|Died||1999 (aged 39-40)|
Saeed Emami (Persian: سعید امامی; né Saeed Eslami also known as Mojtaba Ghavami; 1959 – 1999) was the Iranian deputy minister of intelligence under Ali Fallahian, and an intelligence officer under Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi. Shortly after he allegedly committed suicide, the Islamic government accused him of having independently organized the assassinations of dissidents (known as the "chain murders").
Emami was born in Abadeh, near Shiraz, Iran as Daniyal Ghavami in a wealthy family. In 1978, he moved to the United States with the help of his uncle, Soltan Mohammad Etemad, to pursue his studies in mechanical engineering. Following the Iranian Revolution, he returned to Iran and became involved in intelligence gathering. In 1984, when the Majlis of Iran (the Iranian Parliament) approved the establishment of the ministry of intelligence, he joined the ministry and worked at the foreign directorate during Mohammad Reyshahri's term. Later he was appointed deputy minister during the tenure of Ali Fallahian. He was also the director of the ministry's security directorate.
Many sources claimed that Emami was of Jewish origin, but Ali Fallahian believes that "they just wanted to justify his arrest and torture". According to Hamshahri, he was the first Holocaust denier in the Islamic Republic.
Arrest and death
In 1999, after being charged with orchestrating the Chain Murders, Emami was arrested and imprisoned. According to Muhammad Sahimi
On 20 June 1999, it was announced that Saeed Emami had died in prison the night before. It was claimed that Emami had attempted to commit suicide by drinking a depilatory compound in the bathroom on 16 June 1999. He had been taken to a hospital and had undergone treatment, but had died on 19 June. It was claimed that he died of a cardiac arrest and because he suffered from respiratory problems. His family held a memorial service for him in which 400 people participated.
Iranian dissidents are reported to believe "he was murdered in order to prevent the leak of sensitive information about MOIS operations, which would have compromised the entire leadership of the Islamic Republic."
He was later alleged to have assisted in the defection of Abolghassem Farhad Mesbahi, a former Iranian Intelligence official. Mesbahi stated he fled Iran in 1996 after his former co-worker Emami warned him of an assassination order. Mesbahi was offered asylum in Germany where he was a witness in the Mykonos restaurant assassinations trial, contributing to a German court ruling blaming Iranian government officials for the attack and issuing an arrest warrant for former Iranian Intelligence Minister Fallahian. It was implied that Emami's arrest was at least in part for this action.
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