The Monday ceremony took place despite huge pressures from Tehran over the German government as well the Berlin municipality to scrap it.
TEHRAN 21 Apr. (IPS) Iran protested Wednesday to Germany for the official inauguration, on Monday, in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district of a commemorative plaque in the memory of four Iranian Kurdish leaders assassinated on 21 September 1992 in an Iranian restaurant on order from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
More than a thousands of Iranians of all walk, some coming from neighbouring countries, as well as several German personalities took part at the emotion-filled ceremonies opened by Ms. Monika Timmen, the mayor of the populous Charlottenbourg-Whilmersdorf district of the German capital.
Invited to attend the Socialist International gathering in Berlin, Dr Qssem Sharafkandi, the then leader of the Democratic Paty of Iranian Kurdistan (DPIK) and three close colleagues, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoon Ardalan and Noori Dehkordi had been assassinated savagely by professional gunmen from Iran and the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’a organisation Hezbollah while gathering in an Iranian restaurant named Mykonos.
While most of the terrorists, including some staff at the Iranian Embassy in Bonn had managed to escape, however, Mr. Kazem Darabi, an Iranian agent of the Intelligence services in Berlin and two Lebanese had been detained by the German authorities on tips from the British Intelligence, then in charge of this sector of Berlin, still divided between the then Soviet Union, France, Britain and the United States.
all the senior officials who, according to the Court, had participated directly in the Mykonos assassination are still in place
The trial took four years, with Tehran using all its powers to block the trial and have his agents cleared in the one hand and Iranian opposition, including Mr. Parviz Dastmalchi, one of the guests at the meeting in Mykonos who escaped death miraculously, offering evidences about Iranian participation.
A former Iranian security agent, known as “Witness C”, told the court that the assassination had been planned in a special committee in Tehran under the control of the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i and the then president, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Hojjatoleslam Ali Fallahian, the then Intelligence Minister, now serving as a senior advisor to the Iranian leader for security affairs.
A lawyer for the family of one of the victims noted on Monday that all the senior officials who, according to the Court, had participated directly in the Mykonos assassination are still in place, according to a report filed by the Iran Emrooz internet news site based in Germany.
Finally, on 10 April, the Berlin High Court condemned Mr. Darabi and the two Lebanese to life and eight years imprisonment respectively, pronouncing “the highest authorities in Iran as having a direct hand in the assassination”.
The Monday ceremony took place despite huge pressures from Tehran over the German government as well the Berlin municipality to scrap it, but it was not heard and the commemorative plaque had been unveiled right in front of the Mykonos restaurant, closed since then.
German Ambassador to Tehran Gunter Pleuger was summoned to Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to be informed of Iran’s “strong objection to the installation of a plaque next to Mykonos restaurant in Berlin”, the official news agency IRNA said Wednesday.
According to the Information and Press Office at Iran’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Deputy Foreign Minister for Euro-American Affairs Ali Ahani reiterated to Pleuger that the Islamic Republic was involved in the Mykonos murder, voicing regret over the commemorative plaque, telling him that the decision of the local municipality was taken under the influence by “disinformation campaigns and attempts to sabotage Iran-German ties” and denounced the move as “unacceptable and contrary to the spirit of bilateral relations”, IRNA added.
For its part, the German embassy in Tehran explained that the plaque had been prepared and installed on a decision by a Berlin district authority and German government had had no role in it, hoping that the “incident” would not affect the “friendly” Iran-German relations.
But though it is correct that the German government had no role in the event, nevertheless, in a message to the gathering, Ms. Claudia Roth, the German “minister” for Human Rights described the victims as “combatants of freedom”.
In anger, the Iranian authorities hastily inaugurated a plaque in front of the German Embassy in central Tehran denouncing Germany’s “atrocities”, referring to the chemical weapons Saddam Hussein used against Iranian soldiers, deadly arms he got from Germany. ENDS IRAN GERMANY MYKONOS 21404