Turkey’s Daily Sabah has published a report likening the murder of the Iranian dissident Masoud Maulavi Vardanjani in Turkey to the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate on 2 October 2018 in Istanbul.

Vardanjani was assassinated last year on 14 November: “Like the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Vardanjani was shot dead on the street in the city’s Sisli district,” the newspaper said.

Khashoggi and Vardanjani were both prominent opponents to their countries’ regimes.

The newspaper pointed out that the assassination of Vardanjani – a former intelligence operative for Iran – was linked to his social media posts about national corruption involving Iranian officials and the Quds Force at Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Vardanjani fled Iran to Istanbul in June 2018 after the Iranian authorities put him under investigation.

In Istanbul the Iranian dissident was friends with Ali Esfanjani, who was “feeding information about him to two Iranian businessmen working as informants for Iranian intelligence without Vardanjani’s knowledge.”

The Turkish newspaper added that Esfanjani met Vardanjani’s killer, who it identified as Abdulvahhab Koçak, on 13 November, basing its information on security camera footage gathered by the Turkish authorities.

“The two men met in a shopping mall and talked for about half an hour. Esfanjani then met Vardanjani and the two started walking on the street when Koçak approached from behind and fired 11 shots at Vardanjani,” the report said.

Esfanjani, the newspaper noted, had obtained fake travel documents from the Iranian consulate in Istanbul after the murder and escaped to Iran.

It revealed that an Iranian man, identified as Siyavash Abazari Shalamzari, assisted Esfanjani with his escape and that he was later captured by security forces. “At least six Iranian intelligence officers helped Esfanjani escape to Iran after the murder,” Daily Sabah said.

Source » middleeastmonitor