T H E I R A N I A N T I M E S

Saturday, November 22, 1998

NEWSFLASH Dissident leader, wife stabbed to death

IRNA TEHRAN, Nov 22 (Reuters) - An outspoken Iranian opposition leader and his wife were stabbed to death at their home on Sunday, the official Iranian news agency reported. It quoted police as saying Dariush Forouhar, former labour minister and head of the small nationalist Iran Nation Party, and his wife Parvaneh were found dead at their home in Tehran. Police were investigating the killings, whose nature was yet to be clarified, IRNA said without elaborating.

Forouhar and his wife often criticised alleged violations of human and political rights in statements and interviews with Persian-language programmes beamed to Iran by Western radios.

The Iran Nation Party, which publishes a weekly newsletter critical of the government, had called for a boycott of last month's nationwide elections to a powerful clerical assembly, saying the polls were undemocratic.

Hardline militants had on several occasions over the last few years attacked meetings by Forouhar's party.

Forouhar, who spent many years in jail during the rule of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, served as labour minister in the first government after the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the shah.