Controversies Surrounding Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Kurdish-Austrian Accusations

Kurdish-Austrian Accusations

Peter Pilz, an Austrian politician and former spokesman of the Austrian Green Party, has alleged Ahmadinejad possibly had a hand in international assassinations ordered by the Iranian government against political opposition groups, including a 1989 assassination of exiled Kurdish leader Ebdulrehman Qasimlo and two of his associates in Vienna. After Ahmadinejad's election to presidency, in early July 2005, Pilz passed his documents about his claims to the Austrian Interior ministry, which "were then forwarded to the state prosecutor's office."

This allegation has been denied by several sources in Iran, including Saeed Hajjarian, a political opponent of Ahmadinejad. Also notable among the deniers, is Ali Rabiee, the intelligence advisor to the reformist President Khatami, who stated "during the mentioned accident happened, I was present in action regions of northwest and western Iran, and at that time Mr. Ahmadinejad was only involved at the civil construction work in the governing offices of Maku and the province". At the same time, the allegation has been echoed by a spokesman for the People's Mujahedin of Iran, an opposition group in exile.

Reuters has mentioned that information received from an "extraordinarily credible" informer, an Iranian journalist living in France who Pilz calls only "witness D". Witness D's information came from one of the alleged gunmen, who contacted Witness D in 2001 but later drowned, Pilz said. Supporters of Ahmadinejad have questioned the credibility of such information, have mentioned that Pilz is a Jew, and have called the media reporting these to be "Zionist media." Also, Hamid Reza Asefi, the spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that, "The charges are so self-evidently false they are not worthy of response. We advise the Europeans not to fall into the trap of the Zionist media and to separate their interests from America and the Zionist entity (referring to the state of Israel)."

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