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Lord Ken Maginnis

UK Lord Says European Lawmakers are “Divorced from Reality” on Iran Issue

Lord Ken Maginnis

Lord Ken Maginnis
Member of House of Lords in UK Parliament speaking at a Parliamentary committee asking for a firm policy on Iran

Lord Ken Maginnis, who sits in the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary House of Lords, called out European leaders who wish to preserve the status quo with Iran as “divorced from reality.”

The diversion between US and European attitudes towards the Iranian regime has appeared since the Trump administration took office. Under President Trump, the US has adopted a firmer stance towards the Iranian regime over its support of international terror and blatant human rights abuses. The President pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-introduced economic sanctions.

However, Europe has been reluctant to follow the US’s lead. Many UK, French, and German lawmakers believe salvaging the Iranian nuclear deal is preferable to slapping economic restrictions on the Iranian regime and cutting off Iranian markets. Maginnis writes, “what they fail to take into account is the strong possibility that this and any other deal may be rendered null and void anyway, by domestically driven regime change.”

A Year of Unrest

2018 represented a year of unrest for the Iranian regime. What began in the nationwide uprising of December 2017, continued across all 31 provinces of Iran in the form of isolated protests among workers, teachers, students, merchants, truck drivers, investors, pensioners, and farmers.

Each time a protest emerged, and Iranians took to the streets, the regime responded with brutality and violence, imprisoning thousands of Iranians and torturing and executing many.  “But this did not prevent Iranians in countless localities from returning to the streets over and over again throughout 2018 to repeat provocative anti-government slogans and give shape to what was described as a “year full of uprisings” by Maryam Rajavi, the leader-in-exile of Iran’s democratic resistance movement,” Maginnis writes.

A Ten-Point Plan for Democracy

Mrs. Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI), has a ten-point plan for restoring democracy in Iran. Her plan would see an Iranian government with democratic legitimacy, committed to the values of equality, secularism, and religious freedom.

What Europe fails to see is that Mrs. Rajavi’s dream is approaching reality. Demonstrations, both within Iran and abroad, are increasing in frequency and size. The MEK now has a host of support from prominent international politicians, including Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, and the National Security Advisor, John Bolton.

Last week, this was on display when governments from around the world convened in Warsaw at the behest of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the Iranian threat. As the politicians convened, the MEK and its supporters staged protests to call on Europe to protect their national security interests, help bring stability to the Middle East, and protect the abused and downtrodden Iranian population by adopting a firmer stance towards the Iranian regime.

It is in Europe’s interests to do so. Maginnis charts the increased threat of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism poses to those across the globe. The regime was involved in terror plots on French, American and Albanian soil last year. It was also behind attempted assassinations in the Netherlands and Denmark. As the regime becomes more violent in the face of mounting internal challenges, Maginnis argues that to ignore the escalating Iranian threat is to be “divorced from reality.”

“The notion of internal moderation by the existing regime has been proved over 40 years to be a fantasy,” he writes. “But now that [the] regime is clinging to power with all the violence at its disposal, the long-term survival of that regime is revealing itself to be a fantasy as well.”

Maginnis is clear that he is not calling for the US and Europe to interfere in Iranian affairs to bring about regime change. He decries imposing regime change on a country that “is not ready for it.” But he is also clear to point out that Iran is increasingly resembling a country that is ready for it. By “encouraging support for the Iranian people who, under the leadership of the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran) and Maryam Rajavi, have been making great strides toward democracy on their own.”

Maginnis concludes that it is becoming impossible to ignore the voices of the Iranian people who are overwhelmingly calling for regime change in the country. He asserts, “it is now time for the careless UK and European politicians to recognize the legitimacy of the Iranian Resistance and to help it in achieving its democratic aims.” He concludes, “it is long past the time for the reluctant UK and European Press to grapple with the moral reality of having downplayed the 40 years of pseudo-religious persecution of a people who know better, seek better, and deserve better.”

Staff Writer

 

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NCRI's news conference on Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

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

NCRI's news conference on Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

News Conference by the office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in London disclosing new details on the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Europe

On September 12th, 2018, the UK office National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference in London. Within it, the Iranian opposition organization shed light on the terror activities of the Iranian regime in Europe.

The NCRI has evidence to suggest that these activities are carried out by the Organisation of Foreign Intelligence Movements. The organization is a sub-division of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

It also has proof that senior members of the Iranian leadership have been involved in the architecture and planning of terrorist attacks on European soil including the very recent foiled plot to bomb MEK‘s rally in Paris. The regime knows that prominent European governments are keen to maintain the status quo. Khamenei, Rouhani, and the mullahs planned the attacks with the belief that European nations would not react adversely.

The conference also addressed the ongoing question of to what extent the Iranian embassies in Europe are involved in the planning of ongoing terror attacks, suggesting they play a key role at different stages of the planning and execution process.

Increased Terror Activity

The last nine months have seen a distinct increase in terrorist activities stemming from the Iranian regime.

In March, a terrorist attack targeting members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation (MEK) living in exile in Albania was foiled. Those responsible attempted to use a car bomb to attack thousands of MEK members gathered to celebrate the Persian New Year.

Then, in June, an Iranian couple carrying explosives and a detonator were arrested in Belgium, along with an Iranian diplomat from the regime’s embassy in Vienna. The pair planned to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris, where more than 600 dignitaries were gathered from more than 70 countries around the world.

Most recently, in August, two Iranian agents were arrested in the United States. The pair stand accused of spying. They were collecting information on MEK members and Jewish centres within the US. It is believed they were carrying out surveillance ahead of a possible terror attack on US soil.

The Organisation of Foreign Intelligence and Movements

It may be no coincidence that this flurry of terrorist activity has occurred in the wake of the birth of the Organisation of Foreign Intelligence and Movements.

On February 8th, 2017, the clerical regime elevated the division from a directorship to an organization. As a result, the Organisation of Foreign Intelligence and Movements likely received a larger budget, making it one of the most prominent divisions of the MOIS.

The Organisation of Foreign Intelligence and Movements is responsible for carrying out espionage and planning terror attacks abroad. It has constructed an extensive network of espionage through the establishment of intelligence centers abroad.

The arrest of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat working out of the regime’s embassy in Vienna, suggest that the organization also uses embassies in its nefarious activities.

Assadi stands accused of proving the couple with the explosives, as well as detailed plans on how to carry out the attack in Paris. There is evidence to suggest that he has been head of the European intelligence stations since 2014.

The NCRI has obtained information in recent weeks citing Reza Amiri Moghaddam as the head of the Organisation of Foreign Intelligence and Movements. Moghaddam was a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) during the Iran-Iraq war. He was also Head of the Iranian regime delegation during talks between Iraq, Iran, and the US following the coalition invasion of Iraq.

This would put Moghaddam among the upper echelons of the MOIS leadership. He likely reports directly to the Iranian Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi.

The revelation of Moghaddam as head of the Organisation of Foreign Intelligence and Movements helps paint a picture of the planning process for the June 30th terror attack on the MEK’s Grand Gathering in Paris.

The Supreme National Security Council is the decision-making council which includes Intelligence Minister Alavi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Quds Force Commander Qassam Soleimani, IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, among others. It likely put the plan forward for Khamenei’s approval.

Once received, Alavi will have instructed Moghaddam to plan the attack. He will have taken these instructions to Assadollah Assadi at the embassy in Vienna and had him coordinate the planning and execution process.

Assadi is an explosives expert with extensive experience in espionage and demolitions. He has been connected to a number of plots involving bombings and kidnappings. He is suspected of involvement in a 2006 terrorist attack in Iraq, in which 11 workers heading to Camp Ashraf died after the bus they were traveling in exploded.

Assadi gave a terror sleeper cell in Belgium the necessary explosives and instructions but will have overseen the plan personally due to the sensitivity of the operation.

The Role of Iranian Embassies in Terror Activities

The attempted attack in Paris is concerning for a number of reasons. It has thrust Iranian embassy activities under a spotlight.

The attempted attack demonstrates that the regime’s embassies in Europe occupy an integral role in the European terror network. They provide weapons, explosives, and money to the terrorists. They also provide a safe haven where perpetrators can hide after the execution of operations.

The NCRI estimates few embassies in Europe have not been involved in the Iranian regime’s network of terror in some way.

A Regime in Crisis

Another explanation for the heightened terrorist activity for 2018 is that the regime is under considerable pressure at home. A nationwide uprising in 2017 and 2018 opened the floodgates of discontent.

Since January, there has been a steady tide of protests, uprising, and strikes. Rouhani told Parliament in August, “all of a sudden, the atmosphere in the country changed… The slogans gradually became off-bounds… Such scenes seldom existed in previous years.”

Rouhani seems concerned. He has every reason to be. The protestors slogans have been scathing, with many shouting “down with Rouhani”, and “down with Khamenei”.

The mullahs have laid the blame for the protests on the shoulders of the MEK. Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, promised that the MEK “will receive an adequate response from where they don’t expect it”.

The reality is that while the MEK has mobilized the population, it is the mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran that has led to the people mobilizing in the streets. The regime has proven inadequate at meeting the needs of the Iranian people.

The country is in the midst of an economic crisis. Poverty, corruption, and illiteracy are rife. Suicide rates are spiraling out of control.

The MEK is the target of the regime’s terror network in Europe. The Iranian regime focuses on killing when it should be focusing on reform and improving the lives of the Iranian people.

At the press conference, the NCRI urged the international community to stop the Iranian regime from threatening “the lives of Iranian refugees and opponents, and the security of European countries”.

It proposes that those arrested in Germany and Belgium, including the Iranian couple and Assadollah Assadi, should face trial in Belgium without delay. It also urged European nations to close the regime’s diplomatic missions in Europe and for the regime’s mercenaries, agents, and spies to be “arrested, tried, and expelled”.

Staff Writer

 

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