Sun, Oct 10, 2010 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Iran’s Reformist Opposition Insinuated Political Motives For The Murder Of Two Doctors
A stun bomb exploded Tuesday at the East Tehran hospital of Al-Ghadir. The bomb was hidden in a hallway on the ground floor of the hospital. Slight damage was caused to the building as a result of the explosion, but no casualties were reported. Interior security forces who arrived on the scene detained one possible suspect in the explosion (various news agencies, October 5).
The explosion at the Tehran hospital came only two weeks after two doctors from Tehran had been shot dead under mysterious circumstances.
On September 21, Dr. Abdol-Reza Soudbakhsh was killed outside of his office in Tehran. Dr. Gholam-Reza Sarabi, a heart surgeon from Tehran, was killed one day later. Two suspects in the killing were detained shortly thereafter. They admitted to murdering him and claimed that they had personal motives for committing the murder.
Several days later, Bahman Karimi, the father of one of the murder suspects, committed suicide under unclear circumstances. According to Iran’s authorities, he took his own life after trying to escape from internal security forces who attempted to detain him for suspected involvement in the murder.
Following the death of the two doctors, Iranian top officials, including Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi, National Security and Foreign Policy Committee chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi, and top Tehran police official Abbas-Ali Mohammadian, denied any connection between the two incidents or the possibility that the murders had to do with political motives (Mehr, September 26).
Sources affiliated with the reformist opposition, however, insinuated that political motives may have played a role in at least one of the murders.
Jaras, a website affiliated with reformist opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, reported that Dr. Soudbakhsh was in charge of treating political prisoners at the Kahrizak detention facility, where at least three of the people detained in the riots which broke out after last year’s presidential election died.
The facility was shut down in July 2009 on the Supreme Leader’s orders, after the authorities were forced to admit that some prisoners were tortured and beaten by wardens. One of the prisoners who died at Kahrizak was the son of the senior advisor of former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Reza’i.
According to the Jaras report, Dr. Soudbakhsh refused to comply with the Iranian forensic institute’s demand to state that the cause of death was stroke, and concluded that they had died as a result of severe beating.
The website further reported that the doctor was shot dead only one day before he was supposed to leave Iran (Jaras, September 30).
In response to those claims, internal security forces chief Esma’il Ahmadi-Moqaddam denied any connection between the doctor’s death and the Kahrizak detention facility affair.