Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Yvonne Stein


Age: 45
Nationality: France
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: July 8, 1980
Location of Killing: Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial shooting
Charges: Unspecified offense

About this Case

Yvonne Stein is one of two individuals killed during the assassination attempt of Shapour Bakhtiar, which took place on July 18, 1980 in the suburb of Paris, Neuilly sur Seine.

The information concerning this assassination attempt was collected by the French press (Le Figaro July 19, 1980, France Soir July 18,1980 and July 19,1980, Le Monde July 19, 1980, February 27, 1982, March 5, 1982, March 12, 1982, L’Express from June 14 to June 20, 1980 and of July 26, 1980 to August 1, 1980).

A five-member terrorist commando group composed of: Anis Naccache, a Lebanese Christian; Nejad Tabrizi, an Iranian member of the Revolutionary Guards Corp; Fawzi El Satari, a Palestinian; along with Salah Eddine El Kaara and Mohamed Jenab, either Syrian or Lebanese according to different sources, carried out the July 18, 1980 attack at the apartment building in Neuilly sur Seine where Shapour Bakhtiar resided.

The commando group arrived at the building at 8:45 am, carrying silencer guns and press cards from the newspaper L’Humanité (affiliated to the French Communist Party). The police officers assigned to Bakhtiar’s protection allowed them to enter lobby where another office was in charge of informing Bakhtiar of visitors using the intercom. Before he could call Bakhtiar’s apartment, the guard was shot. The commando group reached the second floor, where Bakhtiar’s apartment was located, and mistakenly knocked on his neighbor’s door. The commando shot Yvonne Stein dead as soon as she opened the door and also wounded her sister. When the commando finally rang the door bell of Bakhtiar’s apartment, the latter’s cousin, suspicious of the early-hour visit, attached the door’s security chain before opening it. The commando shot through the door crack but failed to gain access to the apartment and complete its mission.

The members of the commando group were arrested as they were leaving the building. They were detained and interrogated by the French police. At all stages of the judicial process, they claimed responsibility for their acts. They were charged with murder by the Criminal Court of Hauts de Seine, which held its hearings from February 5 to March 10, 1982. The accused refused to attend their trial (except for one hearing), deeming the Court incompetent, since, according to them, ‘only Allah is a judge’. All the members of the commando were sentenced to life imprisonment except for Fawzi El Satari who was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment.

Yvonne Stein’s name is in OMID along with victims of violations of human rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran, because the available information indicates that she was shot by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the course of the assassination attempt against Shapur Bakhtiar. Responsibility for the assassination attempt was claimed by Iranian authorities.

During the only hearing he attended, the head of the commando group, Naccache, argued that the assassination plan was based on a verdict issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal in Tehran. (Le Monde, March 10, 1982)

Responsibility for Shapour Bakhtiar’s assassination attempt was claimed immediately on July 19, 1980 in a communiqué issued by the Revolutionary Guards and read on the official Radio-Tehran.

In an interview given to Express magazine and published during the week of June 14-20, 1980, Ayatollah Khalkhali, designated by Khomeini as the Head of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal, stated that Bakhtiar was on his blacklist and that a commando group was in charge of killing him (p 141).

Le Figaro on July 19, 1980, also mentioned the list including Bakhtiar’s name as well as some relatives of the former Shah. Khalkhali said: "I have sent a commando to get him, he can not escape us".

Furthermore, in an interview given to the newspaper Le Monde on December 1, 1992, Anis Naccache explained that "At the time, killing the former Prime Minster of the Shah was a political necessity and was legally justified".

Anis Naccache made the headline news again during a bombing campaign that hit France between February 1985 and May 1986 killing 14 and injuring 335 people. Responsibility for these attacks was claimed by Islamist groups close to the Lebanese Hezbollah, to whom the Islamic Republic provides ideological guidance and logistical support. In their claims, those responsible for the bombings called for the liberation of three individuals imprisoned in France, including Anis Naccache of the Jihad (Didier Bigo in Culture and Conflicts n°4 (1992) pp. 147-173).

On July 27, 1990, President Mitterand pardoned Anis Naccache, the leader of the commando group and his accomplices. Naccache left for Tehran and has reportedly lived between the Iranian capital and Beirut ever since. On August 6, 1991 Shapour Bakhtiar, and his assistant, Soroush Katibeh, were assassinated in Suresnes (a Paris suburb where Bakhtiar moved after the 1980 attempt on his life). The assassination was carried out by members of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corp.

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