Iran Arrests 4 in Dissident Deaths
Monday, February 22, 1999, TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian authorities
have arrested four more suspects in the deaths of five dissidents, a military
prosecutor said today.
The prosecutor, Mohammad Niyazi, told Tehran radio that one of the
suspects was a businessman who fled to Turkey but was brought back with
the help of Turkish authorities.
Niyazi said the suspects were arrested over the past month, but gave
no other details except to say that some suspects are still at large.
Iran's intelligence minister resigned this month following a Jan. 5
announcement that 10 of the ministry's agents may have been involved in
Authorities later said that several of the agents have been freed and
that other suspects have been detained. Iran has not given a figure for
how many suspects remain in custody.
Iran has been struck by a wave of violence, triggered by the intensified
power struggle between supporters of hard-liners and moderates inside the
ruling Islamic government.
The first of the five victims, Dariush Foruhar and his wife Parvaneh,
belonged to a minor opposition party. They were found stabbed to death
in their Tehran home on Nov. 22.
In the following weeks, writers Mohammad Jafar Pouyandeh and Mohammad
Mokhtari disappeared. They apparently were strangled, and their bodies
then dumped on the outskirts of Tehran. A third writer, Majid Sharif, was
found dead after disappearing from his home.
Two other dissidents, Pirouz Davani and Rostami Hamedani, have been
missing since December.