Weaker than at any time since the 1979 revolution, the Iranian regime is like a dangerous, wounded animal, lashing out in an effort to preserve its existence. Its economy broken and reeling from the twin blows of courts in Belgium and Sweden sentencing its agents to long terms of imprisonment for terrorist offences and crimes against humanity, the mullahs are in meltdown. The relentless rise of the main opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran/Mojahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), whose resistance units are now burgeoning in towns and cities across Iran, has terrified Iran’s Supreme Leader – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his hard-line president – Ebrahim Raisi, known as the butcher of Tehran. Realizing that the PMOI/MEK was about to stage an international rally at Ashraf 3, their headquarters-in-exile in Albania, Khamenei and Raisi dispatched a team of trained assassins from the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and its terrorist Quds Force, to carry out a large-scale attack on the convention. Fortunately, Albania’s intelligence service and their international partners from the USA, intercepted several coded messages about the planned attack and the Albanian government advised the summit should be postponed on security grounds. 

Four of the regime’s agents were stopped from entering Albania at the international airport in Tirana. All four were expelled. Earlier in July, the Albanian authorities had raided the homes of 11 MOIS agents, confiscating their computers and cell phones and interrogating them for ten hours. The latest crackdown on the theocratic regime’s terrorists in Albania follows the expulsion of the Iranian Ambassador and First Secretary in December 2018, by Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama. They were listed as personae non gratae for endangering the security of the state by plotting bomb outrages from within the Iranian embassy. It also follows the sentencing to 20 years imprisonment in Belgium of an Iranian diplomat - Assadollah Assadi, and his three co-conspirators, for plotting a bomb attack on another major opposition rally in Paris in June 2018. When police searched Assadi’s car, they discovered a notebook recording the names and contact details of 289 MOIS agents and mercenaries, many of them listed as official Iranian refugees. 144 of them live in Germany.

Frustrated at their inability to cause terrorist carnage in Albania, the mullahs resorted to their traditional ploy, demonizing the opposition. The MOIS maintains a bank of helpful journalists and lobbyists in the West that it unleashes at times of crisis to demonize the PMOI/MEK with outrageous accusations and denunciations. The Western media who accept clandestine payments or other inducements from the mullahs’ fascist regime to publish such fabrications should hang their heads in shame, but sadly many well-known newspapers and TV channels still do. It is a sad fact that there are journalists today who ignore the truth, preferring instead to abuse, traduce and vilify the men and women of the PMOI/MEK who have given up their professional careers and family lives to devote themselves to the cause of ending oppression and tyranny in Iran.

The demonization machinery is still at work, and it seems as if the propaganda campaign is designed, not to fool the Iranian people, but the Western media, who often report regime talking points without even investigating them. The MOIS oversees spreading false rumours and fake news against the PMOI/MEK and it does so by employing ‘disinformation agents’ who are recruited from the opposite ends of the spectrum. Some had purposely infiltrated the PMOI/MEK to gain insider information before leaving, while others were former members of the PMOI/MEK who either departed of their own accord or were expelled from the organization. Those who were expelled were then pressured into joining Iran’s intelligence agency through bribery and coercion, with their family members being threatened with jail time if the former PMOI/MEK members refused to cooperate. 

In Albania, the renewed demonization campaign took the form of a series of crude and unsophisticated allegations of theft, drug trafficking and money-laundering, libelled against named PMOI/MEK individuals from Ashraf 3. Faked official documents, supposedly signed by the public prosecutor and senior police officers, were distributed to the media, but were quickly exposed as fraudulent by the Albanian authorities. Albania’s intelligence services raided a café in Tirana which has become a known meeting place for PMOI/MEK dropouts from Ashraf 3, who were subsequently recruited by the MOIS. The café in Tirana is also the address of the ASILA Association, an ‘NGO’ financed by the Iranian regime. A known MOIS agent called Hassan Heyrani, who was kicked out of the PMOI/MEK in Ashraf 3, has been the source of several outlandish press reports following media interviews with Western journalists in the same café.

The exposure of attempts by the Iranian regime to commit a terrorist outrage in Albania should be a wake-up call for Western appeasers who continue to mollify the mullahs. The theocratic regime’s mercenaries in Europe who have posed deceptively as refugees, should have their passports and EU citizenship revoked. Known agents from the MOIS and Quds Force should be arrested, prosecuted and expelled and Iran’s network of embassies, which they use as bomb factories and terrorist cells, should be closed down and their so-called diplomats banished.