By: Mir M.Hosseini
Court hearings started on March, 17, 1981 for Abbas Amirentezam who was charged with espionage.
Abbas Amirentezam was the spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister in the Interim Cabinet of Mehdi Bazargan after the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
He was born from a Jewish father and later converted to Islam and changed his last name from Ravaghian to Amirentezam.
After the coup of 1953, Amirentezam approached Mehdi Bazargan at the Technical University of Tehran. He successfully infiltrated the National Resistance Movement and became a trustee to deliver a letter to Nixon’s aid, Richard Cottam, a high ranking CIA agent in Iran that managed covert operations in Iran. MI6 and CIA thus succeeded in creating a guided opposition in Iran.
Amirentezam went to US in 1963 where he studied and worked for some time and did not seem to have any visible political activities.
Amirentezam re-started his political activities by joining the Freedom Movement after Sep, 8, 1978.
Amirentezam met with John Stempel on Jan, 9, 1979 and discussed mutual relations with the US. Stempel was a Foreign Service officer at the American Consulate of Tehran (1975-1979).
After the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, US cut diplomatic relations and continued it’s hostile policies towards Iran. Although such actions were strictly forbidden, Amirentezam met with top US officials while on duty as ambassador in Sweden, thus crossing a strict red line drawn by the regime that banned such contacts.
He was ordered to return to Tehran in 1981 and was arrested immediately. The court sentenced him to death on charges of espionage, but per Bazargan’s request his sentence was turned to life in prison. Amirentezam was later released from prison in 1998, but remains one of the most controversial Iranian political figures under house arrest to-date.