Regime intelligence agents in France unmasked
The Iran Brief, Issue Number 31, dated 2/5/97,
Copyright © 1994-97, by the Middle East Data Project, Inc.
In an unusual public move, the Organization of the People's Fedaii Guerrillas
has revealed the identities of fourteen individuals it claims are intelligence
agents of the Islamic Republic operating in France. The group says it took
the move after waiting a year for the French authorities to take effective
measures to circumscribe the activities of the alleged agents, whose names
were handed over the French early last year. When the French did nothing,
the group decided to publish the list.
The group claims the fourteen agents are only part of the regime's
"vast intelligence network in France... Other regime agents in France
are carrying out their missions under commercial cover, and sometimes pose
as opponents of the regime, in order to infiltrate cultural and artistic
The group identified the fourteen alleged agents as follows:
- Mojiri (aka Madjidi), is the head of SAVAMA operations in France and
works out of the Iranian embassy in Paris. He coordinates regime agents
and organizes operations. He is also in charge of arms purchasing and other
secret procurement operations for the regime, and prepares all reporting
to Tehran on SAVAMA activities.
- Nateq: head of the office of the Iranian ambassador
- Ali Asghar Salehi, head of the Behnam company in Paris. One of the
most important SAVAMA agents in France, he is in direct contact with Tehran.
He is responsible for transmitting information to Tehran on opposition
organizations, and reports to Jafar Jalali. A few years ago, before the
change in French policy against the opposition, Jalali was expelled from
France and declared persona non grata until the year 2006.
- ----- [identity withheld for security reasons]. This person is in charge
of the movements of intelligence personnel as well as undercover surveillance
agents who travel on Iran Air flights. When they arrive in France, these
agents are authorized to leave the airport while the aircraft remains on
the ground. They can thus easily carry out terrorist operations, then return
to the airport and leave France as members of the flight crew.
- Mohsen Assadollahi works as a lawyer. In recent years, he has obtained
resident alien status for numerous Iranians, including several requests
for political asylum. In so doing, Assadollahi gained the confidence of
Iranians living in France. In recent years, he has entered a business relationship
with several agents of the regime. Influenced by them, Assadollahi has
returned to Iran with a list of names of all his clients seeking permanent
resident status or political asylum. Before leaving, however, he gave this
same list to the Iranian embassy in Paris. He traveled to Tehran accompanied
by one of the known agents of the regime in France. In Tehran, he met with
Mohsen Hashemi-Rafsanjani, son of the President, in the office of the President.
Assadollahi also met in Tehran with the head of the Bonyad-e Mostazafan,
Mohsen Rafiq-doust, to discuss a large loan from French banks for the Foundation.
- Mohammad Namdari Kazerouni, who works under cover as a courier for
the Paris branch of the Bank Sepah.
- Djada. A carpet merchant working near the Place de la République
in Paris, Djada is one of the confidants of the Iranian ambassador to Paris.
He maintains close ties to the International and Legal departments at the
embassy, and using an intermediary supplies Mojiri with information on
other Iranian carpet merchants.
- ---- [identity withheld for security reasons]. In charge of purchasing
on behalf of the Ministry of Defense.
- Zafaranlou. The former director of the Paris branch of the Bank Tejarat.
Following exposure of his role by the Organization of the People's Fedaii
Guerrillas last year, he was recalled to Tehran.
- Amini: Advisor at the Paris branch of the Bank Tejarat.
- Kachi: Passport officer at Iranian consulate in Paris. Following the
1979 revolution, he became a follower and close associate of Ayatollah
Khalkhali, known as the "butcher of Tehran" because he ordered
the execution of hundreds of persons associated with the former regime.
- Ghyassi: a member of the Iranian consulate in Paris, in charge of the
Maison d'Iran on the Champs Elysée.
- ----- [identity withheld for security reasons]. In charge of official
travel by regime officials in France, and a key figure in the regime's
clandestine financial and commercial activities in France.
- Ms. Laleh Moein, director of Limo SARL, a company used for the clandestine
procurement of military equipment, including spare parts from Israel for
Iranian fighter aircraft. She also infiltrated the People's Mujahidin Organization
of Iran (MEK), and was sent by SAVAMA to the group's main base in Iraq
following an Iranian Air Force bombardment, to determine whether Massoud
Rajavi had survived the raid.
The Islamic Republic has frequently relied on the foreign branches of
its state-controlled banks to place intelligence agents and to finance
terrorist operations. In Germany, for instance, the most prominent is Bank
Melli, which regularly advertises in the exile press to attract Iranian
business. Bank Melli maintains branches in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf.