Thursday, August 13, 2020

Iran: head of US-based “terrorist group” detained

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According to the Intelligence Ministry, he “conceived and organized” a deadly attack on a mosque in Shiraz which left 14 people dead in 2008.

Iran announced on Saturday that it had detained the leader of a group accused by the Islamic Republic of being behind a deadly attack on a mosque in the south of the country in 2008. Few details were provided on the circumstances. led to the incarceration of Jamshid Sharmahd, such as the date or the country where Iranian forces found him.

“Jamshid Sharmahd, leader of the Tondar terrorist group [basé] in the United States (…), is now in the hands “of Iranian intelligence agents, the Intelligence Ministry said on Saturday in a statement, quoted by state television. He” directed armed operations and sabotage in Iran, ”the ministry said.

According to the statement, the individual had “conceived and organized” a deadly attack on a mosque in Shiraz (south) which left 14 dead and some 200 wounded in 2008. He also planned to carry out several “major operations”, such as explode the Sivand dam in Shiraz or the shrine of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, during a public ceremony in Tehran, according to the same source.

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Overthrow the Islamic Republic

Tondar (“thunder” in Persian), also known as the Monarchist Association of Iran, is a group aiming to overthrow the Islamic Republic. According to his website, Sharmahd, born in Tehran in 1955, grew up in an Iranian-German family before moving to the United States in 2003, where he distinguished himself by his declarations hostile to the Islamic Republic and to Islam, on satellite channels in Persian.

The group openly criticizes the Koran and opposes Prince Réza Pahlavi, eldest son of the last Shah of Iran, who wants to become king.

In 2009, Iran hanged three men convicted of the Shiraz bombing, claiming they had ties to a monarchist opposition group based abroad and took their orders from an Iranian agent of the CIA installed in the United States called “Jamshid”.

Iran also hanged in 2010 two other suspected members of the group, who “confessed to having obtained explosives and planned to assassinate those responsible”. In October, the Iranian authorities announced that they had detained another opponent formerly exiled in France, Rouhollah Zam, again without giving details. This man, accused of having played an active role in the protests against power in 2017-2018, was sentenced to death at the end of June for “corruption on earth”.

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