Saeed Emami

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Saeed Emami
Born 1959
Died 1999 (aged 39-40)
Nationality Iranian

Saeed Emami (Persian: سعید امامی‎‎; né Saeed Eslami also known as Daniyal Ghavami; 1959–1999) was the Iranian deputy minister of intelligence under Ali Fallahian, and an intelligence officer under Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi. He was appointed as deputy minister in security affairs and the second person of intelligence ministry when he was 32 years old.[1] He was accused to 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.[2][3] 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.[4] Later he was appointed deputy minister during the tenure of Ali Fallahian.[5] He was also the director of the ministry's security directorate.[4]


Many sources claimed that Emami was of Jewish origin,[6][7] but Ali Fallahian believes that "they just wanted to justify his arrest and torture".[8] According to Hamshahri, he was the first Holocaust denier in the Islamic Republic.[9]

Arrest and death[edit]

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.[2][10]

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."[11]

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.[12] It was implied that Emami's arrest was at least in part for this action.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ايران; درخواست بازگشایی پرونده قتل های زنجیره ای". BBC. 27 May 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "The Chain Murders". PBS. December 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Christopher Dickey (22 February 2000). "Ali Fallahian: The Most Feared Mullah in Iran". Newsweek. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security: A profile" (Report). Federal Research Division. December 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "آفتاب - دری نجف آبادی و رازهای ناگفته". Aftab News. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Review of serial murders in Iran". Aidanederland. Archived from the original on 15 December 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Treatment of Muslims with Jewish ancestry". UNHCR. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "سعيد امامي، يك اطلاعاتي مظلوم". Farda News. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "هولوکاست؛ پس از 70سال". Hamshahri online. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "فارسی - ايران - سعید امامی، مردی که با داروی نظافت خودکشی کرد". BBC. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Iran Terror Database
  12. ^ "US and Iran in secret talks over hostages". Canada Free Press. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Assassins Turquoise Palace Iranian, July 2011