On April 8, 2016, the Office of Germany’s Federal Prosecutor issued a statement announcing that it had filed charges against two Iranian intelligence agents for spying on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), based on § 99 para. 1 no. 1 of the German penal code.
The statement stipulates that there is sufficient evidence to establish that the two individuals, Maysam Panahi from January 2013 and Saied Rahmani from August 2014, had been working for Iran’s secret police. Their mission was to obtain information on the PMOI and NCRI, in the course of which they passed information about members of the PMOI in Germany and other EU countries to their interlocutors. According to the prosecutor’s statement, Panahi has been in detention since October 28, 2015. In an earlier statement, dated October 28, Panahi is said to have received money from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) in return for his espionage activities.
1. The Iranian Resistance announced in its statement on October 28: “Panahi and his accomplices” had been expelled from Camp Liberty since April 2012. They subsequently went to Mohajer Hotel in Baghdad, which is under the control of the Iranian regime’s MOIS and terrorist Qods Force.
At Mohajer Hotel, they were briefed on their mission by a veteran MOIS agent and Qods Force (QF) member by the name of Kiyanmehr, who goes by the pseudonym Sajjad. The NCRI Security and Counterterrorism Committee had previously issued a statement on February 26, 2014, disclosing the role of Sajjad and the function of Mohajer Hotel as a center for the regime’s MOIS and Qods Force in Baghdad.
2. After arriving in Germany, they received their orders from the head henchman Sajjad, and were in contact with MOIS elements in Germany and other European countries. Sajjad contacted the agents via Facebook, using the names Ali Shomali and Ali Sahel. He has recently attempted to establish contact with several others in Germany for recruitment purposes, using the names Ali Chenarehi and Ali Rastgou.
3. Sajjad has been working with the regime’s intelligence network for the past 30 years, and has been directly involved in terrorist operations in the region. For many years he was busy conspiring against the PMOI while working at the regime’s embassy in Baghdad. He and other MOIS and QF agents at the embassy work under the supervision of QF Brigadier General Nasseri. Sajjad recruits those who go to the Mohajer Hotel with threats and/or enticements. Subsequently, the MOIS provides them with fake passports and visas, and dispatches them to Europe either directly from Baghdad or after they have been transferred to Iran.
4. Head henchman Sajjad also recruited Massoud Dalili Dakhel after he left Camp Ashraf and went to Mohajer Hotel. Dalili Dakhel acted as guide for the force that carried out the September 1, 2013 assault on Camp Ashraf in which 52 PMOI members, their hands bound behind them, were killed execution-style. To eliminate all traces of the crime, the assault force killed Dalali as well, and burned his face with acid so that he would not be recognized.
Sajjad controls and manages the regime’s agents in Europe, and is in constant contact with those responsible for MOIS stations in Germany (Abbas Jafari) and in France (Ahmad Zarif, pseudonym Hamid Ebadi).
5. After the arrests were disclosed in October, the MOIS ordered its operatives to write numerous articles and letters for propaganda purposes, and to exert pressure on the German judiciary, in a bid to avert referral of the agents’ files to the court and exposure of other MOIS operatives. Websites affiliated with the MOIS and its agents ludicrously wrote that Panahi’s arrest came about after “certain factions and currents within the German security apparatus and judiciary” had been offered incentives. This was described as the “PMOI’s latest scheme” to “frighten other PMOI members”. They wrote to the German Federal Prosecutor, claiming that “the fictitious allegations of espionage, of passing information to the regime, and of threatening security” had been “fabricated by the PMOI.” Panahi, they claimed, “is one of the thousands of PMOI victims… They label anyone even slightly opposing this organization as a MOIS agent.” The absurdity of the rhetoric only underscores the regime’s alarm that its espionage network, its operatives and its conspiracies against the Iranian Resistance will be exposed.
At the same time, the Iranian regime began collecting money through its agents in Germany and France, to hire a lawyer for the uncloaked spy while avoiding any exposure of financial links to the MOIS.
6. Germany’s intelligence services, especially the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, have repeatedly emphasized that MOIS activities in Germany target the PMOI and NCRI, and that the MOIS has a systematic mandate to collect information on the organizations’ activities and to infiltrate the PMOI and NCRI.
The MOIS tries to discredit the PMOI and NCRI through propaganda activities. Acquiring information on PMOI members, especially members that have left Iraq for Europe, is a focal point of the espionage and surveillance activities of the Iranian regime.
The Iranian Resistance welcomes the fact that Germany’s Prosecutor has brought this case of espionage targeting the PMOI and NCRI to justice, and calls on the German government and relevant officials to publicly disclose the details of the espionage case and all illegal activities of the Iranian regime and its agents in Germany. This is a necessary step to preventing these crimes.
The Iranian Resistance also strongly warns that the presence of MOIS agents in European countries and the United States poses an immediate threat to the security of Iranian refugees. In particular, it urges Germany and other EU member states to implement the April 1997 decision of the EU Council to try, punish and expel the intelligence agents and operatives of the religious fascism ruling Iran.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 9, 2016