Reuters: France’s interior minister will sign an expulsion order on Monday for an Iranian national who is serving a life sentence in France for the 1991 murder of Iran’s last prime minister under the Shah, a government source said.
PARIS, May 17 (Reuters) – France’s interior minister will sign an expulsion order on Monday for an Iranian national who is serving a life sentence in France for the 1991 murder of Iran’s last prime minister under the Shah, a government source said.
Ali Vakili Rad was convicted in 1994 of stabbing Shapour Bakhtiar to death in the ex-premier’s Paris flat.
He came due for parole last year and a court is expected to decide on his release on Tuesday. An expulsion order by Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux would open the way for his immediate return to Iran.
The decision to expel him comes the day after a French teaching assistant flew home to Paris after being detained for 10 months in Tehran on spying charges.
France has denied cutting a deal with Iran to secure the release of 24-year-old Clotilde Reiss.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last September that France should consider a prisoner swap if it wanted to see Reiss freed.
Two weeks ago France freed an Iranian engineer who Washington wanted to extradite on charges of illegally buying electronic equipment from U.S. firms for military use.
Vakili Rad was one of three people who assaulted Bakhtiar, whose secretary also was murdered in the attack. The other two assailants managed to escape while Vakili Rad was arrested in neighbouring Switzerland and extradited.
It was widely suspected that the killers were supporters of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Bakhtiar was an opponent of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, but promoted to be prime minister in a last desperate attempt by the the then Iranian leader to save his monarchy.
However, Bakhtiar’s liberal Westernism did not go down well and he resigned after just five weeks in office. He fled the country after the 1979 Iranian revolution and lived in exile in Paris until his murder.
(Reporting by Thierry Leveque, writing by Crispian Balmer; editing by Michael Roddy)