Exclusive: Audio Files Reveal New Details in Sexual Assault Allegations Against Iranian Parliament Member
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – HRANA has obtained verified audio excerpts of conversations between Iranian Parliament member Salman Khodadadi and some of the women whom he allegedly sexually abused. The conversations are in the Turkic/Azeri language (the video includes a Persian translation), HRANA has provided an English translation below:
Salman Khodadadi: I’ll tell you what’s going to happen at the end of all this. Whoever wishes to ruin me will fail. Even if someone starts to inquire, you’re a widow! They’d probably say it was a *sigheh (temporary marriage). There are a thousand ways [around it]. It cannot be proven [that it was an illicit relationship or rape].
Ultimately, I am asking you to please delete everything that you have on your cell phone, and change your number so nobody can contact you. In exchange, I will help you. You just have to make this matter disappear. Call them, and make sure to update me.
I’m stressed out; I have a reputation [to maintain]. They are going to ruin me. Do you want them to destroy me?
Call them and tell them that you were emotional and are now feeling guilty and that the accusations against me are weighing on your conscience. Tell them what you said wasn’t true, and that I am a good person who helps everyone.
[If you do], then I will come so we can talk and resolve this matter; but please [call them] first.
*Sigheh is a form of temporary marriage, especially recognized by the Shiite division of Islam, where a man could marry a woman on a temporary basis. Some argue that the sigheh can be performed by the couple without the presence of an officiant.
Salman Khodadadi: [Yelling] Hope you’ll end up in a grave with your parents!
What do you think you can do anyway. What have I really done? You whore! What did I do, you whore! You came to my place, you widow, and I f…ed you! You frustrate me every day. What did I do to you, shameless woman!
Let’s assume that I f…ed you, what should I have done? Is there anything to do after this?
You are a widowed woman! Do you realize that you’re hurting your own reputation as well? Get lost; know your place in order for me to help you.
You dishonorablele woman! You have nothing. You are hungry for a few dollars. I told you I’ll pay you, I will even pay your rent. What did I ever do to you?
We can assume that you came to me and desired me, that you wanted it and let me f… you.
Get lost, you blind bitch! I know everything. Sit down tight [and keep quiet] so that I can help you. And let me tell you, if you open your mouth, I’ll gouge your eyes out!
If you let me, I will help you, I will help you financially so that you won’t have to suffer anymore.
Salman Khodadadi: [In a pleading voice] Call them and tell them that you lied. Don’t ruin me! You will destroy me! That is not a godly thing to do. You won’t get anything out of it either. Tell them you made these [allegations] up; that I have no knowledge of it, that I never touched you. The truth is that you are a widow! What truth are you planning to tell? I beg you, call and tell them you were angry when you said those things.
You have ruined my reputation. Based on what you told them, they will kick me out. Call them and tell them you are sick and on medication. You have scandalized me! Call them right now, otherwise, they are going to issue a case against me and ruin me. Tell them what you said wasn’t true, that you are sick and had become emotional and said those things out of spite.
Don’t tell them that you talked to me. Don’t tell anyone where you were. They will take me in and destroy me.
I prepared what I had promised you but you ruined me. Don’t ever mention my name again.
I asked someone to take action.
What did I ever do to have ruined you? I kept my promise.
Why was it necessary to tell them that you came to my office on Valiasr Street (in Tehran)? These things are not to be told!
I have one request from you: change all your numbers. You don’t know anyone by the name of Haj Salman. Nothing else is to be said.
In June, HRANA published a testimonial from a young woman who alleges that Salman Khodadadi sexually assaulted her.
Salman Khodadadi’s Background:
Salman Khodadadi was born in 1962 and was recruited by the Islamic Republic’s security apparatus in his youth. During the 1980s purge of political dissidents he was working in the East Azerbaijan Intelligence office. He made an unsuccessful run for Parliament in the early 1990s but was appointed as Director of Ardabil’s Intelligence Bureau and later as the IRGC commander in Malekan.
In the sixth Parliament (2000-2004), Mr. Khodadadi was a member of the Parliament’s Health Committee, despite having no background in that field. Toward the end of his third term in Parliament, he was summoned to court on charges of moral corruption and engaging in illicit relationships, after two women pressed charges against him. He was released on bail. Since he had been elected for a fourth term to the Parliament and was sworn in as a Parliament Deputy, his case was closed.
When two women MPs raised objections regarding Mr. Khodadadi’s credentials, his case was sent to the Parliament for further investigation. Although some of the people of Malekan had gathered in front of the Parliament demanding Khodadai’s ousting, the Parliament voted to approve his credentials and allowed him to serve his term. Mr. Khodadadi refused to comment on his case citing ongoing investigation and his reluctance to provide material for enemies and foreign media.
In the parliamentary election that followed, Mr. Khodadadi was barred from running. However, due to his membership in the 1990s in the National Security Committee, he had a close relationship with Hassan Rouhani, the current President of Iran, and other current members of Mr. Rouhani’s cabinet. Mr. Khodadadi supported Mr. Rouhani in the 2013 Presidential election and was being considered for the position of Governor of Bushehr (Iranian southern province). Mr. Rouhani later changed his mind and Mr. Khodadadi was appointed an advisor to Javad Zarif.
In the most recent parliamentary elections, Mr. Khodadadi was once again barred from running for Parliament by the Supervisory Council (operated by the Executive Branch), but the Guardian Council lobbied on his behalf and he was elected one more time. Mr. Khodadadi had the support of the “Omid List”, a list of candidates aligned with Mr. Rouhani. Once in Parliament, Mr. Khodadadi became the Chair of the Parliament’s Social Committee.
When he first began to serve in the Parliament, Salman Khodadadi was a management studies student. During his many terms in the Parliament, he received a Master’s degree in Political Science and a PhD in International Relations.