US-Based Writer Says She Was Target Of Iran Murder Plot

In an article published Monday by the New York Review, writer and rights activist Roya Hakakian revealed that she was informed by two FBI agents visiting her home in rural Connecticut in August 2019 that she might be killed by Iranian agents in the United States, where she has lived since leaving Iran in 1985.

“They said that they knew nothing concrete or specific beyond a vague danger; they relied on me, with my knowledge of Iran’s past dealings with dissidents, to surmise that it could mean an assassination plot,” Hakakian wrote(link is external).

Hakakian suspected she was being targeted due to her collaboration with Masih Alinejad, another US-based activist, who she calls “the most formidable thorn in the [Iranian] regime’s side.” Hakakian and Alinejad were among the August 2019 signatories of the Statement of Fourteen Female Activists Abroad issued after the publication of a statement by 14 female civil rights activists in Iran.

The statements called on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to resign, and for “civil and non-violent measures” against the regime and for a new Iranian constitution. By September 2019, 16 of the 28 signatories of the statements in Iran had been arrested. Some, such as retired teacher Hashem Khastar, are still in prison.

Assassination in Berlin

Hakakian, a co-founder of the Connecticut-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, is the author of Assassins of the Turquoise Palace, a ‘factional’ account of the 1992 assassination of three leading Kurdish politicians − including Sadegh Sharafkandi, General-Secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, which was committed to Kurdish autonomy − and a Persian interpreter at Berlin’s Mykonos restaurant.

Two Iranians, including an intelligence officer, and three Lebanese were found guilty of involvement in the assassinations by a German court in 1997, with the intelligence officer and one Lebanese sentenced to life in prison, although Iran has always denied any role. Iranian intelligence allegedly assassinated the previous KDPI general-secretary Abdulrahman Ghassemlou in Vienna in 1989, former prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar in Paris in 1991, and other dissidents including royalist singer and poet Fereydoun Farrokhzad in Berlin in 1992.

Source: Iran International

Also Read: Feds charge 4 in Iran plot to kidnap activist in US, others

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