A 61-year-old Fowzi Nejad who was jailed for his part in the Iranian Embassy siege now enjoys a ‘playboy’ lifestyle funded by benefits.
Being the only terrorist to survive the siege in 1980, he cannot be sent back to Iran because of human rights laws so instead lives in Peckham, south London.
The chain-smoker became eligible for parole three years ago after serving 28 years in jail and his application was approved in October 2008.
A friend told The Sun: ‘He lives off benefits and is on disability because he has a bad back. He also loves a night out in the West End and he has an eye for the ladies.
‘He will say, ‘I went out, had a drink and got some p****’. It’s a proper playboy lifestyle and he loves it.’
Nejad and five other gunmen forced their way into the embassy in West London in April 1980, demanding independence for part of southern Iran and taking 26 hostages.
They killed a hostage after six days, which led then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to order the SAS to storm the building. A second hostage was killed in the attack.
Nejad tried to hide among the hostages, but was caught and sentenced to life in jail for conspiracy to murder, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm and two charges of manslaughter.
Nejad’s easy lifestyle in Peckham, the home of Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, has been documented before.
In 2008, a source told the Daily Mail: ‘He will usually be up by 8am. He does a circuit, he is super-fit and might go for a run and to the gym.
‘In the afternoon he tends to go to the job centre, the pictures or even sight-seeing around London.
‘He is leading quite a good lifestyle really. He is so happy to be out that he is doing the tour of London. He’s not doing any harm but he has areas where he can’t go, for example the Iranian Embassy.’
The source added: ‘He was completely understanding that what he did was wrong. He has apologised to those people who were involved. He is completely reformed.’
His release eight years ago triggered angry protests from campaigners and survivors of the siege.
Trevor Lock, the policeman held hostage by the terrorists, wrote to the Government objecting to Nejad’s release, saying: ‘He shouldn’t be allowed to stay in this country. He will be living off taxpayers.’
The Home Office said it could not comment but a Whitehall insider said Nejad was eligible for a full range of benefits including free housing, council tax benefits and jobseeker’s allowance, which could total more than £1,000 a month.
MailOnline has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions for comment.