Iranian Arrested at Erbil Consulate Wanted in Austria
ADN Kronos reports:
Tehran, 17 Jan. (AKI) – One of the five Iranians arrested last week by the US army in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil is wanted in Austria in connection with the assassination of Kurdish leader Andol Rahman Ghassemlu in 1989. Mahommad Jaafari Sharoudi (Sahraroudi) was one of five Iranian officials detained last week in the Kurdish-controlled city on charges of being connected to a faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the Pasdaran, that funds and arms insurgents in Iraq.
Abdol Rahman Ghassemlu, the historic leader of Iranian Kurds, was killed in an apartment in the outskirts of the Austrian capital Vienna where he was scheduled to meet a delegation sent by then Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Sahraroudi was given a hero’s welcome when he returned to Iran after the murders in 1989.
The US Military confirmed on Sunday that the five Iranians arrested in northern Iraq last week were indeed connected to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard faction that funds and arms insurgents in Iraq. But, the US has not released the names of the Iranians.
Ghassemlu was murdered in 1989 on the outskirts of Vienna by suspected Iranian agents during a secret meeting in a suburban apartment. The Iranians were envoys of Iran’s then president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. (Kurd.net reported)
Kurdish Media has more on this story from yesterday:
16 January 2007: There is no official affirmation by the Austrian government yet for rumours identifying Mohammed Jafar Sahraroudi (alias Rahimi) as one of the arrested Iranian representatives in Erbil after the US-raid a week ago.
If the identity should be established this man would have been the head of the killers’ squadron for the assassination of Dr Abdul-Rahman Ghassemlou and two of his aides on July 13th, 1989 in Vienna, Austria.
International warrants against the (altogether) three alleged Iranian murderers were issued towards the end of that year in Austria and are basically still valid, as the crime of murder does not become time-barred in this country. Thus theoretically Sahraroudi’s extradition could be demanded by Austria from the US, if he should be in their custody.
There was also speculation that one of the detained Iranians may be Former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Leader and Ahmadinejad’s chief strategic counselor Hassan Abbasi. Threats Watch is reporting that the detained Hassan Abbasi was not the Qods Force leader in question, but indeed an Iranian by that name.
Turkish Daily News is reporting that, “Austria’s Oe1 radio said Tuesday that one of the arrested Iranians is Mohammad Jafari-Sahroudi, implicated in the assassination of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, then head of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, his assistant and another Kurdish exile.”