Report: Two Hariri assassination suspects in Iran, the rest dead
Two suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are in Iran while the rest “have been killed,” the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday.
"Western intelligence agencies believe that the two prime suspects in Hariri's assassination are in Iran,” Der Spiegel said.
The same source added that other suspects could have been victims of “preventative liquidation.”
Der Spiegel explained that Iran's President Hassan Rouhani might know the whereabouts of the two wanted men that are allegedly hiding in the country, but it doubted that he will cooperate, despite the newly found openness to the West and his predilection for reform.
“He will not want to do anything to endanger Tehran’s special relations with Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad,” it said.
The German magazine also perceived that the international tribunal probing Hariri's assassination and trying the suspects might “cause further unrest in Lebanon.”
Four suspects from Hezbollah will go on trial in absentia on Thursday, charged with the February 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others in downtown Beirut.
The four suspects have been charged with nine counts, ranging from conspiracy to commit a terrorist act to homicide and attempted homicide.
A fifth suspect, Hassan Habib Merhi, 48, was indicted last year and his case may yet be joined to the current trial.
Hezbollah has denied responsibility for the attack, and its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has dismissed the tribunal as a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy, vowing that none of the suspects will be arrested.
He has vowed never to cooperate with the tribunal, saying that the suspects, who remain at large, will never be found.