Another Heavy Blow to Iran’s Terror Campaign Against the MEK
On Wednesday, the Albanian police chief revealed details of a terror network linked to the Iranian regime, which was conspiring against members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
In addition to a slate of espionage activities, this terror network was responsible for a foiled 2018 bombing plot against the Nowruz celebration ceremony of MEK members in Tirana. The event was attended by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mr. Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, and other distinguished dignitaries from various countries. Thousands of MEK members were also present at the ceremony.
#Iran Regime Long History of Assassinating Dissidents— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 22, 2018
The Iranian Regime has a long history of assassinating dissidents abroad over the past 39 years, even using terrorist attacks to do so, yet they have never faced any meaningful accountability...https://t.co/9A871xt8eI pic.twitter.com/hW5uHnlcwO
According to a statement issued by the Albanian police chief, commanders of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force (IRGC-QF), Tehran’s notorious terror arm, were directly orchestrating the failed terror attempt.
In addition to using Iranian agents, IRGC-QF had also recruited professional criminal rings from Turkey to carry out the evil deed against MEK members. The discovery and exposure of this terror plot was widely covered across international media.
According to the police, a key element of the revealed terrorist cell was an Iranian named Alireza Naghashzadeh residing in Austria, who worked with the MOIS demonization campaign under the guise of “former MEK member” with other regime elements.
The Iranian regime has a long history of conducting terror attacks against members of the MEK across the world in the 1980s and 1990s. However, after protests erupted across more than 140 Iranian cities in 2018, the Iranian regime’s terror activities against the MEK entered a new phase. In February 2018, Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the regime, stressed that the MEK had organized the nationwide uprisings and had spent months preparing for this. He promised to take revenge.
Fr Italian FM @GiulioTerzi:“The regime’s terrorist plots against the #NCRI& #MEK have a long history&have continued during #Rouhani’s tenure.The regime has carried out450 terrorist attacks against political dissidents.The perpetrators must b brought to justice.#NoImpunity4Mullahs pic.twitter.com/otZisa0YHG— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) September 20, 2019
A week before Khamenei’s remarks, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, had said, “The [MEK] will receive their response from where they least expect it.”
An Iranian regime’s terror attempt was foiled by European authorities in June and July of the same year when the terrorists directed by an Iranian diplomat tried to bomb the annual Free Iran gathering of the Iranian Resistance in Paris. The event was attended by tens of thousands of Iranians and hundreds of dignitaries from dozens of countries. Assadollah Assadi, the Iranian diplomat in charge of the attack, was apprehended by the German police. He was later extradited to Belgium, where he is awaiting trial along with three other accomplices. The episode turned into a huge diplomatic scandal for the Iranian regime. The French government and then the EU announced that the Iranian vice-minister of Intelligence was implicated in the operation apart Assadi. The Iranian Resistance revealed that the decision for the operation was taken in the regime’s Supreme Security Council chaired by Rouhani.
After these failed attacks, the regime resorted to more propaganda and dissemination of lies against the Iranian opposition. The regime recruited several reporters and journalists working with different foreign media outlets including NBC, Der Spiegel, UK Chanel 4 and English Aljazeera TV tasking them with creating falsified reports against MEK making use of MOIS agents under the guise of “former MEK members”. Der Spiegel was ordered by the court to take out certain parts of its reportage. The intensification of propaganda and the psychological war was a prelude to terrorist acts.
To the regime’s dismay, Albania’s response was to expel the regime’s ambassador to Tirana as well as his first deputy in December 2018. Both agents of the Quds Force, the two Iranian diplomats were key players in Tehran’s terror, espionage and propaganda campaigns against MEK members in Albania.
France, Netherlands and other European countries also took similar measures against the regime’s spies in their countries.
But in addition to delivering a serious blow to the Iranian regime’s foreign terror network, the recent revelation by the Albanian police entails strategic and political consequences for Tehran. The fact shows the shifting balance of power between the regime on one side and the Iranian Resistance, MEK and the people of Iran on the other.
During the five-day Free Iran events in Ashraf 3, Albania, more than 350 dignitaries from 47 different countries gathered at the headquarters of the MEK to support the Iranian Resistance and the struggles of the Iranian people to topple the mullahs’ regime.
The revelations of the Albanian police are not isolated from other political developments across the globe regarding the Iranian regime and the Iranian opposition. The mullahs’ regime is facing economic crises along with increased popular dissent back home. Revolt centers growing fast frighten the regime.
Meanwhile, Javaid Rahman, the special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, reiterated concerns about human rights abuses in Iran and the regime’s continued use of the death penalty, especially against children and minorities, to suppress freedoms.
All these developments underline the reality that the tides are turning against the mullahs ruling Iran both inside the country as well as across the international scene. Accordingly, the people of Iran and their resistance movement, the freedom fighters in Ashraf 3, the resistance units in every Iranian city and town, and supporters of the Iranian opposition across the world, are moving to fulfilling the long-sought dream of freedom and democracy.