Dr. A. R. Ghassemlou, one of the prominent leaders of the Kurdish nation, was assassinated by Iranian diplomats during peace talks in Vienna on July 13, 1989. The Iranian diplomats-cum-terrorists were arrested shortly after the murder. Instead of investigating the murders and putting the assassins on trial, Austrian authorities sent them back to Tehran.
Dr. Ghassemlou was in Austria to negotiate with Iranian representatives on Kurdish rights and self-rule for eastern Kurdistan. The negotiations were launched at the initiative of the Iranian government.
Activists also gathered in Vienna, Paris and Stockholm and demanded justice for Dr. Ghassemlou.
French dignitaries and Kurdish politicians and intellectuals from various European countries paid homage to Dr. Ghassemlou at his grave in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
Kurds in Berlin and Oslo staged demonstrations to condemn Iran’s recent shelling of civilian populated areas in eastern (Iranian) and southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan. They too demanded justice for Dr. Ghassemlou and called on Western governments to take a firm stance against Iranian state terrorism.
Similarly, the Kurdish community in Washington, DC, organized a protest at the Austrian embassy and demanded justice for Dr. Ghassemlou.
Meanwhile, Kurdish communities in a number of European countries organized various events to pay tribute to their fallen leader and renewed their commitment to PDKI and its struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It was the “pragmatist” or so-called moderate faction of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the president of Iran at time, that called for secret talks with PDKI. The Rafsanjani faction urged the PDKI to hold secret talks in order to prevent “hardline” factions within the Iranian regime from sabotaging the talks. Yet it turned out to be a plot.
The assassination of Dr. Ghassemlou was ordered by Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, Rafsanjani and other senior leaders of the islamist regime in Tehran. The assassination was planned by the Iranian regime’s intelligence agency and was carried out in concert with Iran’s Foreign Ministry.