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Ahmadinejad 'link to killing' under investigation

Austrian police will investigate allegations linking the Iranian president to the 1989 murder of a Kurdish opposition leader in Vienna.

Austrian police will investigate allegations linking the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the 1989 murder of a Kurdish opposition leader in Vienna, the foreign minister has said. The claims made by the Austrian Green deputy Peter Pilz on Thursday "will be examined by the police", Michael Spindelegger said. It was necessary to check "if there is anything to it (the accusation), before we take any foreign policy action," he added.

Mr Pilz on Thursday presented to the media a testimony by a German arms dealer who claimed to have delivered weapons to Mr Ahmadinejad in July 1989, shortly before Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou's assassination. Mr Ghassemlou, the leader of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan - an Iranian opposition party outlawed by Tehran - was killed on July 13, 1989 by commandos who were never apprehended. In his statement, made to Italian anti-mafia authorities in April 2006 while he was serving a sentence for arms trafficking in Trieste, Italy, the German said he delivered half a dozen light weapons at a meeting at the Iranian embassy in Vienna.

At this meeting were three Iranians, including "a certain Mohamed, who later became president of the Republic of Iran," he said, according to a copy of the translated testimony presented by Mr Pilz. Iran has always denied any involvement in the killings. *AFP

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