Realizations of forced confessions in assassination cases shake Iran

Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated between 2010-2012 and the government wanted to find the culprits of the crime. More than 100 people were accused of being foreign spies.

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August 21, 2019 22:55
2 minute read.
 Bloodstains are seen next to the car belonging to Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan a

Bloodstains are seen next to the car belonging to Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan at a blast site outside a university in northern Tehran January 11, 2012.. (photo credit: REUTERS/IIPA/SAJAD SAFARI/FILE PHOTO)

Reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeqi put forward a motion on Saturday to summon Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi for questioning on forced confessions in Iranian prisons, according to Radio Farda.

The move followed an interview aired on BBC Persian during which Maziar Ebrahimi, a former inmate, detailed how he and 11 others were tortured into confess that they had assassinated a nuclear scientist in coordination with Israeli secret agents.
Ebrahimi said that he and other inmates were released after two years when another government body found that the case against them had been fabricated by the Intelligence Ministry. The ministry has promised to explain the details of the assassination case, but still has not done so.


Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated between 2010-2012 and the government wanted to find the culprits of the crime. More than 100 people were accused of being foreign spies.


In 2012, Iran’s prosecutor said 18 assassins who had killed Iran’s nuclear scientists were charged with cooperating with American and Israeli agents.


Iranian government officials have blamed Israel for the assassinations, however, Israel has not taken responsibility for the killings.


Mossad, British secret services and the CIA extracted an Iranian nuclear scientist, who helped with the assassination of another Iranian nuclear scientist in 2012, out of Tehran and provided him with a safe haven in the US, the Daily Mail reported in February.


Sadeqi is asking the intelligence minister to explain how inmates were forced to confess that they had assassinated four individuals linked to Iran’s nuclear program between 2009 and 2011, as well as how the case about these assassinations has progressed.


Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ali Motahari also called on the Intelligence Ministry to clarify what happened in cases where people were forced to confess falsely and to apologize to these people and compensate them, according to Radio Farda.


“People who were wrong should apologize, and also pay damages for harm done to individuals [those accused of killing scientists],” said Motahari. “They should even mollify their families.”


“The methods used by government officials in this case do not fit our Islamic ethics and practices,” said Motahari.


Motahari also referenced three other cases in which the Ministry of Intelligence was dishonest, including an explosion at a shrine which Iran blamed on People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) agents, but which was later revealed to have been carried out by the Ministry of Intelligence.


On August 19, the spokesman for President Hassan Rouhani’s administration announced that the government has approached Ebrahimi to placate him. The spokesperson also stressed that the incident did not happen under the current government and that no anti-espionage experts were involved in Ebrahim’s case.


Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of the Iranian Parliament, has also asked the Minister of Information about Ebrahimi’s remarks.


In an interview with the German-language Der Spiegel in 2015, then defense minister Moshe Ya'alon said that he bore no responsibility "for the life expectancy of Iranian scientists."


"Ultimately it is very clear, one way or another, Iran’s military nuclear program must be stopped,” Ya’alon said. “We will act in any way and are not willing to tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We prefer that this be done by means of sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself."


Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.


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