NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Ehsan Tabari, a founding member of

Iran's outlawed communist party who recanted his Marxist

views after the Islamic revolution, has died in Tehran,

the official news agency said Sunday. He was 72.

Tabari died Saturday of heart and kidney failure and had

been hospitalized since March 16, said the Islamic Republic

News Agency, monitored in Nicosia.

Tabari was born in 1917 in Sari, a city in the northern

Mazandaran province and joined the communist Tudeh Party

when it was formed in 1941.

He fled to the Soviet Union when the party was declared

illegal in 1947 and worked as an announcer for Radio Moscow.

Fluent in seven languages, he also wrote and translated

poetry and did research into linguistics, IRNA said.

Tabari returned to Iran after the 1979 overthrow of Shah

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and was arrested in 1983 along with

other members of the Tudeh leadership on charges of spying

for the Soviet Union and plotting to overthrow Iran's fundamentalist

regime.

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