Only surviving terrorist behind Iranian Embassy siege lives on welfare in south London
He was the only survivor of the iconic SAS raid. All five of his accomplices were killed in the rescue mission, which took place 37 years ago on Friday.
Following his release, Nejad was given leave to remain in the UK, because if he was returned to Iran, he would have been persecuted.
The group seized the embassy with the aim of demanding independence for Iranian Arabs in the Khūzestān Province.
“He lives off benefits and is on disability because he has a bad back. He also loves a night out in the West End,” an anonymous source, claiming to be a friend of Nejad, told the Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper.
Two hostages were killed in the raid. Nejad was given a life sentence for false imprisonment, conspiracy to murder, firearms possession, and two charges of manslaughter.
The rescue mission, codenamed Operation Nimrod, is among the most famous in SAS history, and images of the black clad soldiers fighting their way into the embassy have come to define the previously little-known unit.
The anonymous “friend” told the Sun that Nejad today enjoys a healthy social life. “He will say, ‘I went out, had a drink and got some p****.’ It’s a proper playboy lifestyle and he loves it.”
As well as boosting then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government and the unit’s reputation, the raid precipitated a massive increase in applications to join the Special Forces and requests from foreign governments to tap into SAS expertise.
The raid was carried out by what was then called the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Wing (CRW). The same function is now carried out under the heading of counterterrorism. One of the SAS’ four regular squadrons is always assigned to the role.