NewsSpecial WireIran FM to visit Turkey on Friday

Iran FM to visit Turkey on Friday

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 10 – Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will travel to Istanbul on Friday to hold talks with Turkish officials on the crisis in Lebanon, the official news agency IRNA reported on Thursday. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 10 – Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will travel to Istanbul on Friday to hold talks with Turkish officials on the crisis in Lebanon, the official news agency IRNA reported on Thursday.

Mottaki will also discuss the events in Palestine, the report said.

Friday’s trip will be Mottaki’s second visit to Turkey since he became Foreign Minister.

Mottaki has a chequered history in Turkey and was once expelled for his involvement in terrorism when he was the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to Ankara

Mottaki, 53, has been accused of involvement in a series of terrorist attacks in Turkey in the late 1980s, according to Iranian exiles and defectors from the theocratic regime.

Turkish authorities had asked him to leave the country in 1989, when he was Iran’s ambassador in Ankara, after his role in several terrorist incidents in Turkey became known.

Mottaki is a former Deputy Foreign Minister and served as Iran’s ambassador to Japan.

As a radical Islamist in his student days in India’s Bangalore University, Mottaki was a fervent supporter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He returned to Iran during the revolution and joined the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) soon after the fall of the Shah’s regime in 1979. After taking part in the bloody campaign against Kurdish dissidents, Mottaki moved to the Foreign Ministry, where for some time he was the IRGC liaison officer.

Mottaki was appointed Iran’s ambassador to Turkey in 1985 and it was during his tenure in Ankara that the Revolutionary Guard-turned-diplomat became involved in a number of terror attacks and assassinations of dissidents, according to Iranian opposition figures and defectors. In the 1980s and the early 1990s, at least 50 Iranian dissidents were kidnapped or assassinated in Turkey by Iranian secret agents often working closely with diplomats from Iran’s embassy and consulates.

On Mottaki’s watch, the Iranian embassy in Ankara and the consulate-general in Istanbul were turned into safe houses for agents of Iran’s notorious secret police hunting down Iranian dissidents, according to exiles.

The Turkish authorities ordered Mottaki to leave Turkey in October 1989 for his role in assassinations and kidnappings in that country. The expulsion was couched in diplomatic terms, and Turkey agreed to allow Iran to avoid public embarrassment by withdrawing its ambassador.

Mottaki later became Vice-president of Islamic Cultural and Communications Organisation, an agency created by Supreme Leader Khamenei for export of the Islamic revolution to other parts of the Muslim world.

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