iranian regime.] Kamali replied that he had a source in the French Police through whom they [VAVAK] got in touch with a source in the Swiss Police. He intended to show how far he had gone with the source. To prove what he had said he produced a photo from a file which was taken from a close distance and it was showing Kazem Rajavi in his kitchen with a cup of tea in his hand.
It was a color photo and half of a samovar [traditional Persian water heater] was seen in the photo. The photo was taken from behind a door or a window outside the kitchen or the building. It was clear that the photographer was outside the building perhaps in the garden or on the road or somewhere else…
Once, I saw the photo of a woman in the office of Saeed Islami [Imami], one of [VEVAK/MOIS Minister] Fallahian’s deputies. It was said that she was a source in the Swiss Police. But there weren’t any more details about her and whether she had been involved in Kazem Rajavi’s case.
Assassins also implicated in serial political murders
Most of the murderers of Professor Rajavi were the same criminals who got involved in serial murders a few years later. Saeed Imami was working in the Foreign Administration of the VEVAK/MOIS with Mullah Mohammad Hijazi during the period Mohammad Reyshahri was serving as the VEVAK/MOIS Minister. According to remarks by witness “C”, reports prepared by the Swiss spy “Hajj Khanom” were received by Imami and he pursued Professor Rajavi’s assassination plan. While in the Internal Security Administration during Ali Fallahian’s term as the VEVAK/MOIS Minister, in fact Imami masterminded the assassinations outside the country.
Notwithstanding his high position within the Iranian intelligence apparatus, the scandalous revelations on the political chain killings in 1999 forced the regime to put Imami behind bars. But that was not enough to contain the crisis and given Imami’s key role in assassinations at home and overseas, the leading ayatollahs eventually decided to have him killed in the prison. In a private session of the so-called moderates on June 28, 1999, Kourosh Fouladi, an Iranian parliament member from Khoram Abad (the same terrorist agent who had been arrested earlier in England for his involvement in a bomb explosion) referred to the alleged “suicide” by Saeed Imami and said in a friendly talk:
It is not realistic that he has been said to have committed suicide with arsenic... How an important person like him who was under constant watch even in the toilet could ever do that! It must be clarified what happened to a person who had committed so many murders and had been in charge of Kazem Rajavi’s assassination and that how he committed suicide.
Another assassin in Professor Rajavi’s case, Mohammad Saeed Rezvani, was also among the killers arrested during serial murders. He was soon released because of his extensive knowledge on the Iranian regime’s espionage facilities and the assassinations carried out in other countries. Yadollah Samadi, who worked closely with Saeed Imami, was yet another assassin involved in the serial murders but he flew to Moscow in February 2000 and stayed there for some time to avoid being arrested.
Swiss Police declares official Iranian involvement
Two months after Professor Rajavi’s assassination, the Swiss Police issued a 52-page report about the case and declared: “We deeply believe that one or more official Iranian services have directly been involved in the murder of Mr. Kazem Rajavi.” A Swiss judge investigating the assassination officially announced in 1997 that “a high ranking Iranian government official” had been behind the terrorist act.
Based on the information gathered by the Iranian Resistance, in his telegram to the Swiss President and senior government officials, the Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi reiterated the direct involvement of top Iranian officials, Rafsanjani in particular, in this criminal murder. The ruling terrorist dictatorship was horrified by the Iranian Resistance’s revelations exposing its crimes and especially Rafsanjani’s role which was extensively reported in the media. Therefore, Tehran strongly reacted to the developments and in order to stop further exposure of its involvement in the assassination, it took legal action against a Swiss journalist who had published the telegram of the Leader of the Iranian Resistance.
Rafsanjani’s lawsuit against Swiss journalist turns into his own trial
Following the assassination of Professor Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi announced that the Khomeini regime’s embassy in Switzerland, acting on direct orders from Rafsanjani, was responsible for this murder. Mr. Rajavi urged the Swiss government to expeditiously arrest and punish the perpetrators.The cowardly assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi was widely reported in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Asia.
Foreign press reports on the direct role of the regime’s leaders as the planners and perpetrators of Professor Rajavi’s assassination was a heavy blow to the remnants of Khomeini’s dictatorship, in particular Rafsanjani. Cornered by irremediable deadlocks, the Iranian regime badly needed to whitewash their regime’s image projecting as “moderate.” In a desperate move to reinstate their “honor,” they brought a libel suit against Ms. Myriam Gazut, a staff reporter for the daily La Suisse.
The court proceedings on this case -- Rafsanjani v. Myriam Gazut -- turned into a fiasco for Khomeini’s heirs. The Swiss Court began its proceedings on May 17, 1990. Contrary to the Iran's expectations, it was their terrorist regime which went on trial. The Public Prosecutor, in charge of handling this libel suit, described the Iran a “hostage-taker and a sponsor of crimes,” and requested that inquiries into Professor Rajavi’s assassination be continued.
Investigations on Kazem Rajavi’s Case Start again in Switzerland
In a related development, it was disclosed in June 2004 that upon revelations on a two hundred million-dollar Swiss bank account belonging to the top leaders of the Iranian regime, there were growing suspicions that the account was the source of funds for two terrorist cases -- assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi and bribes to the former Argentinean President Carlos Menem in relation to the terrorist blast at a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that left 86 people killed and 200 wounded.
Swiss Judicial Investigations Evidence confirm Tehran’s direct role
The Magistrate of Investigations of Canton de Vaud, Judge Roland Chatelain, issued a press release on June 22, 1990 as a supplement to his statement of May 3, 1990 and disclosed the role of the Iranian regime’s officials in the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi. He stated:
At the present stage, police in charge of the inquiry have collected various evidence allowing confirmation of the direct involvement of one or more official Iranian services in the assassination of Mr. Kazem Rajavi.
The press release of Judge Roland Chatelain appears in the following pages:
Case of Kazem Rajavi’s murder remains in Focus
The case of the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi has persistently been the focus of judicial inquiries and media reports.
Investigations involving other major terrorist acts masterminded by the leaders of the clerical government in Iran and perpetrated by its agents of terror across continents have proved in one way or another to be connected to the case of Professor Rajavi’s murder.
The documents and evidence emerging from investigations into other terror cases have corroborated the initial findings by the Swiss Police on the involvement of official Iranian services and the role of 13 agents all of whom carried diplomatic passports marked “on mission.”
In June 1997, the Swiss Magistrate Roland Chatelain announced that the issue of the Mykonos trial in Germany had activated the investigations on the murder of Professor Rajavi.
International bodies condemn assassination
In the wake of the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi, many international bodies and dignitaries condemned the Iranian rulers for their involvement in this terrorist act. The following is a brief selection of letters and resolutions expressing the international outrage at the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi:
1. The UN Commission on Human Rights issued a statement on August 30, 1990 and strongly condemned the assassination of Professor Kazem Rajavi on political grounds.
2. On May 11, 1990 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution and strongly condemned the Assassination of Professor Rajavi.
3. In a letter to the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, 162 members of the US Congress condemned the assassination of Professor Rajavi.
4. The European Parliament issued a resolution and condemned the assassination of Professor Rajavi.
5. In a congressional record released on May 15, 1990, Congressman Thomas J. Bliley Jr. from Virginia condemned the assassination and paid tribute to the memory of Professor Rajavi.
Swiss Foreign Ministry Summons Iranian Terrorist Diplomat
Agence France Presse, June 22, 1990
Judge Roland Chatelain stated that “one or more official Iranian services have been involved in the assassination of Kazem Rajavi.” He wrote the investigations had concluded that 13 people all holding diplomatic passports marked “on mission” were closely involved in this matter. The representative of the Swiss foreign ministry summoned an Iranian diplomat and informed him that the Swiss Government would study and analyze charges made against some official Iranian services and if necessary would take binding measures respectively. He did not rule out that “if it was proved to him that the diplomats holding credentials or the Iranian staff were involved in the case, then he would draw the appropriate conclusions.” He added: “During the period between April 10 and 24, ‘a number of commandos’ arrived in Switzerland and in the same period murderers kept their victims under observation.” Chatelain pointed out that the investigations conducted in cooperation with the police force of other countries had proved that there were strong relations between the murder in Coppet and other murders which took place elsewhere in Europe during the recent years
Switzerland, Iran’s Bridgehead for Terrorism
The German monthly Terrorismus, issued by the Terrorism Research Fund, December 1991
Since the downfall of the monarchy in Iran, Switzerland has been regarded as the European bridgehead for the Iranian intelligence services. This bridgehead was established during Khomeini’s time. It has expanded since then and today it enjoys a considerable logistical center which is a building with no signs at 28, Shomapeti Sakenks Street in Geneva and not very far from the Intercontinental Hotel where the Iranian intelligence service and VAVAK are accommodated.
Before the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. officials considered this place as a real pivotal center used [by the Iranian regime] for decision makings on the assassination of the opposition figures. They had sounded the alarm bells several times. In 1988, they tried to stop the accreditation of Seyed Mahmoud Mala’ek as the Iranian ambassador to Bern. He was one of the men who took part in taking U.S. diplomats in Tehran as hostages in 1979. The U.S. Administration expressed its dissatisfaction in diplomatic terms with the Swiss Government’s lack of intention to condemn Iran for assassinating Kazem Rajavi, brother and spokesman of the leader of the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK) in Geneva.
Clear argumentation on June 22, 1990 by the Swiss Magistrate Roland Chatelain on Kazem Rajavi’s case appears to bear pressure on the Iranian government officials. After two months of efforts to discover the true story, the Canton de Vaud judge managed to argue how the Iranian dissident was killed. Altogether 13 people were involved in the operation with their first mission having started as “reconnaissance” in 1989. They were all carrying Iranian diplomatic passports marked “on special duty” and most of them were accommodated in Geneva hotels.
Iranian Diplomat Was Involved
Parisian (France), January 8, 1994
The report by the security police in de Vaud Province assures that one or more Iranian secret services were indirectly involved in Kazem Rajavi’s assassination.
Being confident that the Iranian secret services had acted in the case, the police paid special attention to an Iranian diplomat who was serving in the UAE. The man was in Geneva some days before the assassination of Rajavi. Hadi Najafabadi made several phone calls from the Intercontinental Hotel to Tehran and then to the Iranian delegation in the UN or directly to the Iranian ambassador Siroos Nasseri.
France Reneged on Extraditing Assassins to Switzerland
Agence France Presse, January 4, 1994
The judge responsible for the case of Kazem Rajavi’s assassination revealed today that Switzerland prepared three times for the transfer of two Iranians but on each occasion Paris canceled the extradition in the last moments.
According to Roland Chatelain, the last preparation for the case was on December 28, 1993. Each time Swiss officials stationed a large number of security forces at the borders preparing to receive the assassins. Translators had been employed and prison cells prepared.
While expressing his regret at French refusal of handing over the assassins, he told the Swiss news agency: “One would become a philosopher when he ages.”
French Council Denounced Government Decision Lack of zeal and parallel diplomacy
Liberation (France), December 20, 1994
The French Council (Supreme Court) concluded that “the government’s high interests” cited by the French government have no logical ground and that is exactly why it is considered as the Noel’s gift to Iran as it received two of its citizens. It seems more like Passqua’s parallel diplomatic intervention with his police force or a mixture of his functions.
Iran’s Role is Definite
TIME magazine (U.S.), March 21, 1994
Time reported that the Swiss investigators had no doubt that a number of the death squad members as well as two Iranian diplomats suspected of their involvement in the murder were on that airplane. Passenger checklists, hotel registration books and police documents finally helped identifying 13 suspects involved in this murder, Time said. They had all arrived in Switzerland with freshly issued passports for government staff and many of them had been issued on the same date in Tehran.
The U.S. weekly added that most of the suspects said their address was 40 Karim Khan Street in Tehran which is a building belonging to the VEVAK/MOIS. All 13 suspects had arrived in Switzerland on Iran Air flights and their tickets had been issued on the same date with successive serial numbers. Switzerland issued international arrest warrants for them on June 15, 1990.
Majority of Swiss MPs Urge Prosecution of Assassins
Associated Press, June 12, 1997
A statement released by 116 members of the National Parliament said the Swiss judiciary should have put the assassins of the Iranian dissident Kazem Rajavi on trial in an appropriate manner even in absentia and if necessary, Switzerland must have a more uncompromising stance in political matters towards Iran, the Associated Press reported.
A day before that, Judge Roland Chatelain had pointed out that the subject of the Mykonos trial in Germany had activated the investigations into the murder of Kazem Rajavi which happened in Coppet some seven years ago, the report added. The statement signed by 116 parliamentarians was released in a joint press conference in Bern. The conference was held by the “representative of the NCRI” and members of the National Parliament, Victor Rufi (Socialist, Canton de Vaud), Eugene David (Christian Democrat, Saint Kerane) and Luzi Aschtam (Radical, Aargau).
Judge Chatelain: High Ranking Iranian Official Suspected
Le Matin (Switzerland), June 13, 1997
Judge Roland Chatelain announced he suspected a high ranking Iranian official in Tehran’s Islamic government to be related to the murder of Iranian dissident Kazem Rajavi near Geneva seven years ago. This murder seems to have been committed in the same way that four Iranian dissidents were killed in Berlin some two years later.
Kazem Rajavi’s Case Reopened
Le Courier (Switzerland), July 4, 1997
There are new developments in the investigation into the murder of Kazem Rajavi in Coppet. A new espionage case can deteriorate the relations between Switzerland and Tehran. The General Affairs Minister started a new investigation on political intelligence services.
The decision was made after the latest development in the investigation on the murder of Kazem Rajavi. Not only did the Swiss judges find information on 13 suspects -- especially two Iranians who were sent back to Iran by France in 1993 -- but they also obtained new evidence which made General Prosecutor Karla Del Ponte launch a new investigation on an espionage case.
Chatelain Murderers Have High Ranking Posts in Tehran Government
Swiss News Agency, July 12, 1997
Judge Roland Chatelain is completely convinced that the orders to murder Kazem Rajavi came from Tehran. According to Chatelain, both men -- who are under prosecution by Switzerland and were sent to Iran by French authorities -- were the main suspects and they now occupy high positions in Iran.
Arrest warrant issued by the Examining Magistrate of Canton de Vaud:
Dossier No.: A/289/90
International Arrest Warrant
We, Jacques ANTENEN, the Examining Magistrate of Canton de Vaud in Lausanne, as a competent magistrate for gathering information on the acts claimed to have been done by the accused, issue order to the bailiffs and agents to arrest the following person and take him to Canton de Vaud Prison according to the Penal Code in Canton.
Surname: Fallahian Name: Ali
Name on Birth Certificate: - - -
Date of Birth: 1949
Place of Birth: Najafabad, Iran
Father’s Name: ? Mother’s Name: ?
Marital Status: ? Native of: ?
Profession: Former Minister of Intelligence and Security in the Islamic
Republic of Iran
Last Known Address: ?
Current Probable Address: ?
Eye Color: ?
Hair Color: ?
Ant Particular Marks: ?
The Examining Magistrate of Canton de Vaud sends a copy of the arrest warrant to the Federal Office of Justice:
Canton de Vaud
Federal Office of Justice
International Judiciary Help
Dossier No.: JAN 289/90 Date: 20 Mar. 2006/MW
(To be mentioned on all correspondences)
The case of Kazim Rajavi, assassinated on 24 April 1990 in Coppet,
Please receive the international arrest warrant for Ali Fallahian in three
I would demand you to publish it to the world.
Regarding the special nature of the case, I have sent a letter to the
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with a copy of the international
I appreciate your precious cooperation and please accept my respect.
Examining Magistrate of Canton de Vaud
The Examining Magistrate of Canton de Vaud informs the Swiss Foreign Minister of the arrest warrant:
Canton de Vaud
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
To the Secretary General
Dossier No.: JAN 289/90 Date: 20 Mar. 2006/MW
(To be mentioned on all correspondences)
The case of Kazim Rajavi, assassinated on 24 April 1990 in Coppet, Canton de Vaud
Mr. Secretary General
Continuing with the contacts I have had with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs regarding the case and since my decision could have some impacts on the foreign relations of our country, I would like to inform you that I have issued today an international arrest warrant for Ali Fallahian the former Minister of Intelligence and Security in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
There have been two other international arrest warrants issued for Ali Fallahian, one by the Examining Magistrate in Karlsruhe in Germany regarding the Mykonos Case and the other by Argentinean authorities regarding the AMIA Case.
Attached is the relative document with the emphasis that it is a confidential document.
Mr. Secretary General, please accept my best regards.
Examining Magistrate of Canton de Vaud
Copy to the Federal Office of Justice, International Cooperation Division,
International Arrest Warrant
Events in Brief
Minutes before mid-day on April 24, 1990, Kazem Rajavi, an Iranian citizen and a professor at Geneva University, was assassinated near his home in Coppet, Canton de Vaud.
Kazem Rajavi, a former Iranian diplomat, sought and obtained political asylum in Switzerland in 1981. He was an activist in the National Council of Resistance of Iran chaired by his brother Massoud Rajavi, also the leader of the Mojahedin of Iran.
While driving in his private car along a calm road at 1150 April 24, 1990, Kazm Rajavi came under attack by two cars whose occupants fired on him by 9 mm machine guns and forced him to stop. He was shot by six bullets and died instantly.
Further investigations showed that Kazem Rajavi’s assassination had been carefully planned. The commandos first traveled to Switzerland in October 1989, then in late January and early February 1990 and finally from 10 to 24 April in the same year. In the final leg, the assassins kept the victim under surveillance before taking any measures and hired various vehicles in Geneva and Lausanne for the job.
The attackers were thought to be four commandos. But the investigations revealed that 13 men were involved in preparing and perpetrating the murder. They were carrying service passports stamped “On Duty”. Some of the passports had been issued on the same day in Tehran. Most of the suspects had arrived in Switzerland together on direct Iran Air Tehran-Geneva flights and their tickets had consecutive serial numbers. The hotel receipts and the contract sheets for hiring the cars revealed their communications.
Hours after the assassination, the perpetrators managed to escape from Switzerland. A search for them has since then started and international arrest warrants have been issued.
An international arrest warrant was issued on November 17, 1997 for the following people:
- Sadegh Babaee, 1958, alias Azadeh Javad, alias Akhondzadeh Basti Mohammad Mehdi;
- Bayani Hamadani Ali Reza, 1959, alias Rezvani;
- Danesh Said, 1956, alias Araghi Reza;
- Haadavi Ali, 1957, alias Jazaeri Mohammad Reza, alias Maveddat;
- Hemmati Said, 1948, alias Safiran Javad, alias Yasini Javad;
- Jazaeri Mohammad Reza, 1958, alias Haadavi Ali, alias Shojai or Shojoee Hussein, alias Danesh;
- Kamali Ali, 1956, alias Sharif Esfahani Mohsen, 1955, alias Kamali Khalil;
- Moslehiaraghi Ali, 1947;
- Pourmirzai, Naser, 1956, alias Pourmirzai Nasser, alias Pour Mirzai Naser, 1.6.56, alias Arshad Asghar, alias Samad;
- Pourshaffiee Mohsen, 1958, alias Ammar;
- Rezvani Muhammad Said, 1966, alias Bayanolhagh Ali Reza;
- Sajadian Mahmoud, 1958, alias Taheri Ahmad, 1961, alias Rajabi Mahmoud;
- Samadi Yadollah, 1957;
During the planning and executing the assassination of Kazem Rajavi, Ali Fallahian was the Minister of Intelligence and Security in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was in 1982 or 1983 that he decided to kill Kazem Rajavi and issued the order to kill him. He had already issued an order to kill Massoud Rajavi, the victim’s brother, and Bani Sadr, another dissident, both living in Paris at the time but he had cancelled the order.
The ministry under Ali Fallahian ran - among other jobs - the ministry’s special service called VEVAK. The ministry had also strong ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and in particular the Quds Special Force.
At the time of the events mentioned in the document, the Islamic republic had banned all opposition groups, had pursued these groups or members of them abroad and did not hesitate to eliminate them. The Minister Ali Fallahian was in charge of the execution section and responsible for issuing orders and assigning missions.
It should be also mentioned that the Iranian service passports had been issued by the order of the ministry under Fallahian and when the assassins returned to Iran the passports were taken from them in the airport. The service passports for the 13 men above had been issued in Karimkhan Street in Tehran. There are two buildings on this street accommodating part of the Iranian intelligence services, i.e. the VEVAK.
In a speech aired by the Iranian television on August 30, 1992, Fallahian referred to an opposition group (that means the same group which was attacked in Berlin whose case was called Mykonos, the name of the restaurant where the murders took place) pursued by his ministry and said:
We have a security section which carries out missions against the anti-revolutionary grouplets [the term used by the clerical regime to refer to the opposition groups]… We managed to infiltrate into the central part of such grouplets and arrest most of their members… Some of them fled the country. We continued our operations. We follow them abroad. We infiltrate into their central organization and get to know their activities… We have also managed to deliver blows to such grouplets at home and abroad.”
The elimination of Iranian dissidents has happened in several European countries. The murders took place between 1987 and 1993 in Hamburg, Vienna (twice), Geneva, London, Dubai, Larnaka, Paris, Berlin and Roma. The investigations on the murders revealed similar traces on several cases. On March 14, 1996, the Investigation Magistrate of the Federal Court in Karlsruhe, Germany issued an international arrest warrant for Fallahian. The warrant was issued after several witnesses had testified during the Mykonos Case before the Court of Appeal in Berlin who all emphasized on Fallahian’s essential role in assassinating the dissidents.
On the other hand, considering that Ali Fallahian had been involved in organizing and coordinating the bombing of the Israeli-Argentinean Cooperation Center (AMIA) on January 18, 1994 which killed 85 and left more than 100 injured, the Argentinean authorities too issued an international arrest warrant for Fallahian.
Bank account pays for Rajavi’s assassination
By Carol Vaugn and Juan Gasparini
Tribune de Geneve, June 17, 2004
A Bank account in Geneva with two hundred million dollars of money credit might be the source of support for 400 killing operations throughout Europe. The investigations launched by Judge Jacques Antenen also include Carlos Menem. The inquiry on the bank credits of the former Argentinean president in Swiss banks has led to a fresh probe on the assassination of the Iranian dissident Kazem Rajavi in Coppet 14 years ago.
The murder case of Kazem Rajavi in Canton de Vaud reopened again. A judge from Canton de Vaud found some connections to the investigation about Carlos Menem.
Two important judiciary issues one in Geneva and the other in Lausanne can put Bern once again in a difficult situation. In the heart of the controversy over the two dossiers lies a bank account in Geneva with 200 million dollars apparently used for 400 killing operations in Europe. The ayatollahs’ secret services ordered those operations. Switzerland seems to be one of the financial axes of Iranian terrorism.
But how is the Argentinean judicial procedure on the capitals of Carlos Menem, which had been deposited in a Swiss bank account, related to the murder of the Iranian dissident Kazem Rajavi?
At the first glance, these two seem to be totally different adventures that could have easily gone forward in parallel without being connected to each other. But both cases end up in the same bank account. Ten million dollars from this bank account was sent for Carlos Menem. In return, he was expected to cover up the investigations on the Buenos Aires explosion which killed 86 and wounded another 200. On the other hand, this bank account was used to pay the expenses of the 13-member team sent to Switzerland for the assassination of Kazem Rajavi.
The Accuser in Germany
There is a key personality in the center of these charges; he is Abolghasem Mesbahi (known as witness “C”), a former agent of the secret services under Khomeini’s control and today he is the only person who could produce evidence to prove that such account had existed. Living as a refugee in Germany since 1997, Mesbahi has been questioned several times by German, French, Swiss and Argentinean police and his allegations have always been assessed as reliable. As the main witness in the Mykonos trial for the assassination of four Iranian Kurdish leaders in a restaurant in Berlin in 1992 by a Tehran commando, Mesbahi was also questioned about the murder of Kazem Rajavi in Lausanne.
Hide out in Geneva
Journalist Franc Garbelli drew the route Mesbahi had followed last year. It becomes clear that Mesbahi was acting in Geneva in 1990 and had enrolled as a student. He had relations with the Geneva police whereby he was receiving information about the Iranian opposition movements. According to his testimony, this account existed in a bank 200 meters away from Hotel Rene in Geneva with the name Luxembourg on its entrance. Three people had the signature to withdraw money from this account and they were Rafsanjani, former Iranian president; Ahmad Khomeini, son of Khomeini and Ali Fallahian, former Interior Minister and head of the security services.
Geneva justice holds off
The Argentinean judges investigating to find out who was behind the killing in AMIA center came across the witness “C”. He revealed that Menem had received a 10 million-dollar bribe from Iran. The money had been paid off from this account and transferred to Menem’s or one of his relative’s accounts. Mesbahi said on several occasions that he was ready to come to Geneva and identify the bank’s exact location.
Parallel to the whitewash law in 1998, the banks discovered two accounts and reported them to the Justice Department in 2001. The accounts in Swiss banks were related to Menem. Bern assigned Geneva to make a judicial investigation on the whitewash of the money. The case was given to Christian Jonu. The Argentinean judges immediately called for cooperation and put forward two demands: specification of two bank accounts and summoning the Iranian witness to Geneva to explain the financial source of the ayatollahs’ terrorism.
Three years have passed since that date and neither the witness has been interviewed in Geneva nor have the accounts been clarified to the Argentinean judiciary. The reason of Geneva judiciary’s unwillingness to work is wrapped in secrecy. On the other hand, Christian Jonu wants to change his job. What is he going to do with Menem’s case? In a contact with Judge Jacques Antenen in charge of the Kazem Rajavi case, he said he was surprised with Geneva blocking the case. The Canton de Vaud judge would be going to Germany in August for a primary interview with the witness in a bid to convince him to come to Switzerland.
Hope from Lausanne
The Argentinean judiciary, disappointed with Geneva’s lack of action, is now looking forward to Lausanne. In fact, Rajavi’s case could unblock the investigations on the killings in Argentina’s AMIA center and in return the information from Argentina could prove to be essential for the judicial inquiry in Lausanne. Jacques Antenen and Argentinean judges have started a close cooperation to find out the connections between the two cases of activities of the Iranian intelligence services. The judges of both countries are well aware that their essential interests are concentrated on this vital witness. The bank is in Switzerland and only a Swiss judge can get Mesbahi to move here.
Can Lausanne proceed from where Geneva blocked it? The Argentinians and Rajavi’s family are looking forward to this.
Satanic money still kills
Stephan Rajavi is Kazem’s son who asked Judge Antenen to bring the Iranian witness to Switzerland for clarification on the bank account. He says:
“I have been impatiently waiting since two years ago for the results of investigation on this bank account by the Justice Department of Geneva. I believed this account was used to finance my father’s assassination.”
The Iranian ambassador to the UN after the revolution, Kazem Rajavi soon resigned to join the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
He exposed the breach of human rights and torture in his country for years in the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. But his testimonies were disturbing. He was assassinated by 40 bullets of submachine gun in Coppet in April 1990. The de Vaud provincial police report says that murderers were 13 commandos from the Iranian secret services. On their arrival in Switzerland, they were all carrying “official diplomatic passports” issued under the orders of Minister Fallahian, one of the owners of the bank account.
“Nothing came out from Geneva. I contacted a number of Argentinean personalities such as Prosecutor Amoun Molan in charge of AMIA case in Buenos Aires. That was the only way to open the sealed door to the cases of these terrorist acts.”
The relation between the two cases sends out new waves. “We came to the conclusion that to be more effective, the Swiss judiciary must rely on a strong solidarity of victims of the Iranian terrorism from all kinds of thoughts.”
But the game is not over yet. Stephan adds: “Unfortunately, this kind of state crime makes it difficult for the justice to express the facts, because it is not compatible with diplomatic logics. For Geneva and Bern, this bank account is regarded as Pandora’s box that they are scared of opening. The most disturbing fact is that the sum of two hundred million dollars has certainly been moved to another bank or it is still used for assassinations.”
In Stephan’s view, Judge Antenen is a hope for the victims today. “This is the duty of Justice for the lives of those human beings who were brutally murdered by the Iranian regime’s terrorists during the ‘90s. I hope the Swiss judiciary would find a just solution compatible with the democratic demands.”