IRGC assassination of Iranian military scientist in Turkey

The assassination of Masoud Molavi-Vardanjani, a defector and Iranian scientist, by Iranian intelligence in Turkey in 2019 was likely aimed at preventing him from exposing the Iranian regime’s corruption and missile activities, experts say.

November 14 will mark the second anniversary of Molavi’s assassination. He was gunned down on a street in Istanbul about a year after he fled Iran.

For a few years after the inception of the Islamic Republic in 1978, regime-commissioned assassinations were focused on officials from the previous regime (Pahlavi era).

Afterward, the regime’s focus started shifting to individuals who were part of the system at some point but who later distanced themselves from the regime for various reasons and fled abroad where they started exposing its atrocities.

The regime’s aim has been to silence them.

Molavi’s disillusionment with and criticism of the Iranian regime led to him being targeted, say analysts.

He had worked for about 10 years as a consultant and the director of a data security company called Parseh Research in Esfahan before starting his work as a military consultant specializing in artificial intelligence.

He was recruited to work for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reportedly in an IRGC missile facility, after a robot, he had built for the Defence Ministry, caught the attention of IRGC officials.

Molavi’s investigation of cyber security affairs and his uncovering of corrupt practices that saw public funds going into the pockets of regime officials led to his 2017 arrest, imprisonment, and torture in Evin prison‘s infamous Ward 209.

He was kept in solitary confinement under the pseudonym “Reza Faribozi”, then was sentenced to eight years in prison but did not serve that sentence after acquaintances he had made during his work for the IRGC fought for his freedom.

Upon his release from prison, Molavi left Iran for Turkey in 2018, where he started exposing through social media Iranian officials’ corruption.

Molavi also provided details about the tracking methods and techniques for the kidnapping, assassination, and murder of Iranian dissidents, and theft of Iranian intelligence outside Iran, particularly in Turkey.

Two senior Turkish officials told Reuters that two intelligence officers at Iran’s consulate in Turkey instigated the killing.

The suspected gunman and several other suspects, including Turkish and Iranian citizens detained for questioning in the weeks after the killing, told officials two intelligence officers at the Iranian consulate had ordered the attack, according to one official.

According to ample evidence, his assassination is one of more than 200 political and extrajudicial killings that the Islamic Republic has committed outside Iran.

These terror plots have taken place in 40 countries, mainly by way of the IRGC’s overseas arm the Quds Force, the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Intelligence, or by proxy groups.

Source: Al-Mashareq
Also read: Mossad said to have foiled Iran terror plots against Israeli targets in Africa

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