Iran General NewsIran appoints murderer of Christian bishops to key position

Iran appoints murderer of Christian bishops to key position

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 22 – A former senior official in Iran’s dreaded secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who personally oversaw the gruesome murders of two Christian bishops and a priest in Iran in the 1990s, has been appointed as the new Director General of the country’s Interior Ministry, Iran Focus has learnt. Iran Focus

http://www.iranfocus.com/uploads/img4382841c9aae6.jpg” />Tehran, Iran, Nov. 22 – A former senior official in Iran’s dreaded secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who personally oversaw the gruesome murders of two Christian bishops and a priest in Iran in the 1990s, has been appointed as the new Director General of the country’s Interior Ministry, Iran Focus has learnt.

Mahmoud Saeedi, who formerly headed the MOIS department in Isfahan Province, was removed from his position in 1999 under mounting pressure on the Iranian government after it became clear that his agents had carried out the brutal murder of three Anglican Church figures in Iran.

Tehran initially blamed the 1994 murders on the opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK) and brought several former members of the group on television to testify that they were responsible for the killings.

But in the aftermath of the 1997 “serial murders” of dissidents and intellectuals in Iran, which for the first time lifted the lid on numerous killings by the Intelligence Ministry, journalist Akbar Ganji shed light on the murders, revealing that it had been an “inside-job” sanctioned on the orders of Deputy Intelligence Minister Saeed Emami and carried out by a team under the command of Mahmoud Saeedi.

Ganji, who was a senior officer of the Revolutionary Guards before turning into an investigative journalist and dissident, is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for his whistle-blowing articles.

Officials in the Khatami administration later acknowledged that the murders of Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr, Bishop Tateos Michaelian, and Reverend Mehdi Dibaj were politically-motivated killings by the MOIS to tarnish the image of the Iranian opposition group.

Like many other senior officials of the MOIS, Saeedi left the secret police to work in the Special Security Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His boss in Khamenei’s office was Hojjatoleslam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, a Shiite cleric who was himself the Deputy Minister of Intelligence and Security for some 13 years during the late 80s and throughout the 90s.

Pour-Mohammadi has become the Interior Minister in the hard-line cabinet of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Critics charge that Pour-Mohammadi is replacing Interior Ministry officials with former colleagues from the secret police, thus creating another security apparatus.

Pour-Mohammadi has also appointed the former deputy director of MOIS in Isfahan, Goodarzi, as Director of Security in the Interior Ministry. Goodarzi’s pseudonym in the secret service was Shahab.

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