Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 24, 2019—Albanian authorities have revealed new information about a Tehran-affiliated terrorist group that has been plotting against members of Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). In March 2018, news broke that Albanian authorities had foiled a terrorist plot by the Iranian regime against MEK members in Tirana, who were gathering for the annual Nowruz celebrations.
In the past years, Albania has given refuge to thousands of MEK members previously in Iraq, where they were constantly targeted by the Iranian regime and its allies in the Iraqi government. Since the relocation of MEK members to Albania, Tehran has increased its presence in the country and is using its diplomatic premises to conduct espionage and terror plots against its main opposition.
Recent revelations by the Albanian government come against the backdrop of several other terrorist plots by the Iranian regime against the Iranian opposition in Europe and the U.S. In this regard, the Committee on Security and Counterterrorism of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) issued a statement, which sheds light on the Iranian regime’s recent terror plots against the Iranian Resistance and the background of its terror agents in Europe.
The Iranian regime's terrorist network operating in Albania against MEK members
The full text of the statement, originally published on the NCRI website, follows:
In a press conference on October 23, 2019, Albania’s Police Chief announced the uncovering of a terrorist ring connected to the Iranian regime in that country. The ring was planning to launch attacks on the Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK). Albanian security services had uncovered this terrorist ring recently.
In addition to other espionage and terrorist activities, this ring was responsible for planning a terrorist attack on an Iranian New Year (Nowruz) gathering organized by the PMOI/MEK in March 2018. Albanian security services foiled that plot in its final stages before implementation. The Police Chief revealed new details on the incident in his press conference on Wednesday.
The March 2018 event was attended by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mayor Rudy Giuliani and other European and US dignitaries, as well as senior MEK officials.
The Police Chief announced that an Iranian regime’s Quds Force operative named “Peyman” organized and directed the attack from inside Iran. He added that Alireza Naghashzadeh, an agent of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), born in 1974 in Iran, was involved in this terrorist operation. Naghashzadeh carries an Austrian passport issued to Irwin Aram, and purportedly identifies himself as a “former member” of the MEK.
The Quds Force director named above has recruited and handled other individuals formerly with the MEK and resident in European countries, for participation in espionage and terrorist operations against the Iranian Resistance.
Commissioned by the Quds Force, Naghashzadeh traveled to Albania on the pretext of visiting his mother Tahereh Zaranji and getting her out of that country. His real aim, however, was to collect intelligence for this criminal terrorist operation.
It is worth noting that Assadollah Assadi, the diplomat-terrorist, arrested for plotting to bomb the June 2018 gathering of Iranians in Paris, was the Iranian regime’s third secretary in Vienna, Austria. He has been imprisoned in Belgium for the past 16 months.
According to Albania’s Police Chief, in addition to its Iranian operatives, the Quds Force is using the services of organized crime gangs in Turkey to carry out terror plots against the MEK. To this end, an operations agent of the Quds Force, Abdolkhalegh Malekzadeh (aka Farhad), was regularly in contact with Abdulselam Turgut, a notorious criminal in Turkey.
Malekzadeh is from Saravan, in Sistan and Baluchistan Province (southeastern Iran). He was fired as the chief executive officer of Gheer Sabz (Green Tar) cooperative in Chabahar. The Intelligence Ministry assigned him to Malaysia, then to Masqat in Oman, and then to Turkey using the cover of Petropars Company.
In March 2018, two Iranian regime terrorists using the cover of journalists went from Turkey to Albania to bomb the MEK’s Nowruz celebrations but were arrested while photographing the location. In parallel to the dispatch of the regime’s agents and such former so-called MEK members as Alireza Naghashzadeh, several other members of Turgut gang were also sent to Albania to carry out the attack.
According to Albania’s Police Chief, Turgut had been imprisoned in Albania in 2011 for smuggling a ton of Heroin but used a fake passport to escape. He has also been imprisoned in Azerbaijan and Turkey for drug smuggling.
Unable to contain popular uprisings and the growing activities of young people and Resistance Units, the Iranian regime had dispatched its agents to Albanian embassies in different countries in a futile and absurd attempt to demonize the MEK.
Whatever the regime’s ploys, as security services in Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries have stated, the MEK and the NCRI are the main targets of the demonization campaign, espionage, and terrorism by mullahs’ Intelligence Ministry and the Revolutionary Guards.
NCRI’s Committee on Security and Counterterrorism urges all Iranians in European countries to provide any information on the activities of the regime’s agents to the relevant law enforcement agencies.
In its April 29, 1997 declaration, the European Union stressed that the regime’s intelligence operatives must be expelled from Europe and that no visas should be issued for those Iranians linked to Iran’s intelligence and security services.
NCRI’s Security and Counterterrorism reiterates:
Agents and operatives of the Intelligence Ministry, the IRGC, and the terrorist Quds Force must be prosecuted, punished and expelled from European territory.
The MOIS and the IRGC must be included in the European Union’s terrorist list.
The mullahs’ embassies and representations, which in reality are terror and espionage centers must be shut down.
National Council of Resistance of Iran
Committee on Security and Counterterrorism
October 24, 2019