Iran claims to have arrested leader of US-based ‘terrorist group’ behind 2008 bombing
Iran on Saturday revealed that it has arrested the leader of a US-based “terrorist group” accused of being behind a deadly 2008 bombing in the southern city of Shiraz and of other, abortive attacks.
A report in the state television, citing a statement from the intelligence ministry, stated that the group’s “Jamshid Sharmahd, who was leading armed and sabotage operations inside Iran, is now in the powerful hands” of Iran’s security forces.
There was no further elaboration in the statement, about where or when the leader of the opposition royalist group known as the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, or Tondar (Farsi for Thunder), was arrested.
The statement revealed that he had orchestrated the April 12, 2008 bombing in a packed mosque in Shiraz that killed 14 people and wounded 215.
It could be recalled that Iran hanged three men convicted of the bombing in 2009, saying they had ties to the monarchist group and were accused of taking orders from an Iranian US-backed “CIA agent” to try to assassinate a high-ranking official in Iran.
The persons involved include 21-year old Mohsen Eslamian and Ali Asghar Pashtar, 20 who were both university students and Rouzbeh Yahyazadeh, 32.
There guilty indicated that were of “mohareb” (enemies of God) and “corruption on the earth” by a revolutionary court in Tehran.
In 2010, two other convicted members of the group were hanged by Iran as they had “confessed to obtaining explosives and planning to assassinate officials”.
The Saturday statement also disclosed that Tondar had plotted several other “big operations” which failed, including plan to blow up a dam in Shiraz, use “cyanide bombs” at a Tehran book fair, and plant an explosive device at the mausoleum of the Islamic republic’s founder, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
It is not yet known how Iran arrested the US-based Sharmahd.