Posts Tagged ‘Iran Diplomat Terrorist’

Assadollah Assadi,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Terrorism,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Assadollah Assadi, the arrested diplomat terrorist for plotting a terrorist attack on the opposition's gathering

Former Italian Foreign Minister Calls for Unity and International Pressure Against the Iranian Regime

Assadollah Assadi, the arrested diplomat terrorist for plotting a terrorist attack on the opposition's gathering

Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat terrorist that was arrested for masterminding the Paris foiled terrorist plot to bomb the MEK’s annual gathering- June 30th, 2018

Giulio Terzi, the former Italian Foreign Minister and former Italian ambassador to the United States, penned a piece for the Federalist on the need for international pressure against the Iranian regime.

The article, entitled “Another Foiled Terror Plot Underscores the Need for Maximum Pressure on Iran”, laid out several key ways governments could assist the Iranian people and put the mullahs clerical regime under pressure.

A String of Failed Attacks

Terzi began by outlining the spate of foiled terror attacks on European soil that have been traced back to the Iranian regime’s leadership. The most recent of which was a foiled assassination attempt on Danish soil.

Following June’s failed Paris attack, in which a car laden with explosives was planned to detonate at the annual Grand Gathering of the Iranian opposition (MEK), the French authorities carried out an investigation into the regime’s terror capabilities.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the French government was able to conclude “without any doubt” that the Iranian regime had been involved in the planning and execution of the attack. As a result, Macron’s administration expelled an Iranian diplomat from the Paris embassy. It has also refused to name an ambassador to Tehran and seized assets held by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) held on French soil.

Terzi suggests that these high-profile terror plots “demonstrate a pattern of Iranian behavior that goes well beyond these two incidents”. In addition to the attack planned in Paris and the foiled assassination attempt in Denmark, there have been numerous attacks coordinated against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and its members around the globe.

One such plot came during the Persian New Year celebrations in Spring of 2018. Two regime agents were arrested in Albania. The pair were planning to attack the MEK’s compound in the Albanian capital of Tirana, where the organization’s members live in exile.

The Plots May Have Failed but the Threat is not Gone

Terzi reminds the West that just because these attacks were thwarted does not mean the Iranian threat is gone.

“Iranian proxies like Hezbollah have killed hundreds of Western nationals over the years”, he wrote. The regime’s behaviour has not changed. If anything, Tehran has intensified its terror activities.

To curb the regime and end its destabilizing effect in the Middle East and beyond, Terzi recommends a policy of “maximum pressure” on the Iranian regime. Western heads of states tried to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels. The nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration sought to bribe the regime into ending its nuclear program and financing of foreign terror groups. But the deal failed.

The mullahs “basked in the international legitimacy” they were afforded, Terzi writes. The agreement failed to bring peace or stability to the Middle East. Instead, it just unlocked financial aid that the mullahs could use to further repress its own population and intensify its military ventures abroad.

Maximum Pressure

Terzi calls for a stronger stance against the regime. He cites the regime’s relentless persecution of the MEK and its leader, president-elect Maryam Rajavi as a reason why Europe and the US cannot stand idle.

Given the expanding protest movement inside Iran, Terzi suggests that Western governments pledge their support to the Iranian people. The MEK predicted that 2018 would be the year of protest and it has lived up to its name, with protests spreading across Iran’s key industries in a wave of discontent.

Terzi suggested that Western governments help the Iranian people “break through tough digital barriers erected by the regime in Iran”. The Broadcasting Board of Governors in the US is already doing this. It is expanding its reach to broadcast directly to the Iranian people.

A Unified Response

Terzi also called for a unified response from Western governments. “The more pressure Tehran faces from abroad, the more it will be compelled to focus on the fight within its borders”, he wrote.

As the latest round of US sanctions has come into effect, it remains unclear as to whether European governments will follow suit. If the EU does not, it could provide an outlet for the regime to bypass US sanctions, severely mitigating the effect they will have on leveraging the Iranian regime.

All Eyes Are on Iran Following A Surge in Terror Activities

Terzi called on European governments to apply pressure to the regime in several key ways. Firstly, he suggests the closure of Iranian embassies on European soul that have been engaged in illegal activities. “All Iranian embassies in Europe known to have provided diplomatic cover for terrorism on the continent should be shut down”, he explained.

Following their closure, any Iranian agents and diplomats known to have been involved in the planning and execution of terror activities should be held to account and prosecuted. Finally, any companies or private organization is known to have aided and abetted the training or funding of terrorism should be heavily sanctioned.

Terzi’s message is very clear. The time for appeasement is over. Only through severe, concrete steps can the West apply pressure to the Iranian regime to bring it in line with international law and end its terror activities across the world.

Terzi ended the piece with a message of unity and optimism. “Hopefully, they are also concrete steps toward a goal we can all unite behind: an end to Iran’s terrorism, warmongering and domestic repression”.

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Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

All Eyes Are on Iran Following A Surge in Terror Activities

Increase in terrorist activities of the Iranian regime

Surge in the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities against MEK

On Monday, November 5th, the Washington Times ran a piece entitled “’Iran Doubles Down on Terror, Turmoil’ Against the West”. The piece, written by L. Todd Wood, highlighted the mounting danger the clerical regime poses to Western governments and their citizens.

Following the press conference held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the Iranian political opposition coalition which includes the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), on Friday, the international community has been buzzing with discussion over the increasing threat of the clerical regime.

Governments from across Europe and North America have turned their attention to the mullahs following the Danish government’s revelations in late October that it had foiled an Iranian state-sponsored plot to abduct and murder a dissident on its soil.

All Eyes on Iran

Wood writes, “many Americans are not aware of the extensive attempts at the violence that have happened in the recent past in the United States and Europe”, referring to the two Iranian regime agents arrested on US soil this summer and numerous foiled terror attacks in Europe.

The Danish Government Brands the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attack “Completely Unacceptable”

“Americans must become cognizant of the danger”, Wood urged. He argued this was essential for the neutralization of the Iranian threat. “Iran is the most significant existential threat currently facing America”, he wrote. With the public’s blessing, US politicians must face this threat in a forceful manner.

The NCRI Press Conference

In its press conference, the MEK and NCRI, outlined several strategies for confronting the regime’s international terror network.

Alireza Jafarzedah, a spokesperson for the Iranian opposition group, told those in attendance in Washington D.C. that European and US governments must close Iranian embassies on their soil and expel Iranian diplomats.

The Iranian Resistance Outlines Strategies for Confronting the Regime’s Terror Activites

The Iranian regime’s planned terror attacks in Europe, including a failed car bomb attack planned in Paris, have demonstrated that Iranian embassies are thinly veiled hubs of international terror and espionage.

In the failed Paris attack, Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with the explosive material for use in the attack.

Jafarzedah called for an internationally coordinated and unified response to tackle the growing threat from Iran. In his mind, this means internationally coordinated and enforced sanctions aimed at crippling the Iranian regime’s exports and finances.

As the latest round of US sanctions takes effect, their impact remains to be seen. Several European governments remain determined to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal and have expressed their opposition to US sanctions.

This division will not stand. The regime’s recent spate of planned attacks has demonstrated that the regime has little regard for international law, the sovereignty of international governments, and the safety of their citizens.

Without a unified response from both Europe and the US, the regime can bypass sanctions and continue to orchestrate plots unimpeded. If one of these plots slips through the net and comes to fruition, the loss of life will be devastating, tragic, and utterly avoidable had the international community come together to neutralize the Iranian threat once and for all.

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The Iranian Resistance Outlines Strategies for Confronting the Regime’s Terror Activites

NCRI-US introduction of the book "Iran double downs on terror and turmoil"

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)- US office, introduces the new book “Iran double downs on terror and turmoil” in a press briefing in Washington D.C. at NCRI-US office- November 2, 2018

On Friday, November 2nd, the deputy director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Alireza Jafarzedah, held a press conference in Washington DC ahead of the release of the new book entitled “Iran Doubles Down on Terror and Turmoil”. In the conference, he outlined the Iranian regime’s decision-making, planning, and execution of terror attacks abroad.

He also explored strategies for confronting the regime’s network of terror and detailed what the international community can do to prevent Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks occurring.

A Surge in State-Sponsored Terror Attacks

Jafarzedah drew attention to the increased volume of Iranian state-sponsored terror attacks over the last 12 months. In 2017, the Iranian regime planned and executed two state-sponsored terror attacks

However, in the first 11 months of 2018, Tehran has planned and attempted to carry out no less than eight terror plots on US and European soil.

Several of the most high-profile attacks included an attack in March against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Albania. The regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) planned to detonate a truck bomb during the MEK’s Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebrations.

Three months later, the regime’s MOIS coordinated an attack on the MEK’s annual grand gathering event in Paris. More than 100,000 members of the Iranian resistance and their supporters attended the event, including delegations of prominent politicians from the US and Europe.

The plan was foiled when two MOIS agents were arrested. The pair had entered Albania under the guise of reporters. The president-elect of the Iranian resistance,  Maryam Rajavi, was present at the event, as was the former mayor of New York and lawyer to President Trump, Rudy Giuliani.

Jafarzedah detailed the MEK’s findings that a regime diplomat based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with the explosive matter. The couple was instructed to detonate a car laden with explosives at the annual event.

The diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was the MOIS station-chief in Vienna and responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe. Assadi was arrested by German authorities, the couple was detained whilst traveling in a car to the event in Paris armed with the explosives. Disaster was narrowly averted.

In response to the failed attack, the French government froze MOIS assets and expelled an Iranian diplomat from Paris over their involvement in the attack’s planning.

Another plot was foiled in the US. Two Iranian regime agents were arrested in August. The pair had been monitoring the MEK with the intention of carrying out a “capture/kill” operation against MEK members.

Most recently, Danish authorities foiled a regime-orchestrated plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. The Danish authorities arrested one suspect in connection to the plot. It also recalled the Danish ambassador to Iran.

Jafarzedah concluded that these plots were not rogue operations. He cited evidence that indicates the highest levels of the Iranian leadership were involved in the plots. 4 diplomats were implicated, based in three different countries. It is unfathomable to think that the Iranian leadership, including Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader Khamenei, was not involved in the plots’ coordination.

The Web

Jafarzedah outlined the Iranian leadership’s decision-making web that coordinates these elaborate and damaging terror attacks.

Based on the MEK’s findings, Jafarzedah described how the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, coordinates terror attacks with the assistance of the heads of MOIS, IRGC Intelligence, Qods Forces and the Intelligence Coordination Council.

Why Now?

So, why is the regime ratcheting up its terror attacks now? Jafarzedah asserted that it is because of the increasing popularity and effectiveness of the MEK in Iran.

Over the past 10 months, MEK-organised protests have broken out across 142 Iranian cities and hit many of Iran’s major sectors. The protests have also taken a far stronger anti-regime tone. Protestors’ slogans have centered on a rejection of the regime and its authoritarian and repressive ideologies.

Jafarzedah said that the terror attacks were a sign of the regime’s “utter desperation” in the face of mounting pressures both internally and externally.

Confronting the Regime’s State-Sponsored Terrorism

Jafarzedah recommended several strategies for containing and limiting the Iranian regime’s terror activities.

First and foremost, Jafarzedah recommended that all the regime agents be prosecuted under the full weight of US and European law.

Secondly, the US and European governments must expel all Iranian terrorist diplomats and shut down Iranian embassies in Europe. The involvement of several diplomats in the planning and coordination indicate that Iranian diplomatic activities must be put under the microscope.

The MEK has repeatedly asserted that Iranian embassies make up a barely-concealed espionage web through which the regime can plot terror attacks. It is only through shutting down these embassies that the regime’s nefarious activities can be stymied.

Finally, Jafarzedah asserted that international sanctions must be levied against the Iranian regime. By constricting the flow of money to the regime, the international community can end the regime’s financing and training of international terror groups.

Is the International Community Warming to the Idea?

Immediately following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, European governments scrambled to salvage the deal. Even when the US announced its latest round of sanctions, European governments resisted them.

However, following the recent terror plots on European soil, including the Paris and Denmark attacks, the European community has warmed to the idea of possible sanctions.

Fox News reported that the Danish government is now calling for economic sanctions against Tehran. When the idea was floated at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, eight countries, including France and the UK expressed support for the idea.

The Danish Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, expressed his pleasure. “I appreciate the support from my colleague Theresa May today. In close collaboration with [the] UK and other countries, we will stand up to Iran”, he said after a meeting with his counterpart from the UK.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that his government stands with the European heads of state to end the regime’s assassination attempts on European soil.

Pompeo said, “that kind of behavior needs to stop, and we have offered our support and effort to help the Europeans in preventing these kinds of assassination attempts from taking place”.

The MEK had suggested that in the face of increased regime terror attacks, the European community should begin to rethink its policy of “appeasement” with the Iranian regime. At the Friday press conference, Jafarzedeh said, “they [European governments] now have to look at these realities in a totally different light”.

The summer of 2018 could mark a turning point in international policy towards the Iranian regime. Should the European governments end their decades-long policy of appeasement towards the mullahs, they will find themselves under even more pressure.

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An increase in Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

The Regime’s Terror Activities are a Growing Concern in the US

An increase in Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

Photo Credit to Daily Express: Iranian regime’s terrorist activities increase in Europe.

On Thursday, November 1st, Fox News published an article by Hollie McKay on the Iranian terror network in Europe targetting the MEK, Iran’s principal opposition group. Headlined, “Foiled Iranian Plots in Europe Raise Concern in US, Spotlight Israeli Intelligence Sharing”, the article outlines the recent spate of regime-sponsored terror plots in Europe and the response to them in the US.

McKay quoted Michael Rozin, the president of a US-based threat detection company. “Given recent geopolitical developments, there is a growing concern of Iran orchestrating assignations and potential attacks”, he said.

A Growing Concern

This growing concern has been on display in recent months. Following this summers foiled terror attacks in Albania and France, on Tuesday, the Danish government revealed that it had apprehended a suspect with ties to the Iranian regime over their involvement in an assassination plot.

Few details have been revealed about the nature of the plot, however, it is clear that the regime’s target was a member of the ASMLA, an Arab separatist movement.

The regime had planned to assassinate the member of the Iranian resistance on Danish soil, prompting outrage from the Danish government.

In August, the US Department of Justice also arrested two Iranians on espionage charges. Once again, their targets were members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), an Iranian resistance group.

One of the pair, Majid Ghorbani, had photos of MEK members in his possession, prompting the assumption that they were preparing an attack against the opposition group. The indictment brought against Ghobani described his involvement in a plot to kidnap and kill a leading MEK member, Ali Safavi.

Applying Leverage

McKay’s piece mentioned the methods the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) recruit citizens to plan the attacks. Michael Rozin told Fox News, “Iranian intelligence services typically leverage local residents or citizens for pre-operational activities”.

They use those with families in Iran they can threaten and use as leverage. Amir Saadouni, one of the Belgian-Iranians arrested in the foiled Paris terror attack in June, reportedly had received threats from MOIS agents. They said they would make life very difficult for his family if he didn’t go along with the attack.

Often, recruits are brought to Tehran for training under the guise of visiting family. There they receive payments for small missions, or extensive training to become a full MOIS agent.

Something Bigger

Ali Safavi, the target of an MOIS kidnapping and assassination plot expressed his concerns. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was part of something bigger”, he said, “I don’t think authorities have gotten to the bottom of this- more information of a network could most certainly come to light”.

Many in the US intelligence establishment share Safavi’s concerns. There are fears that these arrests are merely the tip of the iceberg and are indicative of a far wider underground terror and espionage network.

A former CIA operative with contacts in the Middle East intelligence network told Fox News that the regime in Iran is “one of our top national security concerns and challenges”, adding that the intelligence services have become increasingly “engaged with the Iranian threat”.

An Iranian Pushback

On Monday, the latest slew of economic sanctions will come into effect, targeting Iranian exports with the intention of crippling the Iranian oil industry. Many are concerned that the sanctions will invoke a response from Tehran.

One unnamed source said, “it is a good bet Iran will do something to lash out in response to the sanctions”. The source specified that it was unclear in what capacity or where this response would occur, “it could be targeted against US allies in the Gulf region, or against US targets and interests in Europe”.

Senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation, James Phillips explained. “Iran has a long history of terrorism and assassinations”, he said, citing the failed 2011 plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington D.C. as one example.

Fox News speculated that General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Quds forces, controls between 10,000 and 15,000 agents currently based outside Iran. These recruits make up an extensive terror network spanning across Europe and the West.

Jonathan Ruhe, Associate Director of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy, said, “the IRGC Quds Force, which carries out many of these operations, even has a special directorate for operations against the US and other Western countries”.

Traditionally, Ruhe said, these attacks have “focused on terrorist bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings”.

Election Interference

Sources have also expressed concern over election interference. In September, Twitter deleted 770 accounts that were linked to the Iranian regime. The accounts had been responsible for 1,122,936 tweets, most of which were about the 2016 US presidential election with the intention of influencing the American electorate.

Many of the accounts posted under the guise of foreign journalists or US citizens, however, they provided links to Iranian regime-affiliated media networks.

An unnamed source approached by Fox News explained the threat the Iranian regime poses to the midterm elections. “The state-sponsored elements are certainly cognizant of our midterm elections”, they said.

As the midterms approach and the sanctions increase the uncertainty over the mullahs’ future in power, the Iranian regime may resort to increasingly violent and aggressive strategies to maintain its grip on power. Europe and the US must recognize this and aim to dismantle the underground web of terror that permeates across the Western world.

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Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on the Regime’s Foiled Terror Attacks

 

Free Iran gathering, June 30th, 2018

The foiled terror plot to bomb Free Iran gathering, attended by over 100,000 supporters of Iran’s main opposition movement, the MEK.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on October 31st, 2018, Matthew Dalton provided an in-depth look at the Iranian regime’s planned terror attack targetting MEK‘s annual gathering in Paris this summer.

The piece, entitled, “Bags of Cash and a Bomb Plot:  Inside a Covert Iranian Operation in Europe”, examines the events that led to the attack’s discovery and what regime mechanisms were involved in coordinating the attack.

A Meeting in Luxembourg

According to Dalton, a meeting took place on the terrace of a Luxembourg café in late June between Amir Saadouni and a gentleman known only to Mr. Saadouni as “Daniel”. Daniel had been Saadouni’s link to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for several years. Daniel had made regular payments to Saadouni for information on a French opposition group that vehemently opposed the clerical regime in Tehran.

From 2014, Saadouni and his wife, Nasimeh Naami, had been monitoring the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). They had attended meetings and reported back to Daniel.

Daniel told Saadouni that the time for gathering intelligence was over. He gave Mr. Saadouni and Nasimeh Naam, the explosive material with the instructions to detonate the device at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering at the end of June.

The event, which took place on June 30th, attracts more than 100,000 supporters of the Iranian opposition every year. Nations from around the world also send delegations which often include senior politicians and human rights activist.

At the 2018 event, Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, were among those in the American delegation.

Foiling a Terror Attack Against MEK’s Gathering in Paris

However, Saadouni and Daniel were not alone on the terrace in Luxembourg. Acting on a tip by the Israeli intelligence agency, European secret security officials were watching the exchange.

Shortly after Saadouni and Naami set off for Paris with the explosives, the Belgian authorities moved in and detained the couple. The explosives Daniel had given them amounted to 500g of TATP, a powerful explosive that would have caused significant loss of life.

Simultaneously, German officials apprehended “Daniel” a few miles from the Austrian border. Daniel’s real name turned out to be Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat stationed at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, Austria.

The MEK has since discovered that Assadi is an explosives expert with ties to the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran (MOIS). He had a long history of planning and facilitating terrorist attacks in Iraq and was responsible for coordinating terror attacks across Europe from his position in Austria.

The plot was disrupted at an integral moment. If Assadi had crossed the Austrian border, he would have been protected by diplomatic immunity and would have escaped back to Iran.

The Political Fallout

In his article, Dalton discusses the political fallout of the foiled attack. The attack came just one month after US President Donal Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. The French President, along with other European heads of state, were frantically trying to save the deal from collapse.

The revelations about Assadi, and his connections to the upper leadership of the clerical regime in Iran, have undermined Macron and the other leader’s efforts to salvage the deal.

Although the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, denied the regime’s involvement, the strong ties linking Assadi to the regime leadership make it inconceivable that the upper echelons of the regime had not given the attack the green-light.

The MEK obtained information that suggested Assadi reported to Reza Amiri Moghadam, a senior official in the MOIS and former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

On November 5th, the latest round of US sanctions will take effect, aimed at crippling Iranian regime’s oil exports and adding further strain to an already crumbling economy. European companies will be forced to choose between keeping their ties to Iranian markets and forgoing their US business ties or severing their Iranian ties to save their US interests. Given the size of the US economy, it is unlikely many companies will elect to maintain their ties to Tehran.

Macron, as well as Merkel and May, are all under intense pressure from the Trump administration to fall in line and support US sanctions. Until now, they have remained reluctant to do so.

A Danish Affair

As Europe grapples with the decision of how to proceed regarding Iran, with the nuclear deal in tatters and ferocious economic sanctions just around the corner, the Iranian regime planned another attack on European soil.

On Tuesday, the Danish intelligence agency announced that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident on Danish soil.

The foiled assassination attempt represents the third foiled attack on European soil in less than 12 months (the first was a thwarted plot to attack the MEK’s Persian New Year celebrations in Albania).

This has prompted officials and analysts to raise concerns over Iran’s increasing willingness to engage in violent and clandestine operations in Europe. Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, a US think tank, and former CIA official, told the Wall Street Journal “they feel the constraints on them have been removed”.

If Riedel is right, terror attacks like those Europe has thwarted over the summer are likely to become a regular fixture in the future.

The French and Danish governments have both criticized the Iranian regime for its involvement in the respective attacks. The governments of Europe should come together and coordinate a clear and powerful response to these dangerous attacks. The European heads of state must show the regime that violence and aggression on European soil will not be tolerated.

Without a tougher stance, the regime will continue to show contempt for international laws and hunt its political enemies across the European continent, much to the danger and peril of European citizens and the MEK alike. Now, in the immediate aftermath of the Danish plot, is the time to take a stand. Europe cannot afford to show weakness or vulnerability in the face of a regime as violent and aggressive as Khamenei and Rouhani’s.

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Iranians protest against regime's expansion of terrorism in Europe.

Protesters in Europe Condemn Regime’s Terrorism and Surge in Executions

 

Iranians protest against regime's expansion of terrorism in Europe.

MEK supporters (main body of the National Council of Resistance of Iran-NCRI) protest the recent surge in executions in Iran and the spread of regime terrorist activities in Europe-Brussels, October 2018

MEK supporters in Europe have joined the Iranian people in their protests against the mullahs’ regime by staging demonstrations in London and Belgium.

MEK Supporters’ Demonstration in London

On Sunday, protesters demonstrated outside of 10 Downing Street in London to protest the recent surge in executions and human rights violations by the Iranian regime, particularly those that are occurring in Iranian prisons, as well as their terrorist acts against the MEK. The protesters also showed their support for the protests and strikes currently taking place in Iran.

The demonstrators also hope to draw attention to the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the Iranian regime. The executions, which occurred over the course of a single summer, have never been investigated, and their perpetrators have never been brought to justice.

The MEK supporters hoped that bringing these issues to light would cause British Prime Minister Theresa May to apply pressure to the regime

Protesters at the rally chanted: “Down with Rouhani! Down with Khamenei!”

“Change! Change! Change! Regime change in Iran!”

A group of British dignitaries and representatives of the Iranian diaspora in the U.K. were present at the demonstration and gave speeches. The speakers called on the international community to hold the Iranian regime responsible for its acts of terrorism against the MEK, for its violent suppression of the popular uprising currently taking place in Iran, and for its exportation of terror.

In her speech, NCRI supporter Naghmeh Rajabi said: “There needs to be more pressure to bring a halt to all of these executions, especially the public hangings that are happening.

Children, people, normal people are walking in the streets and they see bodies hanging from cranes. That’s kind of becoming a normality in Iran and it is completely unacceptable in the twenty-first century.”

The speakers also emphasized the need to blacklist the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), especially after the foiled terrorist attack on the Iranian opposition gathering in Paris on June 30th of this year.

Demonstration in Brussels

On Monday, MEK supporters in Brussels demonstrated outside of the European Union headquarters to protest executions, human rights violations, repression of women, and terrorist acts against the MEK in Europe by the Iranian regime.

The protesters called upon the E.U. to end the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs’ regime and to blacklist the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and to expel all regime diplomats.

The Belgian news agency Belga, Dubai TV, and Al Arabiya all covered the rally. Reports from each news outlet included coverage of the June 30th foiled attack on the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gathering in Paris and the regime’s culpability in the terrorist plot.

The Belga report read, “The demonstrators accused Tehran of blueprinting this plot.”

Al Arabiya published a report summarizing the plot to attack the NCRI gathering and the arrest of regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi for allegedly masterminding the plot. In October, a report by French intelligence concluded that there was “no doubt” that the Iranian regime ordered the terrorist attack. Assadi is currently in Belgium awaiting trial on terrorism charges resulting from the terrorist plot.

Former MEP Paulo Casaca was one of many dignitaries to speak at the rally. In his speech, he said, “I was among the people who were there on June 30. So I can say that, even personally, I have a case here to the European External Action Service (EEAS) and there has not been a single word from the EEAS on the issue.”

The protesters condemned the European Union for not speaking out against the regime’s human rights abuses.

We expect EU today to break the silence. We want EU to be active and to be on the side of Iranian people,” said NCRI member Firouz Mahvi

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Statement by the MEPs call on blacklisting the Iranian regime

Ten MEPs Issue a Statement Calling for the Iranian Regime to be Added to an EU Blacklist

Statement by the MEPs call on blacklisting the Iranian regime

A statement signed by a large number of MEPs express concerns about the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Albania, targeting MEK, and call on EU to blacklist the Iranian regime.

On October 20th, ten members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from nine different countries came together to issue a statement on the Iranian regime’s vilification of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Members of the Iranian opposition group are currently living in exile in Albania. They have been the subject of extensive social media campaigns aimed at discrediting and demonizing them and their President-elect, Maryam Rajavi.

The ten MEPs called on the European Union to add the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to its terrorist blacklist over its persistent deployment of violence against the MEK.

A Campaign of Violence

The statement comes at the tail-end of an aggressive campaign of aggression towards the MEK. In June, an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was arrested by European authorities for his involvement in a plot to attack the MEK at its annual Grand Gathering in Paris.

Assadi, an explosives expert, had provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with homemade explosives and detailed instructions on how to carry out the attack, which planned to use an explosive-laden car to wreak death and destruction on the members of the Iranian opposition in attendance.

Iranian agents had also previously been arrested and expelled in Albania. The Albanian authorities uncovered a similar plot to attack MEK members at their compound near the Albanian capital during the Persian New Year celebrations.

In conjunction with the regime’s campaign of violence, the regime has embarked on a coordinated online campaign aimed at demonizing the MEK and swaying international opinion.

Twitter recently suspended 770 accounts with suspected ties to the Iranian regime. Many of the accounts posted damaging and derogatory content about the MEK and other Iranian opposition groups.

The accounts were operating under the guise of foreign journalists or US citizens to influence public opinion in the United States and across the Western world. Between the 770 accounts, 10 million anti-MEK and pro-regime Tweets were published. Some of the Tweets also attacked the regime’s enemies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. They also shared links to regime-affiliated media outlets.

A Threat to the Refugees in Albania

The MEPs’ statement called on the Albanian government to expel the Iranian agents operating in the country and place the Iranian regime on the EU and the US list of international terror organizations.

As the world saw with the case of Assadi, many agents operate outside of international law. Their covert operations undermine the Albanian government’s authority. The presence of the regime’s agents has a destabilizing effect on any country they operate in.

Should the European Union heed the advice of its MEPs, it would strike a blow to the Iranian regime at a time when it already faces increasing domestic and international pressures.

Inclusion on a European blacklist would mean visas are no longer granted to the regime’s agents, and those already operating on EU soil would likely be expelled.

This would go some way towards dismantling the regime’s web of terror across Europe and curb its ability to launch an international terror attack like the one it had planned in Paris.

The European community and the world cannot afford to postpone its action until after there is a devastating attack on European soil resulting in a significant loss of human life. The EU and its heads of state must be proactive and add the clerical regime to its terrorist blacklist.

If it doesn’t, there is no predicting how catastrophic the next terror attack could be, both for the MEK, and native European citizens caught up in the chaos.

Staff Writer

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Iranian regime's terrorist activities abroad

The Iranian Regime’s International Web of Terror and Violence Serves to Divert Attention Away from Its Domestic Crisis

Iranian regime's terrorist activities abroad

Photo Credit to Washington Times: Top IRGC commanders plotted on the front line in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria.The Iranian backed invasion that left thousands of civilians killed and tens of thousands displaced.

A report from The Washington Times on Sunday, October 21st, drew public attention to the Iranian regime’s terrorist cells operating under the guise of diplomatic outposts.

The piece by Rowan Scarborough, entitled “Iranian Terrorists Lurk Abroad in Guise of Diplomats, Dissidents Report”, discussed the regime’s activities in places like Austria, Iraq, and Albania, where Iranian embassies have become hotbeds for terrorist activities.

The article referred to a report from the Iranian National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which explored the Iranian regime’s state-sponsored terrorism in Europe as well as its meddling in conflicts in the Middle East.

Diverting Attention Away from Domestic Crisis

The piece suggests that the mullahs may be using terrorism as a means of diverting the Iranian public’s attention away from the escalating crisis within Iran. The NCRI report states that the “regime has funneled billions of dollars to finance its belligerent war agenda in the Middle East while the majority of Iran’s people are living in poverty”.

“If the regime fails to inflame wars outside Iran’s borders”, it continued, “it [the regime] would have to fight for survival in Iran’s borders”.

The Iranian regime has supported terrorist organizations across the Middle East, including Hezbollah. Its fingerprints are on every major conflict in the region, including the civil war in Syria, and the war in Yemen.

In Syria, the regime-affiliated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have a presence of over 100,000 troops. They are working with Assad’s forces, who have received credible accusations of using chemical weapons against the civilian population to retain power.

The NCRI estimates that the mullahs may have contributed as much as $100 billion to Assad’s campaign in Syria. The money was likely spent on constructing field bases, paying Syrian troops, and purchasing Russian weapons.

In Iraq, the Iranian ambassador, Iraj Masjedi, controls several prominent Shia militia groups. It is estimated he controls more than 100,000 troops in the country and is likely an active part of the anti-American forces working within the country.

There are also signs that the Iranian regime is working to extend its influence in Iraq. Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC, has made several visits to the country, the most recent of which is believed to have been in August.

“He is trying to threaten and intimidate various parties and groups to secure a larger share of power for the Iranian regime”, the NCRI report states.

A Web of Violence and Terror

In Europe, there are similar signs of regime-sponsored violence. In June, Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat based in the Iranian embassy in Austria was detained by European authorities.

The explosive’s expert was arrested for his role in a foiled terror attack against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in Paris. The diplomat turned terrorist provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with homemade explosives with instructions of how to carry out the planned car bombing at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering.

A German court has since approved Assadi’s extradition to Belgium, where he will face charges over the allegations.

The Washington Times article reports that: Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, the Iranian ambassador to Albania, also has extensive links to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). Albania is of particular importance to the clerical regime. It is the home of the MEK, the Iranian opposition group living in exile.

Since the MEK fled to Albania, the Iranian regime has bolstered its small embassy in the country into “one of the most important Iranian embassies in Europe”.

The Washington Times article wrote that further up the chain of command is Reza Amiri Moghadam. The NCRI reports that MOIS agents from across Europe report to Moghadam in Tehran. “He is the key figure for the regime’s terrorist operations outside Iran, particularly in Europe and the US”, an NCRI report said.

London NCRI Press Conference Reveals New Information About the Regime’s Terror Activities

The Iranian resistance and their allies must condemn the regime’s destabilizing efforts across the globe while ensuring its actions do not divert attention from the domestic crisis in Iran. Only then can it oppose the regime’s violence, without furthering its domestic goals.

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Iranian regime's diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi

Assadi’s Extradition Follows Months of Lies and Drama from Iranian Regime

Iranian regime's diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi

Iranian regime diplomat-terrorist that was arrested on July 1st for his role in masterminding the foiled terror plot to bomb Free Iran Rally in France

On October 10th, Belgian prosecutors announced that Iranian regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi and three other Iranians were charged with attempting to bomb the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) annual gathering outside of Paris in June. This announcement came after months of drama, threats, lies, and pressure from the Iranian regime after a foiled terrorist attack that could have killed or injured hundreds and led to war if it had been successful.

Foiled Attack on Free Iran Gathering

On June 30th, 2018, tens of thousands of supporters of the MEK, along with foreign dignitaries and political figures from around the world gathered outside of Paris for the NCRI’s annual gathering.

On the day of the gathering, Belgian police arrested Nasimeh Naami and Amir Saadouni, a Belgian couple of Iranian descent, en route to the gathering carrying 500 grams of TATP explosives and a detonator.

French police arrested another Iranian that day at the site of the rally. The man, identified only as Mehrdad A., is accused of being an accomplice in the foiled bombing.

German police arrested Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi the following day after he stopped for gas outside of Aschaffenburg, Germany. Police called in a bomb squad to search his rented van, fearful that he might also be in possession of explosives. Assadi is charged with plotting the attack and personally delivering the explosives to the couple who was arrested in Belgium.

Pushback from the Iranian Regime

The attempted terrorist attack on the NCRI gathering by an Iranian diplomat created a political disaster for the mullahs’ regime in multiple countries in Western Europe.

Before his arrest, Assadi was an Iranian diplomat and a high-ranking Ministry for the regime’s Intelligence and Security (MOIS) officer, working as a station chief in the Iranian embassy in Austria.

The regime immediately attempted to shift blame for the foiled attack away from the regime and its operatives. On July 2nd, regime Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the MEK of plotting an attack on itself to distract attention from one of regime President Rouhani’s trips to Europe. tweeting:

“How convenient: Just as we embark on a presidential visit to Europe, an alleged Iranian operation and its “plotters” arrested. Iran unequivocally condemns all violence & terror anywhere, and is ready to work with all concerned to uncover what is a sinister false flag ploy.”

The spokesperson for the regime Foreign Ministry Bahram Qassemi then told reporters that Iran had evidence that a terrorist organization (other than the Iranian regime) planned the attack. He could not produce any of this evidence, but he assured anyone who would listen that Iran definitely had it.

“The latest scenario has been planned and carried out to damage Iran-Europe ties amid such sensitive and crucial times,” claimed Qassemi.

European Courts Act Swiftly

Austria responded to the Assadi’s arrest swiftly, asking Iran to strip him of his diplomatic status. Austria gave Iran 48 hours to comply with its request, and when Iran refused, did so itself.

Belgian authorities requested Assadi’s extradition, on the grounds that the Assadi gave explosives to the couple who was arrested while they were all in Belgium.

German prosecutors charged Assadi with activity as a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit murder. According to the prosecutors, Assadi is a member of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, whose tasks “primarily include the intensive observation and combating of opposition groups inside and outside of Iran.”

Assadi’s defense attorneys attempted to argue that he has diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and could not be tried for his crimes. Sources report that Iranian officials planned to pressure the Austrian government to send Assadi back to Iran if he was released from German detention so that he could avoid facing justice at all.

On October 1st, the Bamberg State Court in Germany approved Assadi’s extradition, saying in its ruling that diplomatic immunity did not apply because Assadi was not in Austria or Iran when the crime occurred.

France’s Response

On October 2nd, French intelligence confirmed that the MOIS ordered the attack. A French intelligence source told Reuters:

“Behind all this was a long, meticulous and detailed investigation by our (intelligence) services that enabled us to reach the conclusion, without any doubt, that responsibility fell on the intelligence ministry.”

France acted on this information by seizing all assets belonging to Iran’s intelligence services, as well as the assets of two Iranian nationals. The Foreign, Interior, and Economic Ministers released a joint statement that said: “An attempted attack in Villepinte was foiled on June 30. An incident of such gravity on our national territory could not go unpunished.” France’s Macron had previously warned about a firm response.”

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General James Jones, former U.S. National Security Adviser speaks at OIAC summit in New York

General James Jones Illustrates Bipartisan Support for a Tougher US Stance Against the Iranian Regime

General James Jones delivered a speech at the Iran Uprising Summit, held on September 22nd at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, calling for a tougher stance towards the clerical regime. The event, which took place at the end of September, was organized by the Iranian opposition and featured speakers from around the world.

Jones was President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser between 2009 and 2010 and helped form foreign policy under the Obama administration.

An “Existential Threat to Peace and Stability”

Jones began his speech with a damning assessment of the Iranian regime. He told the crowd that he believes the Iranian regime remains the globes biggest “existential threat to peace and stability”.

He described the regime’s behavior as “unrelenting” in its quest to “undermine our values, our freedom, and our prosperity”.

He criticized the regime’s human rights abuses and the manner in which it flaunts international law. Jones specifically referred to the regime’s attempts to undermine the Middle East peace process and its financing of terror and militia groups in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

The regime actively promotes Sharia-Sunni conflict in the Middle East, with the goal of “establishing a land bridge from Tehran to Beirut via Iraq and Syria”.

Jones asserted that the United States, along with its allies, “must do everything necessary to prevent these territorial ambitions from being realized”. He went on to warn of “grave” implications if the regime succeeds in its ambitions.

“The result will be more death and suffering, more destruction [of] the kind that the regime and its proxies have been inflicting across the region”, he said.

The MEK’s Sacrifices

Jones also referred to the heavy losses inflicted on the Iranian opposition, including the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). He mentioned the attacks on Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf which left 140 dead, 7 abducted, and more than 1300 wounded refugees.

“We must no longer accept passivity and weakness in the face of this tyrannical regime,” he said, adding that one of his greatest regrets was that the United States did not act faster or more decisively in the wake of the regime attacks on Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

“The outrageous delay in coming to their aid resulted in an innocent loss of life”, he said, “frankly I regard that chapter as a glaring, and I hope atypical, failure in America’s leadership of the international human rights movement.”

Today’s Challenges

Jones was adamant that the challenges he describes are not things of the past. 1,900 MEK members are living in exile in Albania, but the Iranian regime still pursues them.

Jones described the arrest of regime agents in Albania this summer, who had nefarious designs against the MEK. “We must do what’s necessary to ensure the dissidents… are not made to become the subjects of the Iranian regime’s plots in Albania.”

The General also drew attention to the foiled terror plot in June, where the regime orchestrated an explosive attack against the MEK in Paris. It was foiled by Belgian authorities in the late stages.

A Bipartisan Issue

General Jones also alluded to the fact that there was general bipartisan support for a tougher stance against the Iranian regime. He cited the current National Security Adviser under President Trump, John Bolton, who, Jones said, “has remained steadfast in his support” for the Iranian opposition.

Bolton later thanked the General over Twitter for his “kind words and leadership on Iran”. Bolton, a staunch Republican, and Jones, a Democrat, personify the bipartisan agreement on the Iran issue in the US.

Protests in the Street

As evidence for a tougher Iran policy in the US, Jones went on the describe the domestic situation within Iran. He echoed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments, who described the protests as “the most enduring and forceful protests since 1979”.

Jones told the audience that the regime has imprisoned thousands of its own citizens, but he celebrated the “courage and passions” of the people who continued to demand their right to liberty.

He described the economic climate of rising inflation and a collapsing rial. “Some will point to the sanctions, old and new, as the culprit. But ladies and gentlemen the true culprit is the regime that rejects the international norms of behavior on which orderly relations, global trade, and economic engagement are based,” he said.

Jones defended Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. “Could Tehran really have been surprised given the lack of trust produced by its relentless reception, history of non-compliance and deadly support of terrorism?”, Jones asked.

In another gesture of bipartisan cooperation on Iran, Jones also praised Mike Pompeo’s economic sanctions.

Ten Point Plan

Finally, Jones drew attention to the MEK and Maryam Rajavi’s Ten Point Plan, describing them as “Jeffersonian principles that every freedom-loving member of the human race can embrace and every form of tyranny fears”.

He acknowledged the role of the United States and its allies in bringing Maryam Rajavi’s ten principles to fruition. He suggested that the US monitor the regime’s nuclear development program and prevent it from realizing its nuclear goals.

He also urged the United States to make progress on bringing peace to Syria to prevent Iran from using it as a proxy.

But the first step, Jones acknowledged, is to “support the Iranian people who hunger for democracy and a government worthy of their hopes and dreams.”

 

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