The financial manager of Teheran's leading newspaper 'Kayhan' and his twenty-year-old son were assassinated by gunmen as they drove to the newspaper's offices on Sunday (26 August).
CU Photo of Owner Haj Hossein Mehdian with Ayatollah Khomeini in frame
Background: The financial manager of Teheran's leading newspaper 'Kayhan' and his twenty-year-old son were assassinated by gunmen as they drove to the newspaper's offices on Sunday (26 August). Haj Mehdi Araghi and his son Haj Hessam, were accompanied by the newspaper's owner Haj Hossein Mehdian, who was wounded in the attack. The Forqan guerrillas a fundamentalist religious group opposed to clerical intereference in politics have claimed responsibility.
The killings were the first connected with the press since the February revolution. The newspaper was taken over by Islamic workers last May when left-wing journalists were purged.
It was subsequently bought by Haj Mehdian, a friend of Ayatollah Khomeini, who handed the paper over to an Islamic foundation.
Teheran radio interrupted normal programming to announce the murders, and it described the two victims as "true martyrs of the Islamic revolution". The murdered manager Haj Araghi had appeared in a television interview only a week before, to explain how he and other embers of the Fedayan guerrilla group had plotted the murder of the Shah's Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansour in February 1965.
The radio described Haj Araghi as one of Ayatollah Khomeini's most devoted followers who spent fifteen years in the Shah's jails. It said he was one of a handful of people allowed to greet the religious leader on his return from exile.
The Forqan gunmen were riding motorcycles when they attacked. It is believed that, since last April, it has been responsible for the murder of several leading clergymen and prominent figures associated with the new regime. A spokesman for 'Kyhan' said that leaflets distributed by the Forqan guerrilla group in the city, cited the paper's owner as a main target. The leaflets said he was condemned to death for "co-operation with criminal clergymen."