Posts Tagged ‘Iran Terrorism’

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Protests,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Former Vice-President of European Parliament Urges the West to Take Stronger Action Against the Iranian Regime

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former vice president of the European Parliament and the president of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, wrote an op-ed for Eurasia Review on the need for international sanctions against Iran.

Vidal-Quadras outlined the European Union’s recent decision to impose sanctions against the Iranian Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) after it plotted an assassination attempt against an Iranian dissident living in Copenhagen.

He also charted the string of terror plots that have emerged from the MOIS over the last 12 months, including a failed attempt to detonate a car bomb at an event in Paris, and the arrest of two Iranian operatives that planned to attack a compound in Albania where 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) live.

Following the attempted terror attacks, France expelled several diplomats and froze MOIS assets. An Iranian diplomat believed to be the mastermind behind the foiled plot, Assadollah Assadi, is awaiting prosecution in Belgium.

The French Government Seizes Iranian Assets Over This Summer’s Foiled Terror Attack

The resulting investigation launched by French authorities found that senior members of the Iranian leadership were behind the Paris plot. It found that the Iranian regime’s diplomatic infrastructure, including European embassies and consulate buildings, had been involved in the planning process and harbored terrorists who would carry out the attacks.

Vidal-Quadras quotes a Belgian judiciary official who told reporters,

“nearly all Iranian diplomats in Europe are in fact members of the Iranian secret service.”

A Move Welcomed by the Iranian Opposition

Following the EU’s announcement on Tuesday that it would be imposing sanctions against the MOIS, “the NCRI quickly released a statement calling for further action,” Vidal-Quadras writes.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran, or NCRI, is the umbrella group of the MEK and, along with its leader, president-elect Maryam Rajavi, is one of the most outspoken critics of the Iranian regime.

Its statement in response to the EU sanctions read,

“it is time for the EU to adopt a firm policy towards the mullah’s regime by expelling all of its mercenaries and agents from Europe.”

https://twitter.com/amsafavi/status/1085116260680126464

The First Step Towards Meaningful Action

Vidal-Quadras echoed the words of the MEK and the Iranian opposition. He called the sanctions, “a positive sign,” and, “a symbol of an ongoing trend toward greater recognition of the Iranian threat.”

However, Vidal-Quadras acknowledged that “that trend is still proceeding at too slow a pace. Meanwhile, the danger is growing much more quickly.” He cited the presence of further terrorist plots targeting Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Germany that were disrupted in 2018. He said, “Europe cannot count on its luck holding out over the long term, especially if lawmakers fail to take measures that will truly disrupt the regime’s terrorist infrastructure.”

The terror attacks have been targeted against the MEK and the Iranian resistance movement. As domestic protests increase in volume and intensity, the Iranian regime is lashing out at the MEK abroad. As a result, Vidal-Quadras says,

“the clerical regime is desperate to undermine any and all networks of support for domestic activism.”

“Under these circumstances,” Vidal-Quadras continued, “Iranian expatriate communities in every corner of the world are potential targets, and their host countries are in severe danger of suffering collateral damage alongside the dire insult of having their autonomy violated by terrorists dispatched by the Iranian government.”

It is in this context that Vidal-Quadras calls for “the expulsion of Iranian diplomats, the implementation of stronger sanctions, and other such firm policies.” He argues, these measures, “will not only help defend the Western world against Iran-backed terrorism, but it will also help the Iranian people to even more strongly assert their demands for civic freedoms and democratic governance.”

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Javad Zarif,, Iranian regime's FM

Europe’s Sanctions Are Welcome, Now A Change In Policies Is Required.

Javad Zarif,, Iranian regime's FM

Javad Zarif, Iranian regime’s top diplomat, whose staff have now been arrested or expelled from several European countries, attacks EU as a escape goat to justify acts of terrorism in EU soil.

Europe introduced its own set of sanctions against Iran in what represented a small shift in policy towards the Iranian regime. Not since before the Iran nuclear deal has Europe employed sanctions against the Iranian Regime. The move signifies that European leaders may finally be awakening to the fact that the Iran nuclear deal has not altered Iran’s behavior and the Iranian regime is still the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The sanctions are rooted in the terrorist threat Iranian regime poses

In 2018, the Iranian regime’s state-sponsored terrorist machine increased its output dramatically. In March, a pair of Iranian regime agents were detained in Albania after it emerged the regime has orchestrated a bomb attack against the members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the principal opposition group living in exile outside the Albanian capital of Tirana.

Shortly afterward, in June, the regime launched its most ambitious plan of the year. An Iranian diplomat working out of the regime’s embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosives and sent them to Paris to detonate a bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering.

The French Government Confirms “Without any Doubt” the Iranian Regime was Behind the Foiled Terror Attack

The event was attended by more than 100,000 people, including dignitaries from the UK, the US, France, Germany, and Italy, amongst other nations. Belgian authorities foiled the attack at the eleventh hour, preventing hundreds and thousands of potential deaths. Following the attack, the French government froze assets belonging to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and expelled two diplomats from the country.

In October, Denmark announced that it had discovered an Iranian plot to assassinate a political dissident living on Danish soil. The revelation prompted an outcry among the Danish public as protestors gathered in the capital to call for a firm response to Iranian aggression.

Protestors Gather in Copenhagen to Call for a Firm Response to Iranian Aggression

Most recently, the Dutch government revealed that it believes the Iranian government was behind the assassination of two Dutch citizens. The Dutch government said this week that it had evidence that the Iranian government had hired hitmen to carry out the assassinations.

Europe’s sanctions target the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS)

Europe’s latest sanctions target the MOIS, including the director general of the Iranian intelligence agency, Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. The targets have had their European assets frozen and have been added to Europe’s terror list.

In response to the announcement, Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while admitting the regime’s role in terrorist attempts attacked the EU as regime’s usual way, to avoid responding to the crimes it has committed. Wall Street Journal Editorial, on its Wednesday Jauary 9 edition, writes:

“The new sanctions target an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its agents, including deputy minister and director general of intelligence Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. They have been added to Europe’s terror list and their assets will be frozen. Iranian Foregin Minister Javad Zarif on Twitter tried to justiry the attacks: “Accusing Iran won’t absolve Europe of responsibility for harboring terrorist”- his preferred word for anyone who opposes the regime.”

What is the next step?

While the sanctions against the MOIS unit and senior officials in the department are welcome, they will not stop the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities.

To protect its citizens and national security interests, Europe must follow up with firmer action. Continuing to do business with the Iranian regime, whose economy is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and other repressive organizations, any trade in Iranian markets will indirectly fund terrorist activities, including similar attempts trying to target the opposition.

The regime has demonstrated that it has little or no regard for foreign sovereignty or the safety of European citizens. It will use terrorism as a weapon against its enemies, regardless of who is hurt or killed in the process.

The Iranian opposition has recommended blacklisting the MOIS and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, closing Iran’s embassies on European soil, refraining from issuing visas to the regime leadership, expelling Iranian agents and mercenaries, and ending ministerial meetings between European and Iranian officials.

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

Expelling Iranian diplomats and closing Iranian diplomatic offices and buildings must become a priority. Investigations in the wake of the 2018 terror attacks demonstrated that Iranian embassies on foreign soil were hotbeds of terror activities and were instrumental in the planning and execution of terror attacks.

Europe should follow their sanctions against the MOIS with tough economic sanctions, restricting Iranian trade and preventing companies from doing business with the ruthless and repressive regime.

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Stef Blok the Netherlands MFA

Iranian Regime Paid Hitmen to Assassinate Dissidents, Dutch Government Says

Stef Blok the Netherlands MFA

Stef Blok, the Netherlands Foreign Minister, revealed the role of the Iranian regime in two assassination that took place in 2015 and 2017 in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, the 8th of January, the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent published an article on the company’s website revealing the Iranian regime’s nefarious dealings with criminal gangs in a plot to assassinate political dissidents living in the Netherlands.

According to the Dutch government’s findings, the Iranian clerical regime hired two gangs to kill a pair of dissidents living in the Netherlands. The findings come just several months after the EU introduced sanctions on regime officials over their involvement in the attempted assassination on a political dissident in Denmark.

The Dutch government revealed that during an investigation into the murder of two Dutch citizens, it found links between the assassins and the Iranian regime.

The pair were both gunned down by hitmen who fled in stolen BMWs. The families of the victims involved had long-suspected that the Iranian regime was involved in the killings, but until now the Dutch government had refused to speculate.

The Dutch government explained its decision to withhold the information in a statement. The Foreign Ministry said it had “strong indications that Iran was involved in the assassinations” but that it kept the matter hidden “in the interests of facilitating this common EU action against Iran.”

Last year, the Dutch government expelled two Iranian diplomats from the country, although it refused to say whether or not the decision was linked to the assassinations.

Iran’s History of Violence

This is not the first time the regime has hired international gangsters to carry out the murder of its political opponents.

In 2011, the United States government accused the regime of hiring a Mexican cartel to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington D.C.

The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) welcomed the EU’s introduction of sanctions against players in the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). In a statement, the MEK called them a “positive but important step in the face of the regime’s state terrorism.”

However, the episode that played out on Dutch soil further demonstrates that any nations which have an Iranian embassy operating on their soil, cannot guarantee the safety of their citizens.

Embassies have been implicated in various state-sponsored assassination attempts and terror attacks, including a planned attack on the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris.

The only way for a nation to truly ensure the safety of its citizens is to follow Albania’s lead and expel diplomats. Only through a complete cessation of Iranian diplomatic activities in Europe can EU nations protect their citizens from the ever-present threat of terrorism and murder.

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Anders Samuelsen, Denmark's Foreign Minister

Denmark’s Sanctions of Iranian Regime Diplomats Is Another Sign of the End of Policy of Appeasement

Anders Samuelsen, Denmark's Foreign Minister

The Denish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, speaks to the press after the meeting of the EU Ministers, unanimously agreeing in sanctioning, part of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) for its involvement in terrorist activities in European soil.

On Tuesday, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced the imposition of sanctions against two Iranian regime diplomats. The two diplomats were sanctioned for their roles in orchestrating terrorist plots in Europe.

Samuelson named the regime diplomats as Deputy Minister and Director General of Intelligence Saeid Hashemi Moghadam and Vienna-based diplomat Asadollah Assadi. Assadi is currently jailed in Belgium awaiting trial for masterminding a foiled terrorist attack on the annual National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gathering in Paris last year. Assadi was targeting the tens of thousands of MEK members who attended the event.

The sanctions by the Danish government follow the recent expulsion of three regime diplomats from Albania. On December 19, 2018, Albania’s Foreign Ministry announced that it had made the decision to expel the diplomats for “violating their diplomatic status” and posing a threat to national security.

A Necessary Response

The sanctions by the Danish government are a welcome and long-overdue response to the regime’s continued terrorist acts on European soil. The mullahs have acted without consequences for the entirety of their reign, and it is time that they are held to account for their actions. Imposing sanctions on and expelling regime diplomats is a good way to start this process, but it must be followed by blacklisting the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), trying the regime’s intelligence agents and mercenaries in courts of law, and expelling them from their host countries.

A Terrorist Regime

The MEK has spent the last three decades emphasizing that the regime’s embassies and its foreign ministry are a part of its terrorist mechanism. Finally, the international community is beginning to abandon the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs and accept the reality that the Iranian regime is a terrorist theocracy that must be dealt with in a firm manner.

In its July 2017 report, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) wrote: “The official headquarters of the Ministry of Intelligence at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin has an important role in the secret service’s reconnaissance. In addition to conducting independent intelligence operations, these headquarters support activities conducted by the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran. These operations are mainly against targets in Germany and, in some cases, against individuals or facilities in other European countries.”

The MEK’s Recommendations

The MEK recommends that the European Union implement the following measures to prevent the Iranian regime from engaging in terrorist acts in Europe:

  • Blacklist the MOIS and the IRGC;
  • shut down the Iranian regime’s embassies, and expel its diplomats; and
  • in accordance with the European Union’s declaration of April 29, 1997
    • refrain from issuing visas to regime intelligence agents,
    • expel agents and mercenaries currently on European soil, and
    • stop meetings between European officials and the Iranian regime at the ministerial level.

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BCFIF conference in support of Iran Freedom

British MPs Issue Letter Supporting Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats from Albania

BCFIF conference in support of Iran Freedom

The British Committee For Iran Freedom (BCFIF), consist of dignitaries and Parliamentarians in UK, that support a free and democratic Iran during a conference on the occasion of the Human Rights Day in London-December 10, 2018

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom recently added its name to the list of those supporting the decision by the Albanian government to expel two Iranian diplomats from its borders.

The group of MPs released a letter applauding the unprecedented move to expel the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Albania and another regime diplomat and further calling upon the British government to “publicly extend support to the Government of Albania and to work with other EU member states to thoroughly investigate and expose the danger of Iran’s diplomatic missions supporting and engaging in terrorism in Europe, in particular against Iranian dissidents and pro-democracy activists. Those found involved in such act of state-sponsored terrorism by the regime in Iran must be prosecuted and expelled from European territories.”

Threat to National Security

In December, the Albanian government announced that they had expelled Iranian regime Ambassador

Gholamhossein Mohammadnia and another Iranian diplomat because of their “involvement in activities that harm the country’s security” and “violating their diplomatic status.”

Reaction from U.S. Officials

U.S. officials were quick to support the measure by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who is a longtime supporter of the MEK, issued the first public words of support for the expulsion of the regime’s diplomats. He tweeted: “Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.”

Albania’s Decision to Expel Regime Diplomats is Welcomed by the Trump Administration

His tweet was soon followed by another message of support by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who tweeted: “European nations have thwarted three Iranian plots this year alone. The world must stand together to sanction Iran’s regime until it changes its destructive behavior.”

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom’s Statement

The British MP’s statement detailed the numerous attempted terrorist attacks by the regime and its operatives against the MEK and the Iranian Opposition that have been thwarted over the past year. Since March 2018, regime agents have been arrested for espionage or attempted terrorism in Albania, Belgium, the United States, and Norway.

Iranian Diplomat-Terrorist and Accomplices Arraigned in Belgian Court on Terrorism Charges

According to the statement: “The surge of terrorist activities and espionage by Iran’s regime against dissidents and the NCRI in 2018 comes amidst growing popular dissent and anti-regime protests in Iran, which senior Iranian officials blame on the opposition movement, the NCRI, and the PMOI.”

The statement goes on: “These foiled plots show that the Iranian government has taken a decision to use its embassies and diplomats to plan and carry out terrorist activities and espionage on European soil, especially against those who oppose the theocratic regime, in clear breach of international law.”

The British MPs conclude: “The Albanian decision to expel Iranian diplomats sends the right message to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, that European countries will not accept such unacceptable and illegal behavior by the regime”.

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German delegation visits Ashraf3- MEK's residence in Albania

Martin Patzelt Praises Albania and Urges EU Leaders to End Policy of Appeasement

German delegation visits Ashraf3- MEK's residence in Albania

The German delegation consist of present and former members of the Germany’s Bundestag (Parliament) visit Ashraf3, the residence of Iran’s principal opposition, the MEK-October 2018

Martin Patzelt, a member of the German Bundestag for the Christian Democratic Union Party, wrote an op-ed piece in Online Focus. The politician praised the Albanian government for their role in the fight against the Iranian regime and called on Europe to do more to oppose Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism.

He began by describing the important role Albania has played in welcoming persecuted communities. They housed Jews persecuted by the Nazis, and today, the country hosts the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), an Iranian pro-democracy group living in exile.

Patzelt praised Albania for its “contribution to peace and humanity”, remarking that “after decades of dictatorship, the Albanian people know… the value of freedom”.

However, Patzelt lamented, the European Union has not shared Albania’s enthusiasm for upholding Iranian human rights and protecting democracy.

Intensified Terror Activities

Following Albania’s admission of the MEK, the Iranian regime intensified its terror activities on Albanian soil. The Iranian embassy in the Albanian capital of Tirana nearly doubled its personnel numbers and devoted a section of the embassies activities to planning attacks against the MEK and its members.

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

But the MEK was not deterred and channeled its efforts into the construction of a compound outside the capital. In just twelve months, a compound complete with dormitories, dentists, meeting rooms, a sports center, stores, and hairdressers has been constructed. The MEK and its members live in the compound in relative safety behind its walls.

However, the Iranian regime has attempted to violate this haven. In March, two regime agents were arrested in connection with a plot to bomb the MEK compound during the Persian New Year celebrations.

In response to this attempted terror attack on Albanian soil, the Albanian government expelled the regime ambassador to Iran, as well as other high-profile diplomats in a stern message of defiance to the Iranian regime.

A Muted EU Response

Despite Albania’s strong stance, few other European governments are willing to follow suit. Many would prefer to maintain a policy of appeasement to the Iranian regime. Patzelt lamented, “this is all the more inconceivable since just this year, in France, Germany, Belgium and Denmark assassination plans or dangerous intelligence activities were conducted by the Iranian regime”.

Patzelt asserts that the regime’s surge in terror activities is due to the mounting domestic pressure it is facing at home. 2018 has seen a wave of protests break out across Iran, affecting many of its key sectors including logistics, education, and manufacturing.

Patzelt concludes that “Iranian expansionist policy” and its “chaos in the Middle East and unbridled expansion of fundamentalist ideas and ideologies” should be countered wherever it occurs.

A German Delegation Visits the MEK Compound in Albania

“This includes the support of people who risked their lives for freedom” who “now need to be protected themselves”. The heads of state in Europe should adopt a tougher stance against the Iranian regime, not just to protect dissidents and Iranian human rights, but to protect their own national security interests from Iranian terrorism.

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Ilir Meta supports the expulsion of Iranian regime's diplomats for terrorism involvement.

Albanian President Expresses Support for Expulsion of Iranian Regime Diplomats

Ilir Meta supports the expulsion of Iranian regime's diplomats for terrorism involvement.

Ilir Meta, the President of Albania, expressed his support for the expulsion of the Iranian regime’s diplomats.

On Saturday, December 23rd, Albanian President Ilir Meta stated his support for the recent expulsion of Iranian regime diplomats from his country. Meta said that the regime’s ambassador and the head of Tehran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security branch in Albania’s activities posed a threat to national security and that their expulsion was necessary.

Albanian Interior Minister Sandër Lleshaj also spoke about the expulsion of the regime diplomats in an interview on the same day.

He said, “The Iranian regime is recognized as the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

He added, “The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been threatened in other countries. This is a method used by the Iranian regime’s security agents under the cover of diplomats. We don’t consider the PMOI/MEK as a threat to Albania’s security. This is the position of the Albanian government, police and security officials. Our viewpoint about the PMOI/MEK is without any bias or prejudice. They are friends that have been welcomed to reside in Albania and this has nothing to do with their political activities.”

Support from Opposition

According to Albania Daily News, Lulzim Basha, Albanian Democratic Party leader and head of the opposition, also expressed support for the expulsion of the Iranian regime diplomats, citing national security concerns.

“On behalf of the Democratic Party and the Albanian opposition, I express my support for the government’s decision to announce Iranian diplomats as unwanted elements and back measures to see to their expulsion,” he said. “They carried out activities in violation of their ‘diplomatic status’ and endangered our national security. The Democratic Party considers governmental national security infrastructures, ongoing commitments and honest cooperation with our allies as the only solution to prevent and neutralize such measures on the soil of the Republic of Albania.”

On Wednesday, December 19th, Albania’s Foreign Ministry announced that it had expelled Iran’s ambassador to Albania and an unnamed diplomat for “damaging its national security.”

Support from United States

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has been a longtime supporter of the MEK, was the first public figure to express support for Albania’s decision, tweeting on Wednesday afternoon:

“Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.”

U.S. President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama thanking him for “standing up to Iran.” He wrote:

Albania’s Decision to Expel Regime Diplomats is Welcomed by the Trump Administration

“Thank you for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe. The leadership you have shown by expelling Iran’s Ambassador to your country exemplifies our joint efforts to show the Iranian government that its terrorist activities in Europe and around the world will have severe consequences.”

The Iranian regime has been directly implicated in a number of foiled terrorist plots against the MEK this year. Since the MEK relocated its residence to Albania, its members have been under constant threat by regime terrorists. In March 2018, a terrorist plot by regime agents against a MEK Nowruz celebration in Albania was foiled.

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The Iranian regime's embassy in Albania

Albanian Interior Minister: MEK Members Have Been Threatened by Iranian Security Services

The Iranian regime's embassy in Albania

The Iranian regime’s Embassy in Albania, where at least two diplomats have been expelled for their involvement in terrorist activities against MEK

On Wednesday, December 19th, the Albanian government announced its decision to expel Iranian regime’s ambassador Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, as well as another “diplomat” based in the country in response to an increase in terror activities.

The identity of the second diplomat has not been revealed, but anonymous sources familiar with the decision claim it is Mostafa Roodaki, the first secretary of the Iranian embassy in Albania.

The government cited “damaging” Albanian “national security” as the reasoning behind the decision. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) has established a compound near the Albanian capital of Tirana. Its members live in exile in the country. The MEK compound has been the target of Iranian aggression throughout 2018.

In March, the MEK compound was the target of an attempted car bomb attack. During the Persian New Year celebrations, the Iranian Ministry of Security (MOIS) planned to attack the compound. The plot was foiled when Albanian authorities detained two MOIS agents in the country and had them expelled.

Shortly afterward, in June, the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris was targeted in a violent regime attack. Again, a car bomb was to be used at the event where more than 100,000 MEK members and allies of the Iranian opposition were gathered.

Like the attack in Albania, the plot only unraveled once European authorities arrested a Belgian-Iranian couple traveling to the event with homemade explosives. An investigation carried out by French authorities in the aftermath of the incident revealed that the senior leadership of the Iranian regime had been directly involved in the planning of the attack. The revelations prompted the French government to expel diplomats and seize assets belonging to the MOIS on French soil.

Alongside the violent terror campaign, the MOIS has embarked on an extensive disinformation campaign designed to vilify and demonize the MEK. The MOIS has published large amounts of Albanian-language propaganda in an attempt to turn public opinion against the MEK.

Albania’s move has been welcomed around the world

Following the Iranian government’s decision to remove the Iranian ambassador, supporters of the Iranian opposition movement from around the world lined up to show their support.

Donald Trump, in a letter, addressed to Edi Rama, personally thanked the Albanian government for its “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence the dissidents around the globe”.

The Albanian Interior Minister, Sander Lleshi then said in an Interview with Albania’s Vision Plus TV that “MEK members have been threatened by the Iranian Security Services”. Explaining the Albanian government’s decision to expel the Iranian diplomats, Lleshi said, “we have welcomed them [the MEK] as friends”.

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, welcomed the assessment and decision. She called the expulsion a “courageous act” and a “necessary step in countering terrorism”.

Maryam Rajavi: Expulsion of Regime Diplomats from Albania Is “Courageous Act”

Albania is safer, but the work is far from complete

The expulsion of the diplomats no doubt improves the safety of Albania for MEK members and other individuals affiliated with the Iranian opposition movement. However, the Iranian government remains active in the government and the threat is far from over. The Saadi Foundation in Albania remains affiliated with the Iranian government and the MOIS will still be able to launch attacks on the MEK as long as this organization maintains a presence in the region.

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Former US Congressman Addresses the MEK in Albania

Maryam Rajavi, greets the panel of speakers at the International Conference on her arrival to the conference hall.

Maryam Rajavi, greets former US Congressman, Patrick Kennedy at the International Conference against the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities and violations of human rights- Ashraf 3, Albania- December 15, 2018

Patrick Kennedy, a former Democratic representative of the U.S. House of Representatives, gave a speech to members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) living in exile in Albania.

In the speech, he thanked Albania for being a kind and willing host to the Iranian opposition group and drew parallels between the two countries. “Anwar Khoja stole your country from you. Just as the mullahs have stolen Iran from the Iranian citizens”, he said.

Kennedy went on to address the recent surge in regime aggression against the MEK. He cited recent terrorist plots in Europe that targeted the opposition group, and the mullahs’ online misinformation campaign designed to turn public opinion against them.

“Major social media companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook have all in recent months, suspended and removed hundreds of fake accounts”, he said. Kennedy’s comments come just a few weeks after Twitter announced the removal and suspension of more than 770 regime-affiliated accounts.

A Reminder of the 80s and 90s

Patrick Kennedy, Former US Congressman Addresses the MEK in Ashraf 3 in Albania, during the International Conference on Iranian regime’s growing terrorism and violations of human rights

“Tehran-backed terrorist attacks in France, Albania, and Denmark were foiled by close cooperation between the police and the security and judicial authorities of several European countries”, he continued, adding that the foiled plots of 2018 were reminiscent of the regime’s violent campaign against dissidents in the 80s and 90s.

Although the attacks have been similar to those of the last century, the responses have not. Kennedy lamented that the West has not shown the same resolve and determination in opposition to the Iranian regime today.

The response to the 2018 attacks has been “very, very weak”, he said, “and inappropriate to the emerging threat” of the Iranian regime.

A Viable Opposition

Kennedy went on to suggest that the rationale behind the regime’s terror and misinformation campaigns was that the MEK represented a threat to its continued existence.

“It shows that the NCRI (the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the umbrella organization of the MEK) is a real force for change”, Kennedy said. He also cited the MEK’s president-elect Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan as a “viable roadmap for the people of Iran to establish a fair and free and democratic secular Republic of Iran in this crucial juncture in history”.

There are more signs of change on the horizon. Kennedy described how the majority of Iranians now live below the poverty line and corruption and unemployment are ravaging the Iranian economy.

This economic crisis is prompting more of the Iranian population to take to the street in protest. “People from various social strata are taking part in the nationwide protests”, Kennedy said. “Women, teachers, retirees, ordinary citizens who have lost their savings and pensions.”

The protests themselves have become more anti-regime in nature. Slogans like “down with the dictator, our enemy is right here”, and “death to Khamenei”, have become commonplace in Iran.

MEK, A Growing Opposition

Kennedy predicted that change in Iran is coming. “The mullahs do not know what they are up against”, he said, “right here are wonderful media laboratories that are helping to disseminate the true message of what’s going on in Iran”.

The regime’s routine human rights abuses are also beginning to earn it the attention of the international community. The UN General Assembly has adopted more than 60 resolutions condemning the regime’s actions.

There is an increasing voice calling for an investigation into the regime’s most heinous crime— the execution of 30,000 MEK members in 1988. A recent Amnesty International report called for an investigation into the incident and for those responsible in the Iranian leadership to be held to account.

The UN Must Investigate the 1988 Massacre

Kennedy concluded by saying, “it is amazing what you have built in a year, and it says to me something very hopeful. It says that if you could rebuild Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and you could build Ashraf here in Albania, then it won’t be long before you’re going to build Ashraf in Tehran”.

Staff Writer

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Albania Expel Iran's Ambassador,Iran Terrorism,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Maryam Rajavi, speaks to MEK members in Ashraf 3, Albania

Maryam Rajavi: Expulsion of Regime Diplomats from Albania Is “Courageous Act”

Maryam Rajavi, speaks to MEK members in Ashraf 3, Albania

Maryam Rajavi, speaking at the International conference-Ashraf 3, Albania

Albania announced on Wednesday that it had expelled two Iranian regime diplomats from the country. On Thursday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), released a statement in support of the expulsion.

Mrs. Rajavi said that the “courageous act” was a necessary response to terrorism and the Iranian regime and was “imperative for the security of European countries.”

Foiled Terrorist Attack on MEK Nowruz Gathering

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced in April of this year that Albania had foiled a terrorist plot by the Iranian regime against the MEK. The attack was scheduled to coincide with a Nowruz celebration. In his April 19th statement, Prime Minister Rama said: “We are on the right side of history. We are among European-Atlantic countries who are similarly under threat. I believe all these countries will act against terrorist threats.”

The identity of Expelled Diplomats

The two regime diplomats who were expelled were

Gholamhossein Mohammadnia and Mostafa Roudaki. Mohammadnia was the regime’s ambassador to Albania, and Roudaki was the Ministry of Intelligence and Security’s (MOIS) station chief in Albania. Both are senior MOIS agents who were uncovered by the MEK in 2016 and 2017.

 

Mohammadnia played a key role in the negotiations which led to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. He was the MOIS representative in the regime’s delegation, led by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Support from U.S. President

United States President Donald Trump penned a letter to Prime Minister Rama on Wednesday, thanking the Albanian government for its “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe.”

This is a significant departure from the policy of appeasement that Western leaders have taken in the past.

Statement from Maryam Rajavi

In her statement, Mrs. Rajavi said that the Iranian regime needed to know that its “terrorist activities in Europe and across the world will have serious consequences.”

She went on to say: “Since three decades ago, the Iranian Resistance has always emphasized that the Iranian regime’s Foreign Ministry and its diplomats and embassies are part and parcel of its machinery of terrorism. Three major terror plots by the mullahs in Albania in March 2018, in France in June 2018, and in Denmark in September 2018 had been planned by these embassies and diplomats.

“The clerical regime has found the only way out of the irremediable internal and external crises and deadlocks in suppressing the people of Iran, warmongering in the region, missile threats, and disseminating fake news, demonization, and terrorism, particularly against the Iranian Resistance, which it views as an existential threat,” Mrs. Rajavi said, adding, “The regime in Tehran is the godfather and the epicenter of terrorism under the banner of Islam in the world today. As such, designating the Ministry of Intelligence as a terrorist entity and expelling the mullahs’ diplomat-terrorists from the U.S. and Europe is necessary for these countries’ security and is demanded by the Iranian people.”

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