Would-be assassin claims late Iranian leader ordered 1981 hit
CONFIRMED: Vatican quickly denies several assertions by shooter in his new book
Mehmet Ali Agca, a former far-right extremist from Turkey who spent 29 years in prison for the assassination attempt, made the claims in his book, "I Was Promised Paradise: My Life and the Truth Behind the Attack Against the Pope," Polskie Radioout of Poland, News.com of Australia and other news outlets reported.
Ali Agca said he was "indoctrinated" in Iran after escaping a Turkish prison, where he was serving time for killing a journalist. According to News.com.au, Ali Agca met with the Supreme Guide of the Iranian revolution and was instructed to assassinate the pope.
"You have to kill the pope in the name of Allah. You have to kill the devil's mouthpiece on earth," Ali Agca quoted the former Iranian leader.
Ali Agca asserts that he revealed this information to John Paul II himself when the pontiff visited him in prison in 1983. Initially, Ali Agca claimed that Soviet-era Bulgarian Secret Police were behind the plot, Polskie reported. (Read more about his original claims here.)
Stanislaw Dziwisz, then-secretary to John Paul II, was reportedly present in the cell during the pope's 1983 visit and refutes Ali Agca's claims.
"He (Dziwisz) absolutely denies that the two men spoke about people who ordered the attack or the Ayatollah Khomeini," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.
No theory has ever been proven as to who was behind the assassination attempt.
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