UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Iranian Assassin Heads Home From France

VOA News
18 May 2010

An Iranian man convicted of killing the country's last prime minister under the late Shah is heading home, following his release from a French prison.

A French court ordered Ali Vakili Rad's release Tuesday, a day after the Interior Ministry moved to expel him from France.

Vakili Rad was convicted and imprisoned in 1994 for the stabbing death of Shapour Bakhtiar. The prime minister was killed at his exile home outside of Paris.

The move to expel Vakili Rad came two days after French teaching assistant Clotilde Reiss flew home to Paris after being detained in Iran for 10 months on spy charges.

However, France denied cutting any deal with Tehran to gain the release of 24-year-old teaching assistant Reiss.

French prosecutors say Vakili Rad was one of three people who killed Mr. Bakhtiar and his secretary in the 1991 attack. Vakili Rad was later arrested in Switzerland and returned to France for the trial.

Mr. Bakhtiar was a long-time opponent of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, but was named prime minister by the Shah in early 1979 in a last-ditch attempt to save his monarchy. Mr. Bakhtiar fled Iran after the Islamic revolution and lived in exile near Paris until his murder.

It was widely suspected at the time of Mr. Bakhtiar's death that he was killed by supporters of the Islamic republic's founding leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list