Security Eased at Iranian Dissident’s Headquarters
AUVERS SUR OISE, France (AP) _ Authorities on Saturday reduced the security force protecting the headquarters-in-exile of Iranian guerrilla leader Massoud Rajavi, prompting the mayor of the town to call on Rajavi to leave.
The unit of 70 military police was lowered to about 20 and barricades blocking an access road were lifted, officials reported.
They said the change had ″no political implications,″ and a spokesman for Rajavi said it was ″simply a routine change in the system.″
But Mayor Serge Caffin said the reduction ″increases the insecurity and fear of the population ... a fear aggravated by the development of terrorism in our country. If the military police do not return, Mr. Rajavi must leave.″
Rajavi, head of the leftist Islamic Mujahedeen, has been condemned to death in Iran for terrorist activities, including bombings and other attacks that have killed Iranian leaders and Revolutionary Guards.
After fleeing to France on July 29, 1981, Rajavi moved into the large villa on a residential street in this town northwest of Paris. The house, which belongs to Rajavi’s brother, a surgeon, was put under a 24-hour armed guard.
In addition to the military police, security was enforced by canine units and the villa was surrounded by barricades, checkpoints and police vans. Visitors were frisked and checked with metal detectors.
Rajavi and his followers enclosed the compound with high concrete walls topped with barbed wire and lights, and they installed a reinforced electric gate.
Rajavi fled to France with former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr. The two formed a National Council of Resistance, and Rajavi, whose wife was killed in guerrilla activities in Iran, married one of Bani-Sadr’s daughters. However, last year the two had a falling out over the Iran-Iraq War.