MOSCOW — Soviet intelligence officer Gohar Vardanyan, the wife of the Hero of the Soviet Union Gevorg Vardanyan, has passed away aged 93, the Armenian Embassy in Russia said in a released statement on Monday. Gohar Vardanyan was companion in arms with her prominent husband for 45 years of service.
She was born in 1926 in Gyumri. In the early 1930s, her family moved to Iran. At age 16, she entered her future husband Gevorg Vardanyan’s anti-fascist group along with which she lead an active intelligence work.
Gevorg and Gohar Vardanyan are best known for their major role in ensuring security at the historic 1943 conference in Tehran which prevented a Nazi Germany plot to assassinate Josef Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Working under code-names, the Vartanyans led a spy group which is believed to have exposed hundreds of agents working for Nazi Germany’s intelligence in Iran.
According to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Vartanyans also infiltrated in 1942 a British spy school in Tehran that allegedly trained agents for undercover operations in the Soviet Union. Gevorg continued to operate for the Soviet intelligence abroad, in tandem with his wife Gohar, after World War II.
Gevorg Vardanyan’s name is mentioned in the list of best 100 spies worldwide. He is also known for his Italian missions that he completed together with his wife Gevorg and Gohar Vardanyans names were decrypted in 2000.
The Armenian government has declared that Gevorg and Gohar Vartanyan “stood by independent Armenia” during the Nagorno-Karabakh war and helped to strengthen its intelligence service “with advice and assistance.”
Gevorg Vartanyan received an Armenian state award, the Order of Honor in 2009. Gohar Vardanyan was awarded by the Armenian Defense Ministry in 2013.