Iran nod for Saudi embassy attack, mastermind claims in leaked audio

The confessions also explain why authorities in Iran have delayed the trial of those who carried out the attack

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The mastermind of the Saudi embassy attack in Iran, which took place earlier this year, has confessed that the attack was carried out after the Iranian government and leaders gave him a green light.

The confession was revealed in an audio recording which was leaked recently. It also explains why authorities in Iran have delayed the trial of those who carried out the attack and why charges were dropped during kangaroo courts.

In the audio recording reported to have been revealed by sources close to the opposition Green Movement inside Iran, the alleged mastermind of the attack, Hassan Kurdmihan, an extremist cleric, can be heard in a series of calls as he directed members of the Basij and revolutionary guards to burn and destroy the embassy and seize all documents inside it.

Also read: Iran: 20 ‘undeclared’ sentences on Saudi embassy attackers

Kurdmihan can be heard telling his followers: “The attack has been carried out upon a green light from the government and the regime. This is why security forces allowed raiding the embassy and did not act (against us).”

According to the recording published by Amad News through the Telegram app, which has become the Green Movement activists’ platform, Kurdmihan was talking to members of the Noor-e-Marefat institution, a lobbying party which he heads. The Noor-e Marefat institution includes Basij members.

Government’s collusion

Kurdmihan had earlier confessed to being the mastermind behind the attack and inciting members whom he described as “the revolutionary sons of Hezbollah” from the Basij and revolutionary guards. He had also spoken about the “collusion” of the Rowhani government which he claimed did not prevent the attack on the embassy but rather facilitated it.

In an open letter directed to Iranian President Hassan Rowhani in August, Kurdmihan said: “The government’s collusion in the attack was clear as it would have been able to prevent the attackers if it had wanted to,” adding that “the attackers were expected to be beaten up by police and security forces.”

The Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked in January following the execution of the Saudi Shiite preacher Nimr al-Nimr. Two weeks after the attack, Iranian judicial authorities said they interrogated Kurdmihan based on accusations that he incited the attack; however, they neither detained nor arrested him.

Also read: Iran hopes Saudi embassy attack trial will restore confidence

Who is Hassan Kurdmihan?

Kurdmihan belongs to the militias of Ansar Hezbollah in Karaj, south west of Tehran. It’s a group that’s close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and it participated in suppressing the protests of the Green Movement in 2009 and the students’ protests in 1998.

He was also one of the organizers working in the election campaign of Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf – Tehran’s current mayor - when he ran for the presidential elections in 2013. Besides Noor-e Marefat, Kurdmihan also heads nine other institutions that are close to lobbying groups and influential figures within the Iranian regime.

He also fought alongside the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria. He was a judo trainer and he supervised joint training sessions for Iranian and Syrian teams.

‘Kangaroo courts’

In November and following several trials described as “kangaroo courts,” the Iranian authorities dropped the charges off all those accused of raiding, sabotaging and burning the embassy.

Iran has been in a very difficult position following decisive Saudi and Gulf reactions, particularly after the Arabs’ boycott and widespread condemnation of the raids on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in Mashhad.

This article can also be read at Al Arabiya.net.