IRAN’S FIRST HEALTH MINISTER KILLED IN TEHRAN – 26/11/1988

[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 147

NOVEMBER 26 1988

The Ministry has succeeded to identify the group responsible for the killings, has arrested them and processed their cases through the judicial system. Unfortunately a small number of irresponsible, misguided, headstrong and obstinate staff within the Ministry of Information who are no doubt under the influence of undercover rogue agents and act towards the objectives of foreign and estranged sources committed these criminal activities”. Press release from the Public Relations Office of Iran Ministry of Information — Jan 4 1999

Today Nov. 26 1988, the Iranian press agency reported that Kazem Sami, Iran’s first Health Minister after the 1979 Islamic revolution, was killed last Wednesday.

Posing as a patient at a clinic, the assailant stabbed Dr. Sami in the head, chest and arms. No suspect was arrested. No motive has been reported.

Despite being one of the leaders and organizers of the Iranian revolution, Dr. Sami, 54 years old, was jailed for political activities under the late Shah.

Dr Sami served as the minister of health in the Iran’s interim government. He ran in the first Iranian presidential election which he lost to Abolhassan Bani Sadr. He then served as a deputy in the first post-revolutionary Iranian Parliament.

But Dr Sami soon distanced himself from the revolutionary government. Dr Sami was one of the few active opposition leaders in Iran.

Dr Sami openly criticized the Islamic Republic government on many occasions. For instance, he wrote the famous open letter to Ayatollah Khomeini in wich he criticized him for the continuation of the Iran-Iraq after Iran had recovered her occupied territories. [1]

Chain Murders

The murder of Dr Sami is widely seen as the first of the so-called chain murders of Iran. From 1988 to 1998, about hundred prominent Iranian intellectuals were executed. In 1998, the affair triggered public outcry as three dissident writers were killed in less than two months. [2]

An official investigation led to the arrest of Saed Emami, the deputy of Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian. Emami was the person who, on March 19 1996, had warned Mesbahi that the Special Affairs Committee had ordered his assassination. [3]

The Iran Special Affairs Committee is responsible for commissioning and overseeing political assassinations. Once the recommendation to assassinate an opposition figure has been made by the committee, both the Supreme Leader and the president of Iran must give their consent for the operation to be carried out.

Following the warning, Mesbahi defected to Germany. His testimony at the Mikonos trial led Germany to issue an international arrest warrant against Fallahian.

Mesbahi also alleged that Tehran was behind the Lockerbie bombing (88) and the Buenos Aires bombings (92 and 94).

In April 2006, Jacques Antenen, an investigative magistrate in the Swiss canton of Vaud, requested Swiss federal authorities to demand the arrest of Ali Fallahian on grounds that Fallahian had “decided and ordered the execution of Kazem Rajavi,” who was shot to death near his suburban Geneva home in 1990.

In March 2007, Argentina issued the third international arrest warrant for Ali Fallahian in relation to the Buenos Aires bombings.

Aftermath

Saeed Emami was reported to have committed suicide in prison despite being watched round the clock.

Two Iranian investigative journalists – Emadeddin Baghi and Akbar Ganji — published a series of articles in the Sobh Emrouz daily in which they alleged that Fallahian was responsible for the chain murders.

The editor of the Sobh Emrouz daily – Saeed Hahharian — was shot in the head on March 12 2000. Both Emadeddin Baghi and Akbar Ganji were jailed.

NOTES AND REFERENCES

Notably the liberation of Khorramshahr

Chain murders of Iran

Carter Contact Regarding Hostages Arrested in Tehran

An Iranian Health Authority Is Reported Slain at a Clinic — November 26, 1988

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