Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou

I received in the post today a copy of The Passion and Death of Rahman the Kurd, by the Venezuelan writer Carol Prunhuber, for which I had written a pre-review:

This is a thorough and very readable account of the inspiring leadership of the Iranian Kurds by Abdullah Rahman Ghassemlou; of his treacherous assassination by the Iranian regime in Vienna 30 years ago, and the failure of the Austrian police to bring the killers to justice.

Prunhuber shows clearly that Iran had a deliberate policy of murdering the regime's opponents, and Ghassemlou was a prime target. We know how and why Ghassemlou was killed and who did it, but what remains a mystery is why the international community's response was so half-hearted and ineffectual.

Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the great and inspiring leader of the Iranian Kurds, was assassinated in Vienna by known Iranian agents in July 1989. For years the mullahs' regime had a programme of murdering their opponents at home and abroad, as I related in Iran: State of Terror (1996) and Iran: Fatal Writ, an account of murders and cover-ups in 2000. Ghassemlou was a prime target, and although it might have been courting a risk to Iran's relations with other states to murder him in a western capital, the mullahs rightly judged that in spite of all the evidence, they wouldn't be pilloried or sanctioned, and no formal accusations would be made against them at the UN for this atrocious crime.

Nowadays the regime judicially murders opponents, gays and even children, to the tune of some 350 a year. At the end of 2009 a representative of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that opposition leaders were "enemies of God" who should be executed under the country's sharia law. And on February 8, seven leaders of the peaceful Baha'i religion, detained incommunicado for over two years, go on trial for their lives - see my Parliamentary Question last week www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100121-0001.htm#10012120000801

No comments: