A Man Called Saeed Emami PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 19 July 2005
ImageSaeed Emami (a.k.a. Saeed Eslami or Shamshiri) was born in Shiraz, central Iran, as Daniyal Ghavami in an Iranian Jewish family. He spent several years in the United States pursuing his studies in Mechanical Engineering. After completing his higher education, he worked at the Iranian Interests Section in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. for one year and at Iran's mission to the United Nations for another year. At that time he was recruited by Iranian intelligence and after his return to Iran he went directly to the Ministry of Intelligence. When Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri was serving as the Minister of Intelligence, Saeed Hajjarian, the Director General of the Intelligence Ministry voiced opposition to the appointment of Saeed Emami to key posts at the ministry because of his family records. But in 1989, Ali Fallahian replaced Reyshahri as Minister of Intelligence and appointed Saeed Emami as his deputy for security affairs immediately after assuming his post.

He remained unknown to the public until the fall of 1998, when it was declared that Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh Eskandari Forouhar, leaders of Mellat Iran, an Iranian opposition party, were found dead at their house in southern Tehran. Several weeks later, the Ministry of Intelligence officially declared that their deaths were murders and that rogue members of the intelligence ministry were responsible and had acted without the approval of the then-minister, Ghorban Ali Dorri-Najafabadi.
According to the general military prosecuter, Emami was the primary leading figure in these political killings. In spring 1998, military prosecuter Niazi declared that Emami had committed suicide in prison using a brand of strong hair removal powder containing arsenic. The bizarre account of Emami’s death in prison while under round-the-clock supervision convinced no one and it was widely assumed that he was murdered in order to prevent the leak of sensitive information about MOIS operations, which would have compromised the entire leadership of the Islamic Republic.

In late 1999, the press revealed that Emami was directly responsible for the “Serial Murders” in the 1980s and 1990s including: Saidi Sirjani's mysterious death, the Mykonos restaurant assassination scandal, an unsuccessful attempt to drive the bus of 21 Iranian journalists off a precipice on their way to Armenia, the unexpected death of Ahmad Khomeini (Khomeini's son), the murders of Mohammad Jaafar Pooyandeh, Mohammad Mokhtari, Peerooz Davani, and Majid Sharif. Later on, a videotape of his speech at the University of Hamadan was published in which Emami enthusiastically promotes his Islamist perspective on social issues. Later, during the amendment of the Press Law by the 5th Majlis, Emami was called the designer of the draft law by Salam newspaper, for which Salam was banned by the Tehran prosecuter and this finally resulted in the 1999 student demonstrations in Tehran.

In his revelations, Jamshid Tafrishi, a former MOIS defector, who defected after ten years wrote:
“…I met Saeed Emami (a.k.a Shamshiri), the number two man in the Intelligence Ministry for eight years, who was behind the murder of at least 100 dissidents in Iran. The latest of these serial killings was exposed in November 1998, when Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh were brutally murdered in their home in Tehran. Emami was also responsible for the assassination of dozens of dissidents abroad. I also met Mostafa Kazemi (a.k.a Sanjari, Emami's deputy), Amir Hossein Taqavi (responsible for counter-PMOI operations in the Intelligence Ministry) and Hossein Shariatmadari (a Revolutionary Guards brigadier and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative at the government-owned Kayhan newspaper). My contact with the Ministry was a man by the name of Reza who was an assistant to Saeed Emami. It was revealed later that his name was Morteza Qobbeh. He was Emami's deputy and had the task of recruiting those who had left the Mojahedin Organization.”

A videotape showing Emami’s wife under torture by Iranian intelligence agents was brought to public attention by the Iranian resistance in recent years.