MEK: Two Suspected Iranian Agents Arrested for Undercover Espionage
Two men posing as federal agents were apprehended in the United States last week. The detained spies had given actual Secret Service agents gifts and free apartments in Washington. On Wednesday, Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, were apprehended. As new information becomes available, the case becomes more troubling, and suspicions about the defendants’ ties to the Iranian regime and Pakistan grow.
Prosecutors told The Daily Beast on April 10 that “the pair appear to have been tipped off to the FBI’s impending raid and arrest and attempted to ditch some potentially incriminating items via a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the White House.”
The men were attempting to “ingratiate themselves and integrate with U.S. federal agents and people who worked in the U.S. defense community,” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein, as quoted by the Associated Press on April 7.
Taherzadeh, an Iranian national, is accused of providing rent-free apartments to Secret Service officers and agents, including a penthouse worth more than $40,000 per year, as well as iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a television, a generator, a gun case, and other policing tools.
Despite the fact that Feds investigators “aren’t suggesting they’re Iranian-financed operatives,” Taherzadeh’s arrest is reminiscent of the Iranian regime’s “sleeper cells” recent arrests and foiled attempts.
From journalists and analysts to political refugees, these sleeper cells have been operating under various pretexts.
The US Department of Justice announced Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi’s arrest on January 19, 2021, charging him with being a “unregistered agent of the Iranian government.”
“For more than a decade, Kaveh Afrasiabi marketed himself as a neutral and objective expert on Iran to Congress, journalists, and the American public,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “However, all the while, Afrasiabi was a secret employee of the Iranian government and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (IMUN) who was being paid to spread their propaganda,” he added.
For years, Afrasiabi promoted Iranian regime talking points, primarily the regime’s efforts to smear the image of Tehran’s viable alternative, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The Iranian regime’s network of terrorism and espionage in the United States was highlighted once again in 2019 when two men, Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual US-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and California resident, were arrested in Washington, DC, for spying on Iranian opposition officials.
They were charged in 2020 “for their criminal convictions relating to their conduct conducting surveillance of and collecting identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the group MEK,” according to the US Department of Justice.
These cases demonstrate the looming danger posed by Tehran’s efforts to undermine Western democracies’ security and stability. It’s worth noting that Assadollah Assadi, Iran’s so-called “diplomat,” has been detained in Vienna since 2018, along with his co-conspirators, following their failed attempt to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in France same year.
Iran’s rogue activities in Europe do not stop with the foiled bombing in 2018. During Assadi’s trial, it was revealed that he was the mastermind behind a vast spy network spanning Europe. Many Iranian operatives have been arrested recently, demonstrating Iran’s deep and rooted terrorism in Europe.
Swedish newspapers, including Aftonbladet and Expressen, reported in September 2021 that Peyman Kia, a former Swedish security police chief, had been arrested for spying for four years between 2011 and 2015. Kia was a director in the Swedish Security Police (SPO) and an analyst in a Swedish military organization after obtaining Swedish citizenship.
In November 2018, Swedish authorities detained Mohammad Davoudzadeh Lului for collaborating with Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He was planning an assassination attempt in Denmark against an Iranian dissident.
The threat of terrorism emanating from Tehran is the elephant in the room, which Western leaders have largely ignored. Terrorism, on the other hand, necessitates firmness, and this is the only way to put an end to Tehran’s institutionalized terrorism.