Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pompeo Says Iran's Diplomats Agents Of Terror, Responsible For 'Multiple' Killings

Masoud Molavi Vardanjani, an Iranian dissident, was killed on an Istanbul street in November 2019, allegedly by Iranian security forces.

In a tweet on Wednesday the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said disturbing reports about involvement of Iranian diplomats in the assassination of a dissident in Turkey are "fully consistent with their assignments" and called them "agents of terror".

"[They] have conducted multiple assassinations and bomb plots in Europe over the past decade," Pompeo wrote.

Reuters' on Wednesday said a senior U.S. official had confirmed that the United States believes Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security was directly involved in the killing of an Iranian dissident last November in Turkey.

Masoud Molavi Vardanjani, an Iranian dissident, was shot dead in Istanbul on November 14, 2019. Citing Turkish officials, Reuters last week reported that two intelligence officers in Iran's consulate in Istanbul had instigated his killing.

"Given Iran's history of targeted assassinations of Iranian dissidents and the methods used in Turkey, the United States government believes that Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was directly involved in Vardanjani's killing," the senior administration official told Reuters.

In March two Turkish intelligence officials told Reuters Iranian diplomats were involved in the killing.

Other sources quoted earlier by Reuters said Vardanjani had dealings with Iranian cyber authorities and intelligence organs had warned him not to release confidential information he had on Iran's activities.

According to some Iranian media the 32-year-old Vardanjani was an artificial intelligence expert. There are also reports that he had been a former intelligence operative at some point.

While living in Turkey Vardanjani had launched a campaign of exposing the financial and moral corruption of Iranian authorities including the notorious Judge Salavati. Salavati is responsible for the imprisonment and execution of hundreds of ordinary and political prisoners.

A police report by the Turkish authorities about the killing of Vardanjani which was published two weeks ago said he had an “unusual profile.”