Posts Tagged ‘MEK Abania’

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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.

Staff Writer

 

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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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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.”

Staff Writer

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Pandeli Majko's speech at Ashraf 3 Conference

Former Albanian Prime Minister and “Friend” of the MEK Addresses Members in Tirana

Pandeli Majko's speech at Ashraf 3 Conference

Pandeli Majko, former PM of Albania and member of the current cabinet, speaks at MEK’s conference-Ashraf 3, Albania

Pandeli Majko, the former Prime Minister of Albania addressed the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) in a gesture of solidarity with the Iranian resistance movement.

The former prime minister introduced himself as “a friend” of the cause. “[The] MEK represents the Iran of the future”, he said to thunderous applause.

Majko added that he was “so proud that together… we are in the hands of Madam Rajavi”, Mrs . Maryam Rajavi is the charismatic and influential president-elect of the Iranian opposition, whose ten-point plan has been championed across the world as the most viable roadmap to bring democracy to Iran. “One of the few women”, Majko continued, “that with her leadership [will] change not only the future of Iran but the future of [the] Middle East”.

Majko addressed the recent misinformation campaigns of the mullahs that have sought to delegitimize the MEK and their allies. “I know that [there] exists a lot of news that MEK [are] terrorists”, he said. “We don’t care”, Majko said, “because we know you because you have come here under the umbrella of the United Nations and UNHCR. [The] UN… and terrorism are two different things”.

Former Scottish MEP Describes His Visit to Ashraf 3 in Albania and the Regime’s Vicious Misinformation Campaign

The former prime minister also took a swipe at the Iranian regime’s own diplomatic operations within Albania. “[The] UN don’t have diplomats [and] use the status of diplomats [to] act like terrorists”, Majko said.

The Iranian regime has long-used diplomatic buildings and diplomats to coordinate terror attacks on foreign soil. In 2018 alone, a plot was foiled in March in Albania where two Iranian agents sought to attack the MEK compound outside the capital, Tirana.

In June, a diplomat from the regime’s embassy in Vienna was arrested over his involvement to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris.

Pandeli Majko speaking at a conference in Ashraf 3, MEK’s residence in Albania

“This time that is coming, a melody of a piano here in Tirana can sing like a song in all of Iran… like a song of freedom”, Majko proclaimed.

However, he was adamant that in the meantime, Albania would be a welcoming host. “I am sure that… you and your families everywhere understand now that you are not only refugees… you are in your land here. Here you have a land”, he said.

“We Albanians have an old expression”, Majko concluded, “my home is my castle. Albania is your castle”.

Staff writer

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Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama

Washington Times Piece Praises Albania’s Expulsion of Diplomats

Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama

Edi Rama, Albani’s Prime Minister. He recently expelled Iranian regime’s Ambassador and his deputy for their involvement in terrorist activities against MEK

Todd Wood covered the Albanian expulsion of Iranian diplomats for the Washington Times. His piece appeared on the platform’s site on Thursday, December 20th.

“It’s worth noting and praising Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s recent decision to expel two Iranian diplomats, including the ambassador”, he wrote.

The Washington Times piece outlined the threat the Iranian regime poses to nations’ national security in the West. “Tehran has continued to run terrorist operations out of its diplomatic installations around the world”, Wood quips. “It is a criminal, a malignant cancer of a regime bent on exporting its medieval and corrupt dogma throughout the Middle East and the world”.

Many of the regime’s terror operations in Europe have been conducted against the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), a fearless pro-democracy group whose members are living in exile in Albania.

A plot in June sought to detonate a car bomb at the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris. The event was attended by political figures and journalists from around the world, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former New York Mayor and Trump’s legal advisor, Rudy Giuliani.

All Eyes Are on Iran Following A Surge in Terror Activities

The MEK compound in Albania has also been a target. A foiled Iranian mission to attack the compound during the Persian New Year celebrations in March led to the detention of Iranian agents.

A Welcome Response

Albania’s decision has been met with praise from democracy advocates around the world. The leader of the Iranian opposition, president-elect Maryam Rajavi, released a statement in which she praised the resolve of the Albanian prime minister.

She said that the mullahs in Iran must be shown that their “terrorist activities in Europe and across the world will have serious consequences”.

The regime’s campaign of terror against the Iranian opposition in Albania also shows the extent to which the organization threatens the regime’s existence. At the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris, Rudy Giuliani asked, “if the MEK was not a threat to the regime, why are they trying so hard to kill them?”

A Regime in Turmoil

There are other signs that the regime is growing increasingly desperate in its bid to remain in power. The regime has intensified its campaigns of repression within Iran. Regime agents have carried out raids on protestors homes.

Regime’s Strategy to Avoid Responsibility for Terrorist Plot Involves Blaming MEK

Following the nationwide protests at the beginning of 2018, the regime arrested more than 8,000 peaceful protestors and members of the political opposition. These are not the actions of a regime confident about its position in power.

The good news is times are changing. The regime no longer has a president in the White House that is willing to make concessions. Trump has shown that he will not tolerate Iranian aggression.

The Trump administration is urging its European allies to adopt its economic sanctions against the Iranian regime to curb its nuclear ambitions and end its missile development programs.

Todd Woods concludes, “thankfully, we finally have a president willing to stand up to the Iranians and their enablers and make them worry about their own very survival”.

Staff Writer

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The embassy of the Iranian regime in Albania

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

The embassy of the Iranian regime in Albania

Iranian regime’s Embassy in Tirana- Albania

The Albanian government expelled two diplomats, including the Iranian ambassador, from the Iranian embassy in Tirana. Following a surge in Iranian state-sponsored terror activities on European soil and recent terror-arrests on the continent, the Albanian foreign ministry confirmed that it was expelling the diplomats for “violating their diplomatic status”.

The move drew praise from the Trump administration. The US president penned a letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama which thanked the Albanian leader for countering Iranian “destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe”.

According to reporting by The Independent, a source with knowledge of the matter said the expulsions were connected to an aborted March 2018 scheme by two alleged Iranian members of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, its foreign secret operations branch, caught planning “an explosive” attack against the base or personnel of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK.

In the letter, Trump said the move would send a message to Tehran that its “terrorist activities in Europe and around the world will have severe consequences”.

Fox News in an article published at its website wrote: “Albania is a particular target for the regime as it is home to more than 2,000 Iranian dissidents belonging to People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) after they were relocated from Iraq in 2016.

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition of Iranian resistance groups that includes MEK, said in a statement that Iran must be shown “their terrorist activities in Europe and across the world will have serious consequences.”

“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,” Fox News reported.

Other senior figures in the Trump administration also issued statements of solidarity with Albania following the decision. His National Security Adviser John Bolton, a supporter of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), released a statement on Twitter. It read, “We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behaviour in Europe and across the globe”.

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also issued a statement of support. He said, “the world must stand together to sanction Iran’s regime until it changes its destructive behaviour.”

2018 has seen a surge in Iranian terror activities. In June, an Iranian couple was arrested, along with a diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, over their involvement in a plot to detonate a car bomb in Paris. The object of their attack was the annual Grand Gathering hosted by the MEK.

Further terror attacks were coordinated in Albania, where 2,000 members of the MEK are living in exile. Authorities in Denmark also reported foiling a planned assassination to be carried out by Iranian agents against a member of the opposition.

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The U.S. President's letter to Edi Ram, Albania's PM in support of expelling Iranian regime's diplomat terrorists

Albania Expels Iranian Regime Ambassador and His Deputy For Terrorism

The U.S. President's letter to Edi Ram, Albania's PM in support of expelling Iranian regime's diplomat terrorists

Donald Trump’s letter to Albania’s Prime Minister, supporting his firm decision against the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Albania.

On Wednesday, Albania announced that it had expelled two Iranian regime diplomats from the country, citing a threat to national security.

A spokesperson for Albania’s Foreign Ministry told the Associated Press that the diplomats were expelled for “violating their diplomatic status.” According to the spokesperson, the decision was made after meeting with a number of other countries, including Israel.

John Bolton’s Response

The first public words of support for the expulsion of the regime’s diplomats from Albania came from John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor. Bolton, who is a longtime supporter of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance, tweeted in support of the decision on Wednesday afternoon, writing:

“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.”

Mike Pompeo’s Response

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also tweeted in support of Albania’s decision to expel the Iranian diplomats. He wrote:

“I commend PM Edi Rama’s expulsion of two Iranian agents who plotted terrorist attacks in #Albania. 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.”

Donald Trump’s Response

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

“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.

“Albania has always been a great friend to the United States, and I look forward to growing our partnership as we confront the many important issues facing our two countries.”

This vocal support from the leaders of the United States marks a dramatic departure from the policy of appeasement toward the mullahs of past administrations. It sends a strong message to European leaders that the time has come to stand up to the Iranian regime and to stand beside the Iranian people.

Suspected Involvement in Foiled Terrorist Plot

On March 22nd of this year, Albanian law enforcement arrested two Iranian operatives suspected of terrorist activities in Albania. These agents claimed to be journalists. The Albanian news reported:

“These two Iranian citizens were arrested for further investigation by anti-terrorism agencies after information was received from Albania’s international partners stating that they were planning to carry out a terrorist operation.”

Terrorist Plots by Iranian Regime Threaten MEK and NCRI Groups Abroad

This is not the first time an Iranian diplomat has been implicated in a foiled terrorist plot. Former regime diplomat Asadollah Assadi is currently awaiting trial in Belgium for masterminding the foiled terrorist plot against the Iranian Resistance gathering in Paris in June of this year. The regime and its diplomats have unsuccessfully tried to carry out several attacks against MEK members in Europe over the past year alone.

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