No. 1411
Friday, June 9, 2000
Representative Office of
The National  Council of Resistance of Iran
Washington, DC

Tehran Regime's New Conspiracy to Overshadow its Role in Terrorist Crimes Abroad, Agence France Presse, June 8

NICOSIA - Iran's armed opposition group Thursday accused Tehran of trying to cover up its role in "terrorist crimes abroad" by changing its line over a man who has implicated it in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

The People's Mujahedeen said in a fax sent to AFP here that the Tehran government was keen "to put a lid on the scandal arising from the unveiling of the regime's role in terrorist attacks abroad," by making "confusing and false propaganda claims."

The story broke Sunday when US CBS television channel quoted an Iranian defector, now in Turkey, whom it named as Ahmad Behbahani, as saying he had documents to prove Iran was behind the Lockerbie bombing.

The Tehran Times reacted Monday by saying Ahmad Behbahani was a member of the People's Mujahedeen, a claim the organization vehemently denied in a statement sent to AFP.

The Mujahedeen statement said Behbahani, far from being a member of the organization, had been a deputy intelligence minister, and "involved in many terrorist operations abroad," including the Lockerbie bombing.

Iran's intelligence ministry insisted Thursday that the man who spoke to CBS was a Mujahedeen member, but named him as Shahram Beladi Behbahani.

The Mujahedeen pooh-poohed the new allegation, saying Shahram was the alias of Mehdi Beladi Behbahani, the younger brother of Ahmad, who had himself worked in Iran's intelligence unit.

"The change in the regime's approach to this matter, namely introducing the younger brother in place of the older one... demonstrates clearly the mullahs' bid... to shield Ahmad Behbahani," the Mujahedeen said.

It called for Ahmad Behbahani, wherever he is, to be handed over to an international tribunal for questioning.

[Voice of America (Farsi Service) reported on Wednesday that: Iran's Intelligence Ministry, Ali Younesi denied Behbahani connection to his Ministry. He said in the history of Intelligence Ministry, there has never been a person under the name of Ahmad Behbahani. However, in a news conference on Wednesday in Washington DC, The National Council of Resistance of Iran thoroughly revealed information on Ahmad Behbahani's records and background.]

Who Will Defend Iran's Jews? The Wall Street Journal, June 7

[Excepts from an article by Reuel Marc Gerecht]

… Yesterday defense lawyers presented the final arguments in the trail of the 13 Iranian Jews charged with espionage and treason in Shiraz.…

We should be careful in viewing this "espionage" trail as a means by which the Iran's "hard-liners" can embarrass the "moderates" aligned with Mohammad Khatami… we need to remember that many of Iran's "moderates" have been among the country's most fervid anti-Zionists…

This case shows clearly that Mr. Khatami is, at best, indifferent to the Jews' fate. He has said very little and what he has said isn't encouraging. We should remember that Mr. Khatami was the minister if Islamic guidance from 1982 to 1992 - that ministry's darkest period, when anti-Semitism became a staple of the Islamic Republic's culture diet…

The Clinton administration and other have badly misunderstood the "moderate" potential of Khatami and thus chosen an essentially non-confrontational approach toward the "espionage" case. Instead of seriously trying to persuade the Europeans to take a united, tough stand against this trail, the U.S. has dropped its sanctions against Iranian carpets, caviar and pistachios in the hope that this will engender warmer feelings for the U.S. Ditto for the resent World Bank loan for Tehran's sewers: concern for the 13 Jews hardly registered against the bank's desire to support the "reformer"…

Absence of Turkish President Overshadows Regional Summit in Iran, Agence France Presse, June 8

TEHRAN - The absence of Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is expected to weigh on proceedings at a summit of the regional Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which opens here Saturday, at a time of tension between Tehran and Ankara.

Relations between Tehran and Ankara have been soured on several fronts. Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit accused Tehran May 17 of wanting "to export" its Islamic revolution to Turkey.

At the same time, the Turkish press launched a huge campaign accusing Iran of being behind a series of assassinations of non-religious Turkish intellectuals in the 1980s and 1990s.

Turkey has also just sent Iran a detailed dossier drawn up by its security forces on the Turkish Hizbollah, a fundamentalist organization suspected of carrying out hundreds of assassinations with support from Iran.

Furthermore, Turkey's intelligence service confirmed Monday that a man claiming to be a former Iranian intelligence agent, Ahmad Behbahani, was in Turkey.

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