Austrian lawmaker links Ahmadinejad to 1989 Kurdish killing

19th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The lawmaker made public testimony by a jailed German arms dealer, who said he had supplied Ahmadinejad with weapons shortly before the assassination.

Vienna -- An Austrian lawmaker on Thursday linked Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the 1989 murder of a Kurdish opposition leader in Vienna.

Peter Pilz, the Austrian Green party's spokesman on security, presented to the press testimony given to police by a jailed German arms dealer, who said he had supplied Ahmadinejad with weapons in Vienna shortly before Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou's assassination.

Ghassemlou, the leader of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan -- an Iranian opposition party outlawed by Tehran -- was killed on July 13, 1989 by commandos who were never apprehended.

Iran has always denied any involvement in the killings.

The German, who made his statement to Italian anti-Mafia officers in 2006, said he was in contact with Iranian intelligence services in 1989 regarding arms deals.

Shortly before the killing, he said he delivered in the first week of July 1989 half a dozen light weapons at a meeting at the Iranian embassy in Vienna.

At this meeting were three Iranians, including "a certain Mohamed, who later became president of the Republic of Iran," he said, according to a copy of the translated testimony presented by Pilz.

The arms dealer gave this statement in the presence of Austrian police officers on April 6, 2006, while serving a sentence for arms trafficking in Trieste, Italy.

The Vienna prosecutor's office said it had the German's statement in its possession, but spokeswoman Michaela Schnell told AFP "it was not deemed sufficient to justify suspicions."

Austrian authorities, who maintain close economic ties with Iran, have never commented on whether Ahmadinejad was in Vienna at the time of Ghassemlou's assassination.


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