Just Another American Hit Man, Actor and Journalist Living in Iran
New York Times / Robert Mackey
16-Sep-2009 (one comment)

For some time The Lede has been wondering what sort of person works at the Web site of Press TV, Iran’s state-supported, English-language satellite channel. After all, to judge by what’s written on blogs and Twitter accounts by Web-savvy Iranians who speak English, that part of the country’s population seems to skew quite heavily against the current government, which owns Press TV and clearly exerts an influence over its reports.

Two weeks ago, The Times of London discovered that until recently, the man running Press TV’s Web site was an American who fled the United States in 1980 after carrying out a political assassination in the Washington suburbs on behalf of the Iranian government.

The man, who now uses the name Hassan Abdulrahman, was formerly known as known as Dawud Salahuddin — which is the name he took at the age of 18 when he converted to Islam and first got involved with Islamist radical movements in the United States. (Before that he was David Theodore Belfield, the son of a churchgoing Baptist family from Bay Shore, Long Island.)

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Makhmalbaf's quote from the article:

by Q on

He is accused of having killed a prominent member of the Shah’s secret police — the Savak — in the US at the time of the Iranian revolution, and then of seeking asylum in Iran. This was at a time when the entire Iranian nation was searching for members of Savak in order to destroy them for having been chiefly responsible for their misery, in much the same way as Americans are hunting members of Al Qaeda now. [...]

In 1974, when I was 17, and was arrested and hospitalized for 14 days because of a gunshot, the Shah’s secret police so brutally tortured me that I had to spend another 100 days in the police hospital. I had to be operated on three times. Now, 27 years later, I still have four huge scars from the torture, covering about 20 square centimeters of my body. One of the people who tortured me lives in Los Angeles, I have heard, and two others live in Washington DC and have received political asylum from the U.S. [...]

I am told that the 70 or 80-year-old brother of Belfield’s victim Tabatabai is now in the last season of his life, after revenge, and that some 20 years after the event he has come to search for the killer of his brother. He does not understand that Belfield is also a victim — a victim of the ideal he believed in. His humanity, when he opened fire against his ideological enemy, was martyred by his idealism.