April 12, 1997
Dear About Iran Reader:
On Thursday, April 10, 1997, in a historic verdict, a German court concluded that "Iran's Political Leadership" via a "Committee for Special Operations" ordered the assassination of an Iranian Kurdish opposition leader, Dr. Sadegh Sharafkandi, and his three associates, Mr. Fatah Abdoli, Mr. Homayoun Ardalan and Mr. Noori Dehkordi, in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in 1992. Those leaders include Iran's supreme leader, Mr. Ali Khamenei, President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian. This verdict, along with the sentencing of the agents of the assassination squad to prison terms, including a life sentence without parole for Mr. Kazem Darabi, the squad leader, was reached in the midst of mounting threats by the Islamic Republic against Germany and its interests. After killing scores of Iranian opposition members in Europe, the Islamic Republic's leadership has finally been linked to assassination of the opposition members. The independence of the court and the courage of the prosecutors and judges is commended and appreciated by the freedom loving people of Iran.
In the aftermath of this trial, both Germany and Iran have recalled their ambassadors. Meanwhile, since Iranian leaders have specifically been implicated in the crime, the European Union has also asked its members to recall their ambassadors from Tehran. All members, except Greece, have recalled their ambassadors from Iran. Non-member countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Finland and Sweden have also taken a similar action. This is a positive sign for Iranian people and peaceful members of the opposition in their struggle for preserving human and democratic rights in Iran. Believing that it is only through such action that the Islamic Republic could receive a clear message regarding Europe’s determination in protecting the lives of exiled activists, Iranian human rights activists and opposition members have been calling for a decisive action against the terrorism of the Islamic Republic. Unfortunately, over many years, these calls have been essentially ignored, while the Islamic Republic continued its assassination campaign. Instead, the European Union remained steadfast with its policy of "critical dialogue" with the Islamic Republic. Clearly now, this policy requires a critical review!
While Europe prepares a re-evaluation of its policy toward the Islamic Republic, it is critical that any new policy:
The dramatic conclusion of the Mykonos trial should also help to highlight the following facts and considerations about the Islamic Republic of Iran.
No Iranian wishes any harm to his/her country. This occasion, more than anything else, should result in an increased moral and intellectual support for the plight of Iranian people and Iranian refugees and exiles who have been suffering from the countless atrocities of the Islamic Republic for the last 18 years. About Iran calls on all international human rights organizations and concerned world citizens to continue to ask that the Islamic Republic respect and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Iran. About Iran calls on the remaining democratic countries in the world, including Greece and Japan, to follow the European Union’s protest action by recalling their ambassadors from Tehran. About Iran especially calls on the government of Russia and President Boris Yelstin to remember the struggle of their own people for freedom and to not engage in politics directed at appeasing the Iranian political leadership for their own short term economic gains.
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