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Ghassemlou’s assassins still at-large 29 years after his death

By Ahmed Y. Hamza 13/7/2018

Friday marks the 29th anniversary since suspected Iranian operatives assassinated Kurdish leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou while in Vienna, Austria, for peace talks on July 13, 1989.

Ghassemlou, an intellectual who had taught at Charles University in Prague until the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, became president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) in 1971.

He returned to Iran in 1979, attracting hundreds of thousands of followers among Kurds, as he militarized the KDPI during the Islamic Revolution.

Kurdish areas were an anomaly because nationalist sentiment for Iran became the main theme in Kurdistan while Islamists obtained popular support elsewhere.

As the Iranian regime was not ready to provide the Kurds with any type of autonomy, a deadly struggle began between Iranian Peshmerga forces and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The first Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini labeled him "the enemy of God.”

Ghassemlou was born in 1930 in Urmia to a Kurdish family of landlords.

After the assassination, the Iranian government pressured Austria to return the Iranian representatives freely. Arrest warrants for the three Iranians were not issued until November of 1989. They remain active.

One of the representatives, Mohammed Jafar Sahraroudi, was wounded in the shooting and hospitalized. He now serves as the head of Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani’s office.


Love Kurdistan | 13/7/2018
Mohammed Jafar Sahraroudi came to Erbil few years ago and to the surprise of all the Kurds, he was greeted warmly and with red carpet at the Airport.
Iranian | 13/7/2018
Born in family of landlords, they were angry that Reza Shah ended "Khan-bazi" and centralized the power and ended chaos in Iran. This made the local "Kings" angry and their children and families started separatism out of revenge under pretext of protecting Kurds, arabs etc. KDPI was and is a terrorist tribalist party who were puppet of Soviet Union with a typical anti-imperialist ideology, like MEK, Islamic Republic and other failed terrorist ideas.

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