Mykonos restaurant assassinations

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The names of the 4 victims appear in the commemorative plaque

In the Mykonos restaurant assassinations (Persian: ترور رستوران میکونوس, also the "Mykonos Incident"), Iranian-Kurdish opposition leaders Sadegh Sharafkandi, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoun Ardalan and their translator Nouri Dehkordi were assassinated at the Mykonos Greek restaurant in Berlin, Germany on 17 September 1992. The assassination took place during the KDPI insurgency (1989-1996).

Events[edit]

Further information: List of Iranian assassinations

At the time, two-term Prime Minister of Sweden and then leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party Ingvar Carlsson, then party secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party Mona Sahlin and former Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Pierre Schori were originally intended to participate.[1] However, due to a telephone call to Ingvar Carlsson from then Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, who urged Carlsson to immediately return to Sweden due to the urgent state of the Swedish economy, all three flew back to Sweden the same day and thus probably escaped being assassinated as well.[1] Sharafkandi, Abdoli, Ardalan and Dehkordi were murdered in a mafia style attack at the Mykonos Greek restaurant located on Prager Strasse in Berlin at about 11 pm on 17 September 1992.[2][3] Three victims died instantly, while the fourth one died at a hospital.[3]

Sharafkandi, Abdoli and Ardalan were buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, in Paris (France).

Graves of Abdoli, Sharafkandi and Ardalan, in Paris.

Trial[edit]

The trial began in October 1993.[2] In the trial the German court found Kazem Darabi, an Iranian who worked as a grocer in Berlin, Abdolraham Banihashemi, an Iranian intelligence officer, and Lebanese Abbas Hossein Rhayel, guilty of murder and sentenced them to life in prison. Two other Lebanese, Youssef Amin and Mohamed Atris, were convicted of being accessories to murder. Abol Hassan Bani Sadr took part in the trial as a witness and told the court that the killings had been personally ordered by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and then president All Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.[2] There was also a getaway driver named Farajollah Haider (aka Abu Ja'far).

In its 10 April 1997 ruling, the court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian[4] after declaring that the assassination had been ordered by him with knowledge of Khamenei and Rafsanjani.[5] This led to a diplomatic crisis between the governments of Iran and several European countries, which lasted until November 1997.[6] Despite international and domestic protests, Darabi and Rhayel were released from prison on 10 December 2007 and deported back to their home countries.[7][8]

Iran's reaction[edit]

In a 2004 letter to Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (then mayor of Tehran) objected to the commemorative plaque in front of the restaurant, calling it an "insult to Iran".[9]

Adaptations in Media[edit]

The events surrounding the Mykonos restaurant assassinations and subsequent trial were adapted into a non-fiction story by Roya Hakakian in her book Assassins of the Turquoise Palace in 2011.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Svensson, Niklas (26 May 2010). "Här kunde Sahlin och Carlsson ha mördats". Expressen (in Swedish). Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Kutschera, Chris (1 April 1997). "A network of terror". The Middle East. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Germany/Iran: Details of the assassination of four Kurdish politicians in 1992 at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin". UNHCR. 16 November 1999. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Israel fails to prevent Germany freeing Iranian
  5. ^ Roya Hakakian (4 October 2007). "The End of the Dispensable Iranian". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "German court implicates Iran leaders in '92 killings". CNN. 10 April 1997. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Germany Deports Iranian jailed for 1992 murders
  8. ^ "Iran: Terrorist Freed In Germany Is Welcomed By Tehran". Eurasia Net. 14 December 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Germany and Iran Embroiled in Diplomatic Spat|Deutsche Welle| 28 April 2004
  10. ^ Wilford, Marcus (November–December 2011). "The Assassins’ Trail: Unraveling the Mykonos Killings". World Affairs. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°29′41″N 13°20′03″E / 52.49472°N 13.33417°E / 52.49472; 13.33417