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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 15:31 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 15:31 | SYDNEY

Ahmadinejad's biographers

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5 June 2008 11:11

I recently stumbled (via Counterterrorism blog) on a rather extraordinary article about a new biography of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran watchers will have heard stories that Ahmadinejad was involved with the 1979 US embassy hostage-taking, but this article makes much wilder allegations:

...Ahmadinejad allegedly planned assassinations in the Middle East and Europe of opponents to the regime, such as the Kurdish leader Qasselou in July 1989 in Vienna.

Also, Ahmadinejad has reportedly been linked to a plot to kill British author Salman Rushdie. According to Taubmann, citing the famous Iranian poet Nemat Azarm, Ahmadinejad is behind the gruesome murder of charismatic opposition leader MD Kazem Sami in 1988. His body was systematically cut in pieces with a knife.

Not only numerous credible stories accuse Ahmadinejad of several murders, but he also earned a reputation of a callous torturer. In fact, according to several sources, Ahmadinejad worked in the infamous Evin prison where he was nicknamed "The Executioner" because he was the one inflicting the coup de grace to some prisoners.

I'm sceptical. I recently heard a radio interview with another Ahmadinejad biographer, Kasra Naji, and he mentioned none of this. He even dismissed the idea that Ahmadinejad had been involved in the hostage incident. And nebulous phrases like 'reportedly' and 'credible stories' do not increase the credibility of the claims.