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German Citizen from Glendora, California abducted by Iran Ministry in Dubai

German Citizen from  Glendora, California abducted by Iran

When flying on Emirates Airlines from Los Angeles to India, you need to change planes in Dubai, UAE.

This may cost Jamshid Sharmahd his life. Jamshid Sharmahd is a German citizen and a journalist living in Glendora, California. He is a legal resident and green card holder in the United States of America.

The sleepy city of Glendora, California, is a very safe  city in the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, California, 23 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. As of the 2010 census, the population of Glendora was 50,073. Known as the “Pride of the Foothills,” Glendora is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The 65-year-old Sharmahd was accused by the Islamic Republic of Iran of planning a 2008 attack on a mosque that killed 14 people and wounded over 200 others. He was also accused of plotting other assaults through the little-known Kingdom Assembly of Iran and its Tondar militant wing. It aired an interview of him on state television — footage that resembled many other suspected coerced confessions broadcast by the Iranian government in the last decade.

His family, however, insists Sharmahd only served as a spokesman for the group and had nothing to do with any attacks in Iran. Sharmahd, who supports restoring Iran’s monarchy that was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, already had been targeted in an apparent Iranian assassination plot on U.S. soil in 2009.

Jamshid Sharmahd is an Iranian-American broadcaster based in Los Angeles and son of a German-Iranian family.

Sharmahd was on his way from Los Angeles to India for a business deal involving his software company. He was flying Emirates Airlines and forced to overnight in Dubai  He was hoping to get a connecting flight despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic disrupting global travel.

According to reports, the Glendora resident was abducted by Iran while staying in Dubai while staying at the Premier Inn Dubai International Airport Hotel.

The suspected cross-border abduction of Jamshid Sharmahd appears corroborated by mobile phone location data shared by his family with the Associated Press that suggests he was taken to neighboring Oman before heading to Iran.

The Iran Ministry of Intelligence hasn’t said how it detained Sharmahd, though the announcement came against the backdrop of covert actions conducted by Iran amid heightened tensions with the U.S. over Tehran’s collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

“We’re seeking support from any democratic country, any free country,” his son Shayan Sharmahd told the AP. “It is a violation of human rights. You can’t just pick someone up in a third country and drag them into your country.”

Two days later on Saturday, the Iran Ministry announced it had captured Sharmahd in a “complex operation.” The Intelligence Ministry published a photograph of him blindfolded.

His son said he believed that in the state TV footage, Sharmahd hurriedly read whatever the Iran Ministry wanted him to say.

Western officials believe Iran runs intelligence operations in Dubai and keeps tabs on the hundreds of thousands of Iranians living in the city-state. Iran is suspected of kidnapping and later killing British-Iranian national Abbas Yazdi in Dubai in 2013 although Tehran has denied involvement.

It isn’t just Iran that maintains a presence in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, home to some 5,000 U.S. troops and the U.S. Navy’s busiest port of call outside of America. The U.S. State Department runs its Iran Regional Presence Office in Dubai where diplomats monitor Iranian media reports and talk to Iranians.

Dubai’s hotels have long been targeted by intelligence operatives, such as in the suspected 2010 assassination by the Israeli Mossad of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Dubai and the rest of the UAE have since invested even more in an elaborate surveillance network.

The UAE has long been trying to de-escalate tensions with Iran after President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure campaign saw him pull out of the nuclear deal. On Sunday, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a video conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

For now, Sharmahd’s family said they contacted the government in Germany where he holds citizenship and the U.S. government, as he’s lived for years in America and was on track for citizenship after the 2009 assassination plot.

The German Embassy in Tehran has asked Iranian authorities for consular access, according to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, hoping to understand how Sharmahd was arrested. However, Iran doesn’t allow consular access for its dual nationals, considering them exclusively Iranian citizens.

The State Department, which mistakenly referred to Sharmahd in an earlier report as an American citizen, acknowledged his arrest and said Iran “has a long history of detaining Iranians and foreign nationals on spurious charges.”

A report published in Iranian Press TV says:

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which recently announced the apprehension of the ringleader of a US-based anti-Iran terrorist group, has rejected reports alleging that the person in question was actually nabbed in Tajikistan.

The reports “are roundly rejected,” the Ministry said in a statement that was cited by Tasnim News Agency on Sunday.

Statements released by the Ministry’s Public Relations Office are the ultimate source of any official information detailing the operations that are carried out by the Ministry’s operatives, the statement asserted.

The Ministry announced arresting Jamshid Sharmahd, the ringleader of the Tondar (Thunder) outfit, otherwise known as the so-called “Kingdom Assembly of Iran,” on Saturday, notifying that he had directed “armed operations and acts of sabotage” inside Iran from the US in the past.

The Iranian Version
source: Press TV Iran

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which recently announced the apprehension of the ringleader of a US-based anti-Iran terrorist group, has rejected reports alleging that the person in question was actually nabbed in Tajikistan.

The reports “are roundly rejected,” the Ministry said in a statement that was cited by Tasnim News Agency on Sunday.

Statements released by the Ministry’s Public Relations Office are the ultimate source of any official information detailing the operations that are carried out by the Ministry’s operatives, the statement asserted.

The Ministry announced arresting Jamshid Sharmahd, the ringleader of the Tondar (Thunder) outfit, otherwise known as the so-called “Kingdom Assembly of Iran” on Saturday, notifying that he had directed “armed operations and acts of sabotage” inside Iran from the U.S. in the past.

Upon arrest, Sharmahd admitted to providing explosives for a 2008 attack in southern Iran that killed 14 people.

“I was called before the bomb was about to be set off,” he was seen confessing in footage provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network later in the day. 

The attack that targeted the Seyyed al-Shohada mosque in the city of Shiraz also wounded 215 others.

According to the Ministry, the group had planned to carry out several high-profile and potentially hugely-deadly attacks across the Islamic Republic, but had been frustrated in the attempts owing to intricate intelligence operations targeting the outfit. These included the blowing up of Sivand Damn in Shiraz, detonating cyanide-laden bombs at Tehran International Book Fair, and carrying out explosions during mass gatherings at the Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.

Details of the arrest

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, meanwhile, congratulated the Ministry’s operatives on their success in arresting the terrorist ringleader, detailing the circumstances that surrounded the operation.

Sharmahd enjoyed “serious support” from the American and Israeli intelligence services, which “considered it to be far-fetched for the Iranian Intelligence Ministry to be able to penetrate their intelligence cover and put him under its command through an intricate operation,” the Minister said.

The Americans still believe that pictures showing Sharmahd in Iran after his arrest have been snapped outside the Islamic Republic, he added, saying, “They will find out about everything [concerning the operation] in [the] near future.”

Alavi differentiated between Sharmahd’s outfit and other so-called royalist groups, which mostly resort to rhetoric and statements to try to establish themselves.

Tondar “was the only movement that was very violent and was after establishing itself through terrorist operation,” the minister noted.

Iran neutralized 27 ops by Tondar

Alavi noted that the Ministry had succeeded in frustrating 27 operations by Sharmahd and his group.

The Minister again highly rated the arrest operation, recalling previous remarks by Sharmahd in which he had considered himself to be comfortably nested within the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“He considered his place to be lying on the sixth floor of the FBI [‘s building],” and now sees himself in the grips of Iranian intelligence operatives, Alavi said.

Following the terrorist attack in Iran, the Islamic Republic notified the Interpol of Sharmahd’s identity and demanded his arrest. However, he would still travel freely between countries with his real identity.

Alavi said the inaction despite Tehran’s complaint “indicates the hollowness of the Americans and their European allies’ claim of fighting terrorism.”

The Minister finally hailed that the arrest “has not been and will not be” the first such complicated operation to be aced by Iranian intelligence operatives, asserting that “they have carried out such arrests in the past, the due time for explaining which has not yet arrived.”

Who is Jamishid Sharmahd
source: Kingdom Assembly Iran

Mr. Jamshid Sharmahd was born on March 23. 1955 in Tehran. He grew up in a German-Iranian family.

During the period of his pre-graduate education, he moved back and forth between Germany and Iran.

In 1983, during the tumult of the ending of the Iran-Iraq war and the executions of many politically-opposing people, he moved to Germany for the last time, where he settled down with his wife and one-year-old daughter.

In 1989, he finished his degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in Germany. His career started off with automation projects for international European companies like Siemens AG, Bosch, Volkswagen, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company EADS N.V, and others.

In 1997, he established his own company under the name “Sharmahd Computing GmbH” which focuses on the design and development of software projects for electronics and the automobile industry.

Jamshid Sharmahd is the author of the first fully-operative text editor based on Unicode standard. This software (SC UniPad) helped thousands of Internet developers around the world to create and manage multilingual information portals in the beginning of the 21st century.

In 2002 “Sharmahd Computing” receives a second location in Los Angeles, California, to better serve its American clients.

In 2003, Jamshid Sharmahd, his wife and two children finally emigrated to a new home in Los Angeles.

Political career:

Living in one of the biggest Iranian-populated cities in the United States, Jamshid Sharmahd got to know various patriotic Iranian Freedom Fighters and Monarchists who oppose the Islamic Regime in Iran.

The group that caught his interest the most was “Anjoman-e Padeshahy-e Iran” or the “Kingdom Assembly of Iran.” It soon became clear to him that this group’s unique philosophy, which was free of religious or national fanaticism, matched his own ideas and values. Their political goals met the needs of a modern Iranian society and modern laws. Therefore, he began the cooperation with this group’s Satellite TV station (YOUR TV) and its host Dr. Forood Fouladvand.

This station touched and published for the first time topics like the critical evaluation of the Islamic background and history of the Middle East, the need for a secular government, gender equality, the focus on ethnic minority rights, freedom of faith, and freedom of speech and opinion, and emphasized that these values are deeply rooted in Iranian culture and mentality.

Based on his professional expertise in Internet technology, he established the website as a political organization and advertising tool in 2004. This website became not only a useful tool for publishing political programs and propaganda, but also served as the focal and safe point of contact for resistance fighters from Iran and is still used for these purposes today.

In 2007, Jamshid Sharmahd and some of his colleagues established the radio station “Radio Tondar” on which he broadcast his political and educational programs through satellite stations and through the Internet.

Those programs included historic and political evaluations as well as teachings in battle techniques.

Experienced fighters had the chance to share their knowledge with others through this source.

In the following 3 months, the radio station received great attention from the fighting Iranian youth and turned into their open tribune through which they shared their diverse political views.

The passion of the youth for this medium did not remain unnoticed by the Islamic Regime, who showed their reaction immediately after the first few hours of broadcasting.

About 8 months after the publication of the 2008 bombing of a Basij Headquarter in Shiraz through the radio station, the Islamic Regime created a show trial with no free press or any kind of legal advisers, designated to blame the event on the operators of Radio Tondar.

Jamshid Sharmahd’s name is mentioned in this trial, which sentenced two students from Shiraz and one worker from northern Iran to death.

One week later, their execution followed without any chance to defend themselves legally. The Islamic Regime announced Tondar as their “number one enemy” and pursued the persecution of its members.

On a diplomatic base, Iran presented Tondar as a western, particularly American, tool that endangered the existence of the Islamic Republic.

After the post election demonstration in 2009 and Radio Tondar’s publication of useful battle and defense techniques, the regime aggravated its propaganda against the operators of the radio station, in specific against “Iman Afar” and “Jamshid Sharmahd.”

More and more TV programs against them were created and broadcast on national Iranian TV, the Internet, and the Islamic Republic-owned satellite station “Press TV.”

Another show trial was arranged in 2009, in which 11 members of Tondar were accused of participation in post-election riots. Out of 100 protesters who had been arrested in the early demonstrations, only 2 were executed. These 2 were “Mohamad Reza Alizamani” and “Arash Rahmanipour” who were both active members of Tondar and worked closely with Jamshid Sharmahd in the production and broadcasting of the radio programs.

The terror attacks of the Islamic Regime to silence opposition and demonstrations does not only remain inside Iran. In order to put an end to the activities of Tondar, the Regime targets the leader and manager of Tondar. “Mohamad Reza Sadeghnia” was arrested and imprisoned on July 28, 2009, for terrorizing Jamshid Sharmahd in Los Angeles.

The IRI initiated a second try to silence the voice of the radio station by blaming the terror attack of “Masoud Ali-Mohamadi,” a physics university professor in Iran, on the operators of Radio Tondar and informed the Swiss embassy in Tehran that they were seeking the extradition of the members of the Tondar group in Los Angeles. The U.S. authorities turned this request down as being absurd.

Jamshid Sharmahd is successfully continuing in his weekly broadcasting through Radio Tondar and further promotes the activities of opposition and freedom fighters in Iran through his Internet Portal

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.