For one recent illustration of Iran’s state-sponsor of terrorism, see the statement by the Justice Department, Aug. 20, in which DOJ announced two Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents, Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar and Majid Ghorbani, spied on and plotted against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran/Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK), the largest group in the coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The agents were arrested in the United States on Aug. 9. The arrests indicate Iran considers the PMOI to be its primary opponent and seeks its destruction.
Intelligence agents provided information gathered for the Iranian government to “target” its opponents…. “a target package could enable a neutralization plan, which may include apprehension, recruitment, cyber exploitation, or capture/kill operations.”
Court documents indicate that one of the people targeted was Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of National Council of Resistance of Iran-U.S. in Washington. His revelations about Iran’s nuclear sites in August 2002 triggered the first inspections in Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Federal agents conducting court-authorized electronic surveillance heard Ghorbani tell Doostdar in Dec. 2017 that he had seen Jafarzadeh at a New York rally in Sept. 2017. He said he saw the man who “leaked the nuclear program,” and went on to say that one of the other attendees deserves “one shot,” an apparent reference to a bullet. Ghorbani also said that he had seen Ali Safavi, another official of the NCRI, according to the court documents.
As nationwide protests by Iranians continued, the alleged missions of these two agents expanded. Ghorbani travelled to Tehran for 20 days, from Mar. 27 until Apr. 17, to brief Iranian authorities about information he had collected on the NCRI. Upon his return, he had new instructions to gain secret data on people in the network and its organizational strategy against the Iranian regime.
The NCRI emphasized on the need for the U.S. Government to prosecute and/or expel all Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and IRGC agents, as well as undercover agents and mercenaries who pursue the regime’s plots here and in Europe.
In 2012, President Obama’s Treasury designated MOIS for human rights abuses and support for terrorism. President Trump added even more sanctions on MOIS than those enacted by Obama.
These secret agents exploited the previous administration’s appeasement policy to establish various covers and identities here and in Europe and thereby pursue Iran’s sinister schemes.
The discovery and neutralization of the regime’s espionage and terrorist plots in the United States follow the foiling of two other major terrorist schemes against the PMOI, one in Albania (Mar. 2018) and one in France (Jun. 2018).
Allies of the PMOI and the NCRI were meeting in the French town of Villepinte, near Paris, in a gathering attended by as many as 100,000 and speakers from some 70 countries. Among members of the American Delegation in Villepinte were former officials, including: Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Speaker Newt Gingrich; Governor Bill Richardson; Attorney General Michael Mukasey; Director Louis Freeh; Under Secretary Robert Joseph; Senator Bob Torricelli; Frances Townsend; Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield, and yours truly.
Belgian authorities arrested a couple for preparing a bomb attack on the gathering in France. An Iranian diplomat based in Vienna was caught in Germany on his way back to Austria, after he provided explosives to the couple in Luxemburg. This top MOIS official in charge of all Iran’s intelligence operations in Europe, Assadollah Assadi was caught with clear evidence against him.
Several governments, including Austria, Germany, France, and Belgium, were involved in the counterterrorism operation to thwart the bomb plot by Tehran. Germany has already charged the Iranian ‘diplomat’ with working as a foreign spy and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the Paris bomb plot.
In an exclusive report, Reuters reported that France has told its diplomats and foreign ministry officials to postpone indefinitely all non-essential travel to Iran, citing the foiled bomb plot and a hardening of Tehran’s attitude towards France.
The Way Forward
The three terror plots by Tehran against its main opposition coalition the NCRI and its main member organization, the PMOI may well be a signal that Tehran is extremely vulnerable inside the country, as a result of the uprising and the key role that the PMOI plays to ensure the continuation of the protests.
This could mean that we should expect more attempts by Tehran to target its opponents, particularly the PMOI in the European soil as well as the United States.
The U.S. law enforcement agencies should be lauded for foiling MOIS plot, but they need to step up their efforts to thwart almost definitive plots by Tehran in the future. The Ayatollahs are hurt and weak, which means they are more dangerous.
The United States may not want to wait and play defense to counter Iranian terrorist threats. The best defense is always a good offense. It is time for President Trump to build up even more pressure on the regime with additional sanctions and prosecution of its agents. Even more important is to stand with the Iranian people and the organized opposition as they seek the bright sunshine of a new day en route to a free Iran!
Prof. Raymond Tanter (@ProfRTanter) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Tanter is on the comprehensive list of conservative writers and columnists who appear in The Wall Street Journal, Townhall.com, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Human Events, The American Spectator, and now in Newsmax. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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