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Murder at Mykonos: Anatomy of a Political Assassination

invitation for the following evening by mistake. Once the mix-up was revealed hurried attempts were made to contact those absent.

Quite by chance one of the intended guests, Masoud Mirrashed,45 was already dining at the restaurant. Another Iranian exile dining at the restaurant, Esfandiar Sadeghzadeh,46 was also invited to join the party. Both were regulars at Mykonos. The flurry of telephone calls elicited two further missing guests - Parviz Dastmalchi who was a member of the supreme council and executive committee of the Republicans of Iran (Jumhurikhahan-i Melliy-i Iran) and Mehdi Ebrahimzadeh Esfahani who was a member of the central council and executive board of the Organization of Iranian People’s Majority (Sazman-i Fadaiyan-i Khalq-i Iran-Aksariyat).

Parviz Dastmalchi remembers the confusion surrounding the evening:

I received a message from Aziz [Ghaffari] on my answering machine on Wednesday around 5 p.m. regarding a meeting on Friday. I went to the restaurant that same night (Wednesday evening) and Aziz confirmed the meeting and asked me whether I got his message. On Thursday evening around 8:00 p.m. I received a phone call from Nouri [Dehkordi] who mentioned the misunderstanding about the time of the meeting. He explained that Aziz was supposed to have invited people for Thursday evening but he had made a mistake and invited them for Friday. He asked me to join them. When I arrived at the restaurant, Aziz and the PDKI delegates were arguing about the mistake. The delegates insisted that they had not told Aziz that the meeting would take place Friday evening since they were in fact flying out on Friday morning.47

Aside from those mentioned above, the only other customers present at Mykonos that night were Peter Böhm, a patron who was sitting at a table by the entrance, and a young couple who left shortly after Ebrahimzadeh arrived. Also present was a waitress, Maria Voltschanskaya.48

At approximately 10:50 p.m., the two assassins, Abdol-Rahman Banihashemi and Abbas Hossein Rhayel, entered the restaurant. Youssef Mohammad Amin waited outside blocking the entrance. Banihashemi and Rhayel had been provided with photographs of the targets and were familiar with the layout of the restaurant.49 As a result, they were able to travel through the premises without hesitation, and carry out the murders within a short period of time. Banihashemi carried an Uzi machine gun inside a sports bag, and Rhayel carried an automatic pistol. Both weapons were equipped with silencers

Upon entering the restaurant, they moved swiftly to the back room, where the PDKI party and their guests were dining. Two tables were placed close together on the right side of the room along the wall. Mirrashed was sitting at the end of the right

[45] Then member of Sazman-i Fadaiyan-i Khalq-i Iran-Aksariyat [Organization of Iranian People’s Fadaian (Majority)]. Indictment, supra note 34, at 20.
[46] Former member of Sazman-i Fadaiyan-i Khalq-i Iran-Aksariyat [Organization of Iranian People’s Fadaian (Majority)]. He was unaffiliated at the time of the murder. Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 42.
[47]Interview with Parviz Dastmalchi, Eyewitness, in New Haven, Conn. (Jun. 13, 2006).

[48] Indictment, supra note 34, at 21.
[49] Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 44.

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Political Killings, Assassinations, Political Freedom