IRAN: PATTERNS OF ASSASSINATION

Created: 10/1/1994

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Iran: Patterns of Assassination!

Iran's policy of assassinating oppositionists has changed little under President Ali Hashemi Raf-sanjani. As the accompanying graphics show, the number of assassinations conducted by Iran has stayed roughly constant duringran has carried out an average of live assassinations annually, and groupsbyradical Turkishanother two killings annually.

Key targets have remained largely unchanged during Rafsanjani's tenure. Most Iranian assassinationarc members of thehalq or the Kurdish Democratic Pany of Iranran attacks these two groups much more frequently than the third key Iranian target, supporters of the son of the former Shah of Iran. Some specific targets have changed to adapt to alterations in Iranian foreignSaudi diplomats were attacked9 andshortly after Saudi Arabia executed the Kuwaiti Shia responsible for bombings at the hajj inhave not been targeted since. BJ

Surrogates

Iran rarely relies on surrogates to conduct assassina-tions of Iranian oppositionists.!

Iran typically relies on surrogates for anacks on non-Iranians. Turkish Islamic groups supported by Iran, for example, are responsible forandful of secular Turkish journalistsembern addition, attacks on foreigners inthe attempted murder of Jewish businessman Jak) and the bombings that killed US serviceman Victor) and Israeli security officer Ehud Sadanbeen linked io Islamic groups backed by Iran

Although the pace and targets of Iranianare not changingeview9 suggests thai Iran is killing fewer oppositionists in Europe and more in Southwest IbXIl Asia, particularly Turkey and Iraq (see graphic on egional distribution ofe suspect this change results from Iran's interest in protecting its diplomatic and economic initiatives in Europe. We note that the drpp_in assassinations in Europe beganhen Iran began experiencingin repay in i!nan> and the United States increased pressure on European countries to halt credits io Iran. Countries surrounding Iran,Turkey, Iraq, and Pakistan,ealth of targets, and killings in those countries result in less diplomatic backlash for Iran than assassinations in Europe. pjJJJJ

Despite the apparent shift from Europe and the increased focus on assassinations in Southwest Asia, we have noied several suspicious murders ofin Europe during the past year W'e cannot confirm thai they were carried out by Iran, and wc have not included them in our statistics. These attacks include:

banana.

agarmossen,ember of theas severely injuredetter-bomb addressed to his wife,ember,to defense attache reporting.

lislo. Norway. William Nygaard. Norwegian publisher of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, was shot near his home.

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