By Iran Probe staff
During the recent years, the Ministry of Intelligence of the Iranian regime (MOIS) has shown that it uses local elements of the countries to advance its terrorist and espionage purposes against the Iranian opposition in different countries. It is said that one of the said elements in Albania is a person named Dashamir Mersuli.
He officially visits Iran upon invitation by an organizations related to the MOIS. The American company Microsoft, investigating the cyber-attack against Albania, introduced him within the group of persona who amplified the hackers of the Iranian regime in attacking the digital infrastructure of Albania. A former collaborator of the MOIS and Iranian embassy in Albania, Hadi Sani Khani says that this person started cooperation with the MOIS by registering a cover cafe under his name in Tirana for receiving 200 euros per month. But now he is introduced as the head of “Association for the Support of Iranians Living in Albania” (Asila), which was launched by the Iranian regime’s MOIS. By the account of the members of the democratic opposition of Iran in Albania, this person is serving the purposes of demonization, espionage, and terrorism campaign of the Iranian regime against the democratic opposition that seeks democracy and freedom for its people.
Director of Asila Association
Dashamir Mersuli is introduced as the director of Asila Association. Asila Association is a branch of the MOIS, which was founded by Hassan Heyrani, who is known to be an Iranian regime intelligence agent, under the cover of Asila. After the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador from Albania in November 2021, the purpose of MOIS was to follow the espionage and terrorist activities of the regime embassy in the guise of a local institution.
Dashamir Mersuli, who was introduced as the director of Asila, says that the purpose of this association according to its status is only cultural activities and we have nothing to do with politics, as he said in the beginning of 2023 in a message published by the portals affiliated to the MOIS: ” Asila strives for cultural interactions between the two countries of Albania and Iran.”
However, all the activities of Asila and Dashamir Mersuli as its director are focused against the Iranian Mojahedin refugees in Albania. The truth is that using the cover of activity to establish cultural relations between the two countries is one of the well-known tactics of the MOIS for espionage and terrorist activities.
Iran Probe’s research shows that the objectives of the MOIS in Albania, which is being promoted through its agents and Asila, are:
• Spreading lies and rumors in the Albanian society in favor of the Iranian regime and creating a psychological war against the MEK by participating in TV programs in Albania through buying programs and monetary contracts.
• Setting up photo exhibitions, book stalls and distributing brochures in various communities against Iranian refugees in Albania.
• Espionage and intelligence collecting against Iranian refugees in Manez, Durres.
Of course, these activities provide the ground for the main goal of the Iranian regime, which is a terrorist attack on the MEK.
Running a hangout for the MOIS agents
Hadi Sani Khani, who worked with the MOIS in Albania for 4 years, has published a report on the activities of the Iranian regime that he witnessed in Albania. Sani Khani was a member of a group of agents whose leader was Hassan Heyrani. Sani Khani writes in his report about the establishment of a gathering center under the guise of a cafe called Franck, which is registered under the name of Dashamir Mresuli.
“Hassan Heyrani paid 500 Euros per month for the Cafe Franck which was in Fresco area in Tirana. Because Hasan Heyrani could not legally open a café, he had hired some natives of Albania for his administrative work by order of the MOIS. One of them was “Dashamir Mersuli”. He was from Korca region. His financial situation wasn’t good and the MOIS is taking advantage of his weakness.”
Because we didn’t have a bank credit card or citizenship card in Albania to be able to have a job, so the best person who had these abilities was Dashamir; And we were able to get the “Cafe” by his name so that he can do the support and administrative works. Dashamir had no specific income or a job, so he agreed to register the café under his name, giving it a legal cover for 200 euros per month. All expenses of “Cafe” are under the responsibility of the MOIS, which is paid through Hassan Heyrani. The main use of the cafe was to implement the orders of the MOIS that Hassan Heyrani was following. Hassan Heyrani also introduced Dashamir as his lawyer. In many trips and meetings that Hassan Heyrani went, he took Dashamir with him.
Because Dashamir had economic problems, Hassan Heyrani helped him and his family in different ways on the order of the MOIS. The MOIS had said that if the “Cafe” is closed for any reason, he will be is paid money on monthly basis and he will not face any problems in this regard. During the covid-19 pandemic we were in quarantine for three months and the cafes were closed in Albania for three months, but Dashamir’s monthly money and the rent for the “cafe” were paid.
MOIS handy man
Hadi Thani Khani explains in his report that Dashamir Mersuli had multiple uses for the MOIS, considering that he put his entire family at the disposal of the MOIS. He writes:
“Dashmir had many friends and acquaintances. The MOIS had stressed to Hassan Heyrani that not to burn Dashamir in any way and to use him as a lawyer to solve the illegal activities of the other agents. ‘Miranda’ the wife of Dashamir is a kindergarten teacher. Hassan Heyrani visits their house and uses their cover. For example, in order to collect intelligence on Ashraf 3, Dashamir and his wife and daughter accompanied Hassan Heyrani under the guise of passing Ashraf going to the seaside. While Hassan Heyrani was the driver, Dashmir’s daughter took pictures and recorded videos in front of Ashraf 3… Wherever Hasan Heyrani or another agent got stuck, Dashamir would come in to solve it. Hassan Heyrani did not know the laws of Albania, based on Dashamir’s instructions, he continued his wrongdoings, and wherever he got stuck, Dashamir was tasked with sorting out those issues.
Heyrani often went to the Korca region where Dashamir was born, which was near Macedonia. He went there for a few days in November 2018 and June 2019. In June 2019, he went to the territory of Macedonia and met with people, but he did not tell us anything about it. But indirectly, I found out that he went to Macedonia under the guise of travel using Dashamir’s family to fulfill an appointment with MOIS”.
When the above report was written by Hadi Thani Khani, the MOIS had not yet launched the Asila Association managed by Dashamir Mersuli. According to Asila’s Facebook, most of Dashamir Mersuli’s services for the MOIS are now carried out under the cover of the head of Asila Association.
Whitewashing “Batol Sultani” dangerous agents of the Iranian regime
The MOIS tried to bring its agents and terrorists into Albania using Hassan Heyrani and also under the guise of Asil. However, some of them were identified by the police in Albania. For example, on August 1, 2022, Balkan Web reported that the Albanian authorities at Rinas airport refused the entry of two agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, Batul Sultani and Afshin Kalantari, and returned them to Germany.
Qëndruan për 72 orë në aeroportin e Rinasit/ Si iu ndalua hyrja në Shqipëri dy iranianëve. U deportuan në
After this event, MOIS sent Dashamir Mersuli to Germany along with his daughter to meet Batul Sultani and Afshin Kalantari. An act that had no sign other than that the MOIS is trying to whitewash its agents by using an Albanian citizen and his daughter. The website of Nejat association, one of the branches of the MOIS, wrote on Wednesday, August 19, 2022:
“…Mr. Dashamir Mersuli, who was very sad and affected by this, went to Germany with his daughter as a translator to meet these two guests and at the same time Presenting gifts to them, Asila apologized for the behavior of the police in his country and promised that he will not leave this issue unanswered”.
Afshin Kalantari and Batool Sultani are agents who went to Iran together on December 25, 2006 from TIF (a facility under the control of American forces at Ashraf in Iraq) with a prior appointment with the MOIS. In less than 3 weeks, Batool Sultani returned to Iraq after obtaining a passport from the MOIS to carry out a mission against the MEK, and Afshin Kalantari joined Nejat association affiliated to the MOIS.
Colonel Leo McCluskey, one of the US officers responsible for the protection of Ashraf from 2008 to 2009 in Iraq, said in his speech on March 24, 2012, at a large gathering in Paris about Batool Sultani as an agent of the Quds Force,000000000000000000ita “She went to Iran from Ashraf. Within a month or two after she left, I got a frantic call in the middle of the night from one of our police stations outside of Ashraf saying that Ms. Sultani was back in Iraq with an Iranian passport…. She was there at the behest of the Quds Force as an agent of the Iranian government.”.
Travel mission to Iran
From June 9, 2022, the MOIS called Dashamir Mersuli and two other local agents in Albania named Gjergji Thanasi and Vladimir veis to Iran for further instructions. It was just after this trip that the activities of Dashamir Mersuli noticeably increased against the Iranian refugees living in Ashraf3.
Their mentor in Iran is Ebrahim Khodabandeh, who was introduced as the managing director of Nejat Association. Nejat Association is a branch of the MOIS, which is under the responsibility of Ebrahim Khodabandeh. A report prepared by the US Library of Congress for the Pentagon reveals that Ibrahim Khodabandeh in Tehran and his brother and his brother’s wife in London are hired agents of the MOIS. Ebrahim Khodabande took the local Albanian officials on a tour in the provinces of Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran.
In each province, they held a joint meeting with the local agents of MOIS and the Nejat Association. On their return to Albania, Mersuli immediately went to Hassan Heyrani, MOIS’s top operative in Tirana, to report the orders given by MOIS.
The website of Nejat Association wrote a report on the trip of Dashamir Mersuli and two other agents to Iran:
“At the invitation of the executive director of the Iran Nejat Association and on behalf of the families of the members of the People’s Mojahedin in Albania, the Albanian officials of the Association for the Support of Iranians Living in Albania (ASILA), who are Mr. Dashamir Mersuli, Gjergji Thanasi and Vladimir Veis, arrived in Tehran on Thursday, June 18, 2022, and directly they left for Isfahan”.
The letter below is the invitation of Nejat Association from Gjergji Thanasi and his friends to go to Iran. It is said that Gjergji Thanasi is the local agent of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence in Albania, and this letter shows that before going to Iran, Thanasi was more important than Mersuli for the MOIS. In this letter, Nejat Association, which is a branch of the MOIS, thanks them for their activities in Albania against the Iranian Mojahidin refugees in Manez.
After returning from Iran, Dashamir Mersouli writes a thank you letter to the Nejat Association and tells the agent of the MOIS, Ibrahim Khodabande, in his letter:
“We are committed to presenting the Iranian miracle that we saw and felt during our trip there in Albania.
Allow me, Mr. Khudabandeh, our group learned a lot from your experience, the community organization you lead, your maturity and nobility. We believe that cooperation with you will be continuous, constructive, vital and fruitful.”
The pleasing expression of devotion that Mersuli shows towards this MOIS agent shows that after returning from Iran, Mersuli’s importance to the Iranian regime has become more important than Gjergji Thanasi.
Dashamir Mersuli and Gjergji Thanasi who are reportedly paid by the Iranian regime to disseminate falsehood against MEK are the in the company of several Iranian MOIS agents in Tirana.
Left: front to back- Dashamir Mersuli, Rahman Mohammadian (expelled to Greece), Reza Eslami, Ali Hajari (recently released from Karrec detention center), Reza Mezgi, Musa Damroodi.
Right: front to back- Gjergji Thanasi, Khalil Ansarian, Bagher Mohammadi (MOIS has transferred him to Iran), Hassan Shahbazi (Currently in Karrec detention center as an undesirable person), Parviz Heydarzadeh(MOIS has transferred him to Iran), Mansour Barahooie.