List of Iranian defectors

This is a list of individuals who have defected from Iran.

Name Occupation Year Notes Ref.
Kimia Alizadeh athlete 2020 sole woman from Iran to win an Olympic medal (taekwondo) [1]
Saeid Mollaei athlete 2019 judoka Olympian and 2018 world champion [2]
Pourya Jalalipour athlete 2019 para-archer who has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo [3]
Farzad Farhangian diplomat 2010 press attache at the Iranian Embassy in Brussels [4]
Mohammad Reza Heydari diplomat 2010 [4]
Hossein Alizadeh diplomat 2010 [4]
Shahram Amiri nuclear scientist 2009 Returns to Iran in 2010, Iranian government executes him in 2016 "for revealing the country’s top secrets to the enemy" [5]
Ahmad Rezaee 1998 eldest son of Iranian conservative politician and senior military officer Mohsen Rezaee [6]
Abdolghassem Mesbahi intelligence operative 1996 [7]
Marzieh singer 1994 [8]
Mehdi Rezvani athlete 1986 weightlifter competing at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea, won the bronze medal at the 242-pound class [9]
Samad Montazeri athlete 1986 weightlifter competing at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea [9]
Siamak Bajand athlete 1986 weightlifter competing at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea [9]
Ardhir Bahmanyar athlete 1986 weightlifter competing at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea [9]
Ali Akbar Mohammadi pilot 1986 former pilot for the speaker of Iran's Parliament, Hashemi Rafsanjani; assassinated in Hamburg, Germany in 1987 [10]
Keyhan Jafankhr pilot 1982 [11]
Parviz Khazai diplomat 1982 Iran's charge d'affaires in Norway [12]
Reza Abedi athlete 1982 wrestler [13]
Ardeshir Asgari athlete 1982 wrestler [13]
Askeyhan Jahanfakhr pilot 1982 [14]
Seyyed Jabbar Mehdiyoun athlete 1982 wrestler, defecting during the 1982 World Wrestling Championships in Edmonton, Canada [15]
Mohammad Hossein Naghdi diplomat 1982 charge d'affaires at Iran's Embassy in Rome; assassinated in Rome in 1993 [16][17]
Javad Hussain military 1981 Iranian Air Force colonel [18]

References

  1. ^ "The only woman to win an Olympic medal for Iran just defected". The Washington Post. January 12, 2020.
  2. ^ "Judo world champion granted Mongolian citizenship after fleeing Iran". NBC Sports. 2 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Another Iranian Athlete Refuses To Return Home; Applying For Asylum Iran". Radio Farda. 5 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Iranian diplomats' defections signal fissures in Islamic Republic leaders over election unrest". AP. September 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "How an Iranian's Spy Saga Ends, 6 Years Later: He's Executed". The New York Times. August 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (2001). Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran. Simon & Schuster. pp. 287–288. ISBN 0-7432-1779-9.
  7. ^ "Iran Blew Up Jewish Center In Argentina, Defector Says". The New York Times. July 22, 2002.
  8. ^ "Marzieh, Iranian Singer and Voice of Dissent, Dies at 86". The New York Times. October 16, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d "Iranian Weightlifters Missing, Reported Defected to Iraq". AP. October 3, 1986.
  10. ^ "Former Pilot for Iran's Parliament Speaker Slain". AP. January 16, 1987.
  11. ^ Iranian Air Pilot Defects. Associated Press. The Victoria Advocate 18 October 1982: 7A.
  12. ^ "Iranian Aide Defects in Oslo". The New York Times. Reuters. October 8, 1982.
  13. ^ a b "Reza Abedi's Greatest Escape". OC Weekly. May 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "Iran Pilot Defects in Vienna". The New York Times. Reuters. October 18, 1982.
  15. ^ "An Iranian wrestler who defected during the World Wrestling..." UPI. August 18, 1982.
  16. ^ "Iranian official quits over Khomeini rule". UPI. April 19, 1982.
  17. ^ "Iranian Is Killed in Rome By 2 Gunmen on a Scooter". The New York Times. March 17, 1993.
  18. ^ "Turkey Weighs Asylum For Iran Air Force Defector". The New York Times. March 18, 1981.

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