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4 Iranians Defect to Iraq in Khomeini Aide's Own Plane

August 12, 1986|Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Four Iranian defectors landed in Baghdad today aboard the plane of Iran's Parliament Speaker, Hashemi Rafsanjani, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

Rafsanjani, a key aide of Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was not among the four, who were identified as three pilots and a flight engineer, the agency said in a report monitored in Nicosia.

The report said the Falcon aircraft landed at noon. It identified the plane's pilot as Ali Akbar Mohammedi.

The agency said Mohammedi held a news conference after landing and appealed to Iraq for political asylum for himself and his three companions.

The agency did not say whether the Baghdad government granted his request.

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