Two Foes of Khomeini Killed in London; Iran Hit Team Feared
Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist squad Saturday investigated the killing of two anti-Khomeini Iranian activists--the third such attack since July--as speculation mounted that an Iranian hit team is operating in London.
Police Cmdr. George Churchill-Coleman, head of the anti-terrorist squad, said the three attacks “may be linked to one group.” But, he cautioned, “I have no evidence to show that they’re at all connected.”
A man with a Middle Eastern accent telephoned United Press International in London on Saturday night and claimed responsibility for the slayings on behalf of a group called the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.
“Regarding the assassination of the two men (Friday), we are the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and soldiers of Imam Khomeini. We will kill every monarchist, and we will kill Reza Pahlavi (the Shah’s son). That’s all,” the man said.
The same group also claimed responsibility for the first of the three attacks--a car bombing that seriously injured an Iranian dissident leader in London on July 19.
In the latest killing, Mohammed Ali Tavakoli-Nabavi, 58, founder of a small group of dissidents opposed to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called the Javanan Nationalist Party, and his son, Noureddin, 24, were found shot to death Friday in their two-story apartment in a rundown housing complex in the northwestern suburb of Wembley.
“It has all the hallmarks of a political killing,” Churchill-Coleman told a news conference Saturday.
Both men were shot several times, including in the head at point-blank range. The bodies were found by a second son when he returned home Friday night.
Churchill-Coleman said the father was “fairly active in the political front” and ran “a very small group of individuals--no more than a dozen--who oppose the current regime in Iran.”
The father also spoke out against Khomeini on Sundays at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park--a favorite tourist site where anyone can get up on a soapbox and express his thoughts to anyone who will listen.
The third attack on anti-Khomeini activists in less than three months raised fears among Iranian dissidents and fueled speculation in the press that an Iranian hit team is operating in London.