NCRI – ‘Lies and Spies’ is the title of a new informative report on the Iranian regime’s activities against its main democratic opposition.
This is a well-researched paper produced by Mr. Struan Stevenson and his team, showing that the recent uprising in Iran has intensified the anger of the mullahs who are carrying out a massive misinformation campaign to demonize the opposition, the following is an introduction to this report.
The uprising in Iran intensifies the anger of the mullahs against the opposition
The social protests that began twelve months earlier swept across Iran in a nationwide uprising in December 2017. In a short period, over 140 Iranian cities became the scene of confrontation between protesters and government forces.
According to regime officials, the offices of the 60 Friday prayer Imams, representatives of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the axis of suppression and looting in each region, were burned by the people. Many of the Basij militia and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) centres were invaded by students and mainly young protesters.
Regime officials quickly acknowledged that the main opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK) had played a key role in launching the nationwide protests and anti-government demonstrations. According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), on 2 January 2018, President Hassan Rouhani called President Macron and asked him to take action against the Paris-based Iranian opposition, which he accused of fomenting the recent protests. President Macron rejected his demand.
On 9 January 2018, Ayatollah Khamenei, said the PMOI had organized the uprising, and implicitly threatened to execute the protesters.
Brutal suppression in response to the uprising
The regime has been able temporarily to halt these uprisings only with repression and mass arrests, although smaller protests have continued. The recent uprisings throughout Iran show that the people are sick to death with the theocratic dictatorship. They long for freedom, justice, democracy and the rule of law, but the IRGC and its cohorts have met their protests with the usual brutal crackdown. More than 8,000 mostly young protesters, many of them women, have been arrested. At least fourteen have been tortured to death.
On 8 February, regime officials announced that Dr Kavous Seyyed Emami, a prominent environmentalist, had committed suicide in prison. He was arrested 15 days earlier on 24 January 2018 on absurd charges. Meanwhile, coinciding with the visit of a European Parliamentary delegation to Iran in February, arbitrary and summary executions have resumed. On 14 February, 10 prisoners were callously hanged in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj.
Conspiracy in Albania, the flipside of internal suppression
The flipside of the suppressive measures of the Iranian regime inside the country is the increasing plots against members of the PMOI in Albania. The organized and safe transfer out of Iraq of the last of these refugees in 2016, many of whom were provided with sanctuary in Albania, provoked rage and frustration in Tehran, which saw its original plans to annihilate the PMOI foiled.
The formerly tiny Iranian embassy in Albania has now been transformed into one of the regime’s largest embassies in the region. In early 2016, as the PMOI members were being transferred to Albania in groups, Tehran quickly sent a new ambassador, Gholam Hossein Mohammadnia, to Albania. Mohammadnia is a former high-ranking intelligence official and was also a member of the Iranian nuclear negotiations team before accepting his latest appointment in Albania. His main mandate in Tirana is to continue to implement the regime’s malign plots against the PMOI.
Recently, another senior intelligence official, Mostafa Roodaki, has joined him as First Secretary. The cultural attaché of the embassy, Ahmad Hosseini Alast, is a senior official at the Organization for Islamic
Culture and Communication, a major body responsible for the export of terrorism and fundamentalism. It has become quite clear that the main mission of the embassy and all its personnel is to conspire against the PMOI.
As part of this policy the Iranian regime has set up official or unofficial intelligence and surveillance stations in the Balkans. In addition, the regime is trying to expand its influence in that country by dispatching an unprecedented number of delegations under the guise of cultural or religious activities.
In this report we will look into the activities of Iranian intelligence services aimed at damaging and demonizing the democratic opposition movement with focus on Albania.