Iranian Diplomat Charged With Assassination of a Publisher in Norway

A former senior Iranian diplomat based in Oslo, Norway, and a Lebanese national is at the center of accusations of being involved in the assassination of Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard. According to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), the Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) has been investigating the case since 2009.

Nygaard, who was the former head of the publishing company Aschehoug and the former chairman of the NRK, was responsible for publishing the Norwegian edition of Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel, The Satanic Verses.

Based on a fatwa by Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian regime’s founder and first Supreme Leader, against Salman Rushdie, Nygaard was targeted in 1993 by several fanatics for publishing Rushdie’s novel.

Tehran’s first Secretary at the Iranian regime’s Embassy in Oslo, unidentified by the NRK, and Lebanese national, Khaled Moussawi, who lived in Oslo during the 1990s, are the main suspects in Nygaard’s assassination. Tehran’s diplomat reportedly visited Norway just after Rushdie’s book was published but left the country four days before the assassination.

This wasn’t the first time that the Iranian regime’s embassy in Oslo has been involved with terrorism and espionage. Three years ago, Mohammad Davoudzadeh Lului was arrested by Swedish authorities for his affiliation with the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

Davoudzadeh was involved in a terrorist plot against Iranian Arab citizens in Denmark. Davoudzadeh had obtained refugee status and later Norwegian citizenship and was in regular communication with the regime’s embassy in Oslo and then-ambassador Mohammad Hassan Habibolahzadeh.

In September 2021, it was reported in Swedish newspapers that former Swedish security police chief, Peyman Kia had been arrested and charged with spying on Iran’s behalf between 2011 and 2015. Having obtained Swedish citizenship, he worked as a director for the Swedish Security Police (SPO), and as an analyst for the Swedish military whilst spying on behalf of the regime and relaying information back to them.

Source: Iran Focus

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