On December 12, the Islamic Republic executed a dissident expatriate journalist named Ruhollah Zam. Apparently Zam, who was living in Belgium, was lured by a comely young woman to Iraq, where Iranian agents kidnapped him and brought him to his homeland against his will. Tehran has used such schemes more than once to dispose of its enemies, along with carrying out assassinations on foreign soil. Michael Segall describes recent revelations about the ayatollahs’ methods:
A series of articles published recently in the Turkish, British, and American media indicate that Iranian intelligence is making effective use of major international crime organizations and drug cartels in several countries to advance its goals, notably capturing dissidents in the diaspora. These organizations have affiliates in other countries, for example Romania, a country where a senior Iranian judge was recently assassinated during a mysterious trip.
One such organization has become the long arm of Iranian intelligence. It is run by Naji Sharifi Zindashti, born in Oroumieh, Iran, and the son of a [Kurdish] Peshmerga fighter. Zindashti was detained in Evin prison after a conviction for drug trafficking at the age of twenty. He escaped from prison and lived in Turkey for many years. Zindashti had contacts with Turkish politicians in President Erdogan’s AKP party. . . . He was mysteriously released from prison in 2010 after his arrest in 2007 in Turkey for possession of 75 kilograms of heroin.
Zindashti was also wanted in Greece in 2014 after the discovery of the largest shipment of heroin in European history. After the two-ton shipment was uncovered on a freighter, a series of mysterious murders also took place in various countries.
It should be noted that over the years, even as Iran has carried out assassinations in European countries, these Western nations have maintained trade relations with it, while ignoring repeated human-rights violations in Iran and global terrorist operations outside it. Even now, despite the sanctions imposed on the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, the European Union’s primary interest is to continue the economic ties with Iran.