Information on a group known as "Rahe Iran" ("Iran Path" in English), its structure, location, membership; information on whether high-ranking naval officers were arrested and/or executed in 1988 [IRN28862.E]

The following information was provided to the Research Directorate in a 27 February 1998 telephone interview with a professor in the Department of Political Science at Springfield College in Mobile, Alabama, who specializes in Iranian studies. There was an organization called "Rahe Iran" which was mentioned in the Iranian expatriate media during the 1980s. It was most likely a very small opposition organization, which would have been unable to organize people in the Iranian armed forces.

Information on the arrest and/or execution of high-ranking Iranian naval officers in 1988 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, in April 1989 Keesing's Record of World Events reported that a number of people had been arrested in Iran in connection with an alleged US spy ring (36601). Among those arrested were naval officers who reportedly confessed that they had betrayed the position of the Iranian naval vessel the Iran Ajr, which was attacked and damaged by US forces in the Persian Gulf in September 1987 (ibid.). One of those arrested was Bahman Aqa'i, "the deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's bureau of strategic studies and research, who was alleged to have worked actively for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since 1982" (ibid.).

Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, announced on 21 April 1989 that an unspecified number of people had been arrested in Iran for spying for the US, among whom were naval personnel who confessed that they had betrayed the position of the Iran Ajr to US forces in the Persian Gulf. Hashemi-Rafsanjani stated that those naval officers had not been executed (ibid.).

On 26 April 1989 IRNA reported that on that day Iran's Information Minister, Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad Mohammadi-Reyshahri had revealed that the Iranian authorities had broken up a "CIA network" and "two other espionage networks" in Iran, which were composed of "monafeqin (hypocrites) and monarchists." The minister stated that one of the networks was headed by Mas(ud Dalvand, and named seven military officers who had been arrested as spies. They were: Colonel Bahram Ikani, Brigadier Ardeshir Ashraf, Colonel (Ali Gilani, Colonel Mas(ud Baba(i, Captain Turaj Riyahi, Captain Qahreman Malekzadeh, and Commodore Kiyanush Hakimi.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) [Tehran, in English]. 21 April 1989. "Majlis Speaker Says U.S. Spy Networks Uncovered." (FBIS-NES-89-076 21 Apr. 1989, pp. 44-45)

_____. 26 April 1989. "Information Minister Names CIA 'Spies.'" (FBIS-NES-89-080 27 Apr. 1989, pp. 43-44)

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. April 1989. Vol. 35, No. 4.