Iran announced on Saturday that it had detained the leader of a group accused by Islamic Republic of being behind a deadly attack in a mosque in the south of the country in 2008.
Few details were provided on the circumstances that led to Jamshid Sharmahd’s imprisonment, such as the date or the country where Iranian forces found him. “Jamshid Sharmahd, head of the terrorist group Tondar (based) in the United States (…), is now in the hands” of Iranian intelligence agents, the intelligence ministry said on Saturday in a statement. state television.
Jamshid Sharmahd “was leading armed and sabotage operations in Iran,” he said.
Overthrow the Islamic Republic
According to the ministry statement, Jamshid Sharmahd had “conceived and organized” a deadly attack on a mosque in Shiraz (south) which left 14 dead and some 200 wounded in 2008. He also planned to carry out several “major operations”, such as detonate the Sivand dam in Shiraz or the shrine of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, in a public ceremony in Tehran.
Tondar (“thunder” in Persian), also known as the Monarchist Association of Iran, is a group aiming to overthrow the Islamic Republic.
According to his website (Tondar.org), Jamshid Sharmahd, born in Tehran in 1955, grew up in an Iranian-German family before moving to the United States in 2003, where he distinguished himself by his statements hostile to the Islamic Republic and Islam, on satellite channels in Persian. The group openly criticizes the Koran and opposes Prince Réza Pahlavi, eldest son of the last Shah of Iran, who wants to become king.
Opponents of the regime arrested or sentenced to death
In 2009, Iran hanged three men convicted of the Shiraz bombing, claiming they had ties to a monarchist opposition group based overseas and taking their orders from an Iranian CIA agent based in the United States referred to as “Jamshid”.
In October, the Iranian authorities announced that they had detained another opponent formerly exiled in France, Rouhollah Zam, again without giving details.
This man, accused of having played an active role in the protests against power in 2017-2018, was sentenced to death at the end of June for “corruption on earth”.