After German authorities released Kazem Darabi, the alleged Iranian intelligence agent behind a deadly 1992 attack in Berlin went into business in Lebanon, including with a top Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer.
In December 2007, Darabi flew into Tehran for a triumphant return where he was greeted by Iranian Foreign Ministry officials after serving 15-years in German prison. Darabi was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 for helping orchestrate the assassination of Iranian Kurdish dissidents in the Mykonos Cafe in Berlin.
Prosecutors believed Darabi helped orchestrate the murders on behalf of Iranian intelligence, with a Germany court issuing an arrest warrant for then-Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian over suspicions he was involved in the planning of the Mykonos attack.
Darabi, for his part, denied his involvement in the deadly shootings, saying he was merely a wrongfully convicted grocer and member of a student association. After his return to Tehran, Darabi moved to Lebanon, where he married a Farsi-speaking Lebanese national.
Lebanese corporate records reviewed by Levant Networks show that Darabi is the owner of Bitar Establishment for General Trading and Contracting (BETC), located in the Bekaa Valley village of Terbol not far from the Syrian border.
Levant Networks attempted to acquire the title deed for the real estate BETC registered as its address, however the deed was unavailable on Lebanon’s Land Cadastre as the property has been “retired.”
Darabi also went into business with Hassan Shateri, an IRGC Qods Force officer who led Iran’s reconstruction efforts in southern Lebanon following the 2006 July War between Israel and Hezbollah.
Lebanese corporate records reveal that Darabi and Shateri were co-founders and shareholders of the south Lebanon-based National Crushers Company, which was involved in the efforts of Shateri’s Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon to rebuild roadways in the region.
Shateri died in mysterious circumstances in February 2013, with Tehran saying he was “martyred by the agents” of Israel while en-route from Beirut to Damascus.
Darabi eulogized Shateri following his death, saying that he had worked alongside the IRGC Qods Force officer for nearly five years on reconstruction projects in Lebanon.
Levant Networks profiled Shateri’s corporate holdings in Lebanon earlier in January, including a mysterious company in an eastern suburb of Beirut.
Levant Networks could not determine Darabi’s whereabouts following Shateri’s 2013 assassination, however he headed an Iranian university delegation that visited the Beirut office of Hezbollah’s Educational Mobilization organization in 2014.
“New Horizon hosts international conferences that have provided Iranian intelligence officers a platform to recruit and collect intelligence information from attendees,” the US Department of the Treasury said in its press release.