Exchanging Killer Of Shahpour Bakhtiar With French Prisoner Is A Ransom paid By The French Government To The Islamic Republic of Iran.
Untold Secrets Of The Shahpour Bakhtiar's Assassination, In An Interview With Spokesman Of The Organization of Iranian Peoples' Fedaiie Guerrillas (OIPFG) Hossein Zohari (Bahram).
It was in 1991 that some of the terrorists of the regime of Islamic Republic assassinated Shahpour Bakhtiar and his associate Sroush Katibeh in suburbs of Paris. Few months after this brutal act, first Bakhtiar's daughter was mysteriously found dead and six months later his son Ghey Bakhtiar who was one of the four top police commissioners in France was dead.
The court trails of the killers were more of a formality and eventually two of the key perpetrators, Zein-al-Abedin Sarhadi and Housein Sheikh-Atar were found not guilty. At that time the OIPFG revealed the name of the 14 of the terrorists and operatives of the regime hoping to unfold the ongoing murder plots. After releasing these documents it became clear to us that the French authorities not only were not interested in finding the facts but also were against any action taken by the Iranian opposition demanding further investigations. In those years the OIPFG's continuous fight against the criminal acts of the Islamic regime wasn't received well by the French authorities and to the contrary some of the members of our organization were put under police investigation.
Now after 18 years of those bitter and tragic events, once again we are witnessing more collaboration with the regime in Iran. French government in order to add to its credibility and to protect its economic interests is entertaining the idea of prisoner exchange. They want to exchange Vakili-Rad, one of the assassins of Shahpour Bakhtiar, with a French female prisoner Klotilde Reiss. Mr. Sarkozy's recent remarks indicated that he is less enthusiastic and thinks this cannot be done, but the comments of the other French authorities including the Interior Minister show that this deal is in France's agenda. Contrary to all the hypes and hooplas by France in opposing the regime of the Islamic Republic once again French government is willing to pay ransom and deal with the regime in Tehran. Past experiences show that anytime the economic interests of France is in stake or its geopolitical interests is in danger, this country shows no respect for human rights, democracy, and moral principles.
Vakili-Rad is a criminal and based on French laws after finishing his prison term has to leave France. Exchanging a killer with a young French woman who has been arrested for taking pictures from people's peaceful demonstrations is more of a joke and disrespect for all the international norms and regulations.
To discuss this matter the official web site of the OIPFG has conducted an interview with comrade Bahram (Housein Zohari) who for 13 years was under continuous surveillance by the French police. All the allegations and charges against comrade Bahram were later removed after Sarkozy took over in France.
Question: Comrade Bahram, it seems French government is planning to exchange Klotilde Reiss who has been charged for participating in recent demonstrations in Iran with the killer of Shahpour Bakhtiar, is this true?
Answer: This is not the first time that the French government wants to cave in and surrender to intimidations and pressures from the Islamic Republic. This goes back to 1982, in those years Mitterrand was hoping that the opposition forces in Iran will soon be able to topple the regime. For this reason, French government was backing the Iranian opposition. This policy didn't last long and there was a major shift in France's policies towards Iran. I remember that in those days when few days after my arrival in France, authorities in the Interior Ministry mentioned to me that in the past their policies towards the Islamic Republic have been wrong and they intend to reverse this direction. It was very obvious what they were after at that time, they wanted to work and improve their ties with the regime in Iran. When I asked them what is the reason for this policy u-turn, I was told that not only France has lost many of its economic interests worth millions of dollars in Iran, but also is paying a high price for housing some of the Iranian opposition forces on its soil. Assassination of Shahpour Bakhtiar and the other assassination that followed should be considered in this context and in the aftermath of this major policy shift.
Question: Do you think is there any connection between pressures put on our organization and Bakhtiar's assassination?
Answer: At that time me and few other members of the OIPFG were put under police surveillance and our movements were monitored by the French police. Some of these pressures were related to the terrorist activities of the Islamic Republic operatives against us and their warm relation with the French authorities. And some were related to our investigation of the Bakhtiar's assassination. Now that this issue has come up again, I would like to discuss some of the untold facts regarding this matter so the people of Iran would know what happened in those years.
Prior to Bakhtiar's assassination, some of the members of the Iranian opposition were assassinated in France. There were two assassination attempts against my own life at that time. Unfortunately the French authorities always ignored and looked the other way without paying serious attention to the terrorist activities of the regime. They never were interested in opening a case against these illegal activities. Anytime we wanted to expose some of these terrorist activities and present evidence that the French authorities were collaborating with the regime in Iran, our case was ignored and rejected. We were always told that France doesn't want to risk and jeopardize its interests in Iran.
Few weeks before Bakhtiar's assassination we had some valuable information from one of our sources indicating that Feridoun Boyerahmadi was one of the dangerous elements of the regime's hit-squad in Paris. Through a third-party channels we made few attempts to lure him to a business center that was run by our organization, but this mysterious figure never accepted our offers to show up there in person. Some of the information that we were getting were reliable and well trusted. Despite that, in order to eliminate any possible doubt we used other channels and sources to find out more about the true identity of Fereidoun Boyerahmadi. Later it became clear to us that he was indeed one of the terrorist operatives of the regime of Islamic Republic stationed in France. We were told by our source that Boyerahmadi's main mission was to infiltrate among Iranian opposition groups and work its way up from within these organizations. After it was clear to us who he was we no longer were interested to meet him in person thinking he might find out and discover that we were following his activities.
At that time there were no direct contacts between us and the National Resistance Movement led by Mr. Bakhtiar. We thought it was part of our obligation and also beneficial to the movement in Iran to try to contact Mr. Bakhtiar directly. Unfortunately we were never able to contact him directly. And later when one of our comrades with the directions from our organization made few attempts to establish direct contacts with Bakhtiar's office we noticed that the security matters in his office were under the control of Naser Rasouli, the notorious torturer and former member of the Shah's secret police SAVAk. After that our comrade was instructed not to contact the Bakhtiar's office anymore. Instead we continued to follow Rasouli's movements hoping to find out about his contacts. Even though we were unable to establish direct contact with Bakhtiar's office, but we found out that Naser Rasouli and Fereidoun Boyerahmadi were working together and our conclusion was that French police is aware of this collaboration. Following Rasouli's movements and activities we noticed that he also has some contacts with some elements of the Iranian opposition in Paris 15 France. We will release more information related to this matter in some other appropriate time. While we were following Rasouli's activities all of a sudden we realized in the midst of all these me and part of our own activities were watched and monitored by the French police. It was in this atmosphere that we thought since Bakhtiar's son is one of the top members of the French police it might be helpful to share some of our information with the French authorities hoping that these information might reach him and he could then take action to stop any possible assassination plot against his Father. There were lots of mistrusts in those days among Iranian opposition forces, something that unfortunately hasn't subsided over the years. After all these attempts we were not able to contact Shahpour Bakhtiar directly and to our disbelief one week later Shahpour Bakhtiar was assassinated.
Question: After Bakhtiar was assassinated what was your reaction besides releasing some of the documents about the French authorities and what was their response regarding their inaction and their indifference?
Answer: Two to three days after Bakhtiar was murdered I met the same French authorities that I had told them specifically about the possible assassination plot. I had told them that Feridoun Boyerahmadi, his brothers, and few others in Bakhtiar's office had contacts with the Iranian authorities. When I asked them whether these information were escalated to the higher authorities or not, I was told that they didn't think these information were serious and nobody believed it. Their explanation smelled cover-up and we wanted to call a news conference and take the issue to the media that we realized French authorities are not happy with this and their pressure on our organization kept mounting. There were signs that some of the activities of our comrades were tracked and monitored by the French police. It was 2 in the morning that I was arrested in the vicinity of the Naser Rasouli's home in Klishi Paris.
They first transferred me to a nearby police station and 4:00 in the morning one of the French intelligence officers came to see me. They wanted to know what was I doing there in that time of the night. I told them, I am free to walk in any public place anytime I desire. There is no restriction on my movements and I can go to any public place anytime of the day or night. I asked them if there is any restriction for going to that neighborhood. Most probably they would have reacted the same and asked me the same type of questions no matter where I was arrested. They were not willing to mention Naser Rasouli's name or add anything to what we already knew. At the time that I was arrested I was armed with a pistol. I was asked about the handgun and I told them this gun is only for self-defense. I told them, three days ago they killed Shahpour Bakhtiar and there has been two attempts against my own life in the past. I told them I have no choice but to carry gun to protect myself. This wasn't the end of the story, the next morning they took me to a military court and confiscated the gun. I was released and was advised not to carry gun anymore or do something that might cause more troubles.
Eight hours later I was released, but the pressure on me and some of our comrades kept mounting and our activities were constantly monitored by the polices. After all the pressures brought on us it was clear that the French authorities were not going to tolerate any news conference and prefer this assassination not to be taken to the media.
Question: Do you think Rasouli the former member of SAVAK's torture-center was involved in this assassination?
Answer: Yes, I think he played a role in Bakhtiar's assassination. Le me try to explain this so we can have a better understanding of the situation. Despite all the pressures that was imposed on us by the French authorities, our investigation about Rasouli didn't stop there. I think it was two days after my release that we found out that Rasouli was no longer going to his own home. After some investigation we noticed that he had spent few days in police custody in France and later was told that France is not safe for him anymore and he better leave France soon. Few weeks past and we still were trying to find out what happened to him and how he vanished. We also wanted to know more about his relations with some elements of the so called "Iranian opposition" in France. During our investigation we were able to gather more information and found out that with the suggestion of the French authorities he has left France and gone to America. As you can see when it comes to former member of SAVAK how humanistic and caring the French are! Their animosities and irresponsible approach only flourishes when it comes to dealing with the members of progressive and revolutionary forces.
Question: Can you tell us more about Rasouli and his role in all of this?
Answer: The truth is that at that point the relationship between Rasouli, French police and operatives of the Islamic Republic was still unresolved for us. We continued investigating the matter. We found out that Rasouli had a 21 years old daughter living in Iran. Rasouli had tried for many years without success to get her out of Iran but the regime wouldn't let her leave. Prior to Bakhtiar's assassination regime in Tehran didn't want to issue passport to Rasouli's daughter. Five or six days after Bakhtiar's assassination Rasouli's daughter was directly flown from Tehran to Paris. At that point it became clear to us what Rasouli's role was in this assassination. Based on our assessment when Naser Rasouli was in charge of the security matters in Bakhtiar's office he was collaborating with Fereidoun Boyerahmadi and other operatives of the Islamic Republic.
Rasouli had requested passport for his daughter and the regime had used her as a bargaining chip. Regime wanted to get something from Rasouli before letting his daughter leave Iran. It is very possible that Naser Rasouli was the main plotter and it is very unlikely that the French didn't know about his role. How is it that us with our limited resources were able to gather this much information but French police who always was monitoring all the traffic in and out of Bakhtiar's residence and eavesdropping on Bakhtiar didn't know anything about this. Looking back and reflecting on these bitter memories it makes us to think and ask, what was the role of the French authorities in all of this? How was it that people like Sar-hadi and Sheikh-Atar were announced not guilty and later released? Indeed there are more reasons showing that French authorities knowingly had closed their eyes on this matter. How could it be possible that when every 8 hours the security officers controlling the Bakhtiar's residence had to change shifts and send their reports, but for 48 hours didn't see the corpse of Bakhtiar and Sroush Katibeh laying on the ground. Based on the security orders given to French police, providing security for Bakhtiar was in many ways similar to security measures used in protecting French police stations. Anybody who wanted to get into the Bakhtiar's residence had to leave his/her passport with the security officer at the main door and get his passport back when leaving. Passports were returned to their owners only after double checking with Bakhtiar himself and getting his approval. Documents regarding this murder case show that the security checks were always followed. Two dead bodies staying there for 48 hours indicate that most probably police reports have been fabricated. When French police flatly denies knowing anything about the murder for 48 hours it would be easy to close their eyes on the role of Fereidoun Boyerahmadi and Naser Rasouli.
Question: Comrade Bahram, in the past releasing some of these documents and talking about the facts surrounding this assassination have angered French authorities, don't you think revealing some of these facts after 18 years once again might make France to put more pressures on the OIPFG.
Answer: France in many aspects is similar to our own country. Political parties do everything to gain power in France. In the capitalist world to gain power one needs strong financial strength. The way things are setup in today's world, money is needed no matter which side of the camp you are, no matter you are on the revolutionary camp or the counter-revolutionary camp. I think political parties in France, more than anywhere else, are good at this and know how important financial strength is in helping them to rise to power.
Very similar to how rival factions operate in Iran. When it comes to plundering the people's national wealth, factions supported by Bazaar show no mercy to the "liberal" factions, and the bureaucratic factions by monopolizing everything in their own hands don't want to share power with anybody else. When commissions and incomes from selling oil gets monopolized by Ahmadinejad and his faction, leaving Rafsanjani's family empty handed, that causes major turmoil in the government. When lucrative projects such as building subway systems or building rail cars are shifted from Rafsanjani's dynasty to some newcomers at the leadership of the Sepah Pasdaran then we see regime's infighting deepening. Who could have imagined that the ruling factions in the Islamic Republic to act like hungry wolves trying to tear apart each other for more money and power. Events of the last few months in our country showed that how power of the ruling elite and its financial strength are intertwined. Things are no different in France, it all depends which faction has more money and who controls the economic pillars of the country.
It was this financial power that made a fanatic newcomer such as Ahmadinejad to claim that there was a "divine light circling around his head" while he was delivering his speech at the UN. Or making other superstitious remarks like talking about a well in the deserts of Qom in Jamkaran that creates miracles, can only be explained in the context of high finance and demagoguery.
The only difference is that tensions between rival factions in France take a more conciliatory and "civilized" form. One difference between France and a country like ours is that France is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and no "harsh" resolution can be passed against them. Theoretically, France can be taken to court for violating international laws and regulations but historically France looks the other way and ignores the rulings of these courts. France has been condemned over and over for being involved in killings of Palestinians, Turks, Iranians, Ukrainians, and other nationalities in Strasbourg court. Unfortunately the rulings issued by this court are not enforceable and in the worst case might create bad reputation for the violator. As France continues its covert and overt willing and dealing with the regime in Iran we'll keep revealing and exposing these contacts and relations. In a world that human dignity and human values are sold out to money and power, why do you think the owners of wealth and capital would show any mercy towards us. It is now about three decades that the government of France, specially the political parties in France have their vast and expanded relations with the heads of the Islamic Republic. The political parties in France sometimes make promises to the regime in Iran even before coming to powers, putting themselves under obligations to fulfill those promises after rising to power. This way they think they can prevent any possible pre-election scandal that might end up being costly for their election. We don't know who and which political party is going to come to power in France and how they're going to collaborate with the regime in dealing with the Iranian opposition in France and elsewhere in European.
Question: It seems other opposition groups and organizations from other countries also have similar difficulties staying in France, what is your opinion?
Answer: The government of France has a long history in collaborating with the dictatorial regimes and working with them to stop and destroy the opposition organizations. This is not limited only to our organization or to other Iranian opposition forces. Many members of the revolutionary organizations have been assassinated on French soil in the past. Some of the leaders of the progressive and revolutionary movements from Latin America, Arab countries, Turkey, Africa, and other parts of the world have been killed in France. In the case of people like Nazir Ali Misli, a prominent lawyer from Algeria who was assassinated in Paris, or Shahpour Bakhtiar from Iran some of the murders were later identified, but this wasn't the case for many of the others. There are other cases such as killing of Felix Mieh, leader of the Cameroon's Communist Party, that took about 20 years to find out that he was assassinated by the France's intelligence agents in an interview setup. Seductive Paris is not simply famous for its grand theaters, museums, wine, or champagne! There are famous graveyards there as well. One of these cemeteries is Pere Lachaise that there next to the graves of the Paris Commune's revolutionaries hundreds of other revolutionaries from other countries rest side by side. France's counter-revolutionary and reactionary forces are responsible for all these killings. The difference between revolutionaries of the Paris Commune and us is that they were executed with the blades of guillotine, but in our case we usually get slaughtered with the knives in the hands of some members of the Sepah Pasdaran, with the bullets of Lebanon's Hezbolah, or with the "divine and unknown soldiers of the God". Either way is not really that important. We think France's counter-revolution is behind most of these "lucrative" murder plots.
I hope with these discussions it is somewhat clear why I was arrested 2 in the morning at the vicinity of Rasouli's residence. Now, do you think it was for my safety or for the safety of the former member of SAVAK that I was arrested? There are many other reasons that indicate government of France knowingly and with a prior knowledge has given the terrorists of the Islamic Republic a free hand to roam around in France and pick and choose their prays. I remember when after we released the name of the fourteen of the terrorists who were operating in France and were wanted by the international police, 7 of them were put in plane and flown back to Iran. Among them was a person named Nategh who was part of the Khalkhali's fire squad involved in executing revolutionaries.
Question: Despite all the animosities towards you while residing in France, what came out of this and what did they decided about you?
Answer: When France realized that we have documents showing terrorist elements connected to the Islamic Republic are operating freely on the French soil with the approval of the French authorities they increased their pressures on us. They filed a court case against me and some of our comrades forcing us to leave France. Until last year, even after Sarkozy's takeover, there was an international arrest warrant against me. To impress the Islamic Republic this warrant was given to Interpol police only to show that they are willing to go the extra mile to keep the regime in Iran happy. When disputes and conflicts between France and Iran escalated after Sarkozy's takeover these warrants were later removed.
Question: Do you think after Sarkozy's takeover your disputes with France will be resolved?
Answer: I don't think our conflicts with the capitalism camp in general will ever be resolved by this president or that president coming to power. From the inception of the Islamic Republic the West has tried to play a role of an "impartial" broker, but in reality this broker has never been impartial. On one hand they give us asylum and on the other hand help the regime. On one hand they give us permission to reside on their soils and on the other hand keep our hands tied and ask the regime to hit us. Taking refuge in the West not only hasn't given us the wing to fly, but also has broken our two legs only to stop us from fighting. In line with this policy, multinational corporations and conglomerates either directly or sometimes secretly sign huge and lucrative contracts with the rulings regime in Iran and sell them their outdated and low quality products. Now, in these so called "democratic" nations if someone decides to expose these contacts and collaborations, his name and identity will be given to the international police and for 13 years has to pay a very high price for revealing and telling the truth. The West seems doesn't realize that throughout our ancient history people of this nation have given their lives for defending the truth. This is rooted in our rich culture and carried over from generation to generation.
Iranian opposition organizations for many years have had no safety in Europe. In all the European countries which have economic ties with the Islamic Republic some members of the opposition have been assassinated. Most of he assassinations carried out by the Islamic Republic have taken place in France. After France the record holders are Germany, Austria, Italy, and England. All these countries that I mentioned have multi billion dollar economic contracts with the regime in Iran. Don't you think if it wasn't because of these economic contracts, the situations that we are in would have been different? The tragic consequence of these economic ties is not limited on putting pressures on Iranian opposition. For many years supporters of the "constructive dialog" in the West have defended the Islamic Republic in the international forums and have helped to prevent any serious action against the regime. For many years our intellectuals and scientists either have been leaving the country or have been butchered and slaughtered with Islamic rituals in Iran's prisons.
Who could believe that the West can see and measure the size of our oil reservoirs far deep under the earth's surface, but cannot see the barbarism against the people of Iran on the streets of Tehran? How could it be possible that the West cannot see all the torturers, waves of forced immigrations, and corruptions taking place in our country?
Question: Besides 13 years of international warrant against you, have there been other damages inflected on our organization?
Answer: Damages inflected on us by France are much wider and deeper than what has been reported and said so far. When I had to leave France only some of our comrades were able to leave with me. It wasn't possible for us to bring out all of our members and supporters quickly. It was also clear to us that if any of our members were left behind, France authorities would try to break him/her psychologically and eventually physically eliminate the person. Unfortunately one of our female comrades who for some personal reasons wasn't able to leave France had to face some tragic consequences. In this "cradle of democracy" first she was abducted by the French authorities for few days. Even though after 3 days of constant international pressures she was interrogated and later released, but she never was allowed to live a normal life in France. They first started with some psychological pressures on her and she constantly was harassed by the French authorities. Often her electricity was cut off and after contacting the electric company and explaining the situation she was thrown out of there with humiliation and disrespect. Anytime she went to do her grocery shopping at a nearest supermarket she was always followed by secret agents and she was told that she can't shop there and her grocery was taken away. Anytime she went to the nearest pool to spend some time there she was followed by French thugs and in some occasions was pulled to the deepest part of the pool under the water and then released. After she quit going to the pool anymore, they started ringing her door bell at the middle of the night and then vanish.
Question: Can I ask you what happened to her eventually?
Answer: Unfortunately she ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Until last year some of our comrades visited her regularly while she was in the hospital. Since last year her health started deteriorating badly to the point that she couldn't remember anything anymore. She started saying and writing things that were so tragic that are hard for me to reflect on those. French authorities are not willing to give us any information about her condition anymore. As you can see when the economic interests and lucrative contracts become the focal point, life of innocent people seems has no value, and preacher of the "democracy" no longer show any interests about humanity and human rights.
Question: I feel so sad to hear this. There is still something in my mind that I have been waiting to ask you regarding Naser Rasouli. You mentioned a person or perhaps more than one person were in contact with Rasouli, can you shed some light on that?
Answer: I am pretty sure that those who had contacts with him will read this interview. One of them is more important than the others, despite his animosities towards our organization and against me personally. We are not in the business of taking revenge or anything of that sort. If it wasn't for the interest of the ongoing movement in Iran none of these issues would have been discussed. We don't think this person is an operative of the regime or in any ways related to SAVAK. We hope after reading this interview he can come forward and tell the people of Iran what went on in the meetings that he had with Rasouli in Paris 15. I want to assure you that we feel it is part of our obligation to tell the truth, and nothing can stop us from doing that when interests of our people are in stake. For sure in some other appropriate time we will talk about this in more details as well.
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