On March 27, 28 and then April 28, 1984, the Armenian Secret Liberation Army carried out a series of military operations against Turkish diplomats in Tehran.
As one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 8-year Iran-Iraq war, the Turkish government sent one economic and political delegation after another to Iran to sign new agreements.
Turgut Ozal, then Prime Minister of the Turkish government, was scheduled to visit Tehran on April 28, a few days after the anniversary of the Genocide against Armenians , at the head of a 400-member delegation.
ASALA announced that it would not remain silent and would “give a historic response to this step”. The events that followed proved the seriousness of ASALA’s threat. Işık Önder, a high-ranking official of the Turkish secret services, was shot dead in the central street of Tehran on his way to the embassy with his wife Şadiye Önder in a “Mercedes” car at the time of Özal’s arrival.
In March 1984, the hero Suren Grigoryan was martyred in the operations carried out in Tehran.
On March 29, 1984, the American newspaper “New York Times” wrote the following: “The Turkish Embassy in Tehran said today that Armenian militants had targeted two Turkish diplomats in a series of attacks. The Armenian attacks began on Tuesday with a bomb planted in the car of a Turkish diplomat, Ambassador Ismet Kersel said in a telephone interview. The bomb exploded prematurely, killing the attacker. In another attack, deputy military attaché Ismail Pamukçu was seriously wounded in the head as he checked his vehicle in front of his home, the ambassador said. Two gunmen opened fire on him. At the same time, the embassy’s chief clerk, Hasan Servet Öktem, was targeted by two gunmen as he left his home for work.
Ambassador Birsel added that “in the evening of the same day, Iranian police arrested two armed Armenians outside the home of another Turkish diplomat, as well as five other people in the vicinity of the embassy.