Placating Tehran And Demonizing The Opposition – OpEd


It was in March when Robert Malley, Joe Biden’s special envoy for Iran’s services to Iranian mullahs came to light. He lost his security credentials and was removed from his post. Nevertheless, the trend of services to Iran did not stop there. Last month a chain of other agents of the Iranian regime at high levels of government in the United States, and also in the American press, were exposed. They were drafted by Robert Malley.

These recruiters have always encouraged the policy of appeasing Iran and crushing its democratic opposition. No doubt, this is the same policy that has gifted the Iranian regime 100 billion dollars over the past three years, this is the same policy that has encouraged this regime to create the October 7 disaster in Israel and its catastrophic consequences in Gaza. 

By creating war and external crises, the regime in Tehran is trying to find a loophole to evade the imminent Iranian people’s uprising aimed to disseat the regime.

Ken Blackwell, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, wrote in an article in American thinker of 2 October, 2023 “agents implemented by Robert Malley are part of a clandestine influence operation known as the Iran Experts Initiative (IEI) launched by Iran in 2014. Astonishingly, Malley chose to bring one of the IEI’s earliest participants, Ariane Tabatabai, into his State Department team, tasking her with helping to shape America’s Iran policy. But at the very core of the IEI’s narrative lay a fixation on the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the foremost opposition movement within Iran. IEI affiliates systematically depicted the MEK as an unviable alternative in order to diminish international support for the group; Tabatabai played a central role. Perhaps not coincidentally, around the time she started collaborating with IEI in 2014, her maiden article, “Beware of the MEK,” was crafted to discredit the MEK. She parroted regime claims regarding the group’s purported lack of popular support”.

As always over time, the truth is revealed. Those who tried to shape the American or European policies against the MEK, with their organized conferences and huge expenses, in IEI, were legionnaires and infiltrators of the Iranian regime.

Along with its warmongering activities in the Middle East, the Iranian regime has simultaneously used its proxy forces in a demonizing campaign against its main opposition, the MEK, especially in Albania, America’s main ally in the Balkans, in a different way and at a much lower cost.

To achieve this goal, in the fall of 2021, an association called Asila was formed. Those who shaped this association were a number of Albanians, close to the Iranian Embassy, who had the opportunity of enjoying a few pre-paid visits to Iran, and some Iranian nationals, close to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence  (MIOS) who introduced themselves as former members of MEK.

In July 2022, Albania’s “Special Court against Corruption and Organized Crime” (SPAK), which is supported by the United States, became suspicious of this association. It ordered the search and seizure of all communication devices of 11 Iranians members of Asila.

SPAK (Albanian: Struktura e Posaçme Anti-Korrupsion) believes that these people were receiving money from the terrorist Quds Force, the external branch of Iranian regime’s IRGC. Six of these Asila members were transferred to a closed camp for foreigners, and a number of others were expelled from Albania under the title of Non Grata. Hassan Heyrani, an affiliate of Iran’s MOIS, and the key figure of Asila, was also expelled and now lives in Greece.

According to informed people, the Iranian regime is trying to demonize its opposition in the United States and in Europe to say that its opponent is worst than itself, and therefore there is no alternative but to give in to this regime and its warmongering policies

In other countries and especially in Albania, the regime tries to provide the ground for repression, terrorism against its main opposition and achieve its elimination by demonizing them.

After the SPAK attack and the disrepute of Asila Association, and further the escape or return of some of its members to Iran, now Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence continues its evil activities in Albania by gathering the remains of Asila in a new guise called the Albanian Branch of “Nejat” Society. 

As the victims of the Tehran regime have revealed, Nejat Society is one of the main branches of the MOIS in Iran, and its main task is to suppress the families of MEK members. A report by the Library of the US Congress prepared for the Pentagon introduces the CEO of the Nejat Society in Iran, Ebrahim Khodabandeh, as an agent recruited by the MOIS.

In response to a campaign of letter writing by Nejat Society aimed to put pressure on the Albanian government to grant entry visas to spies and functionaries of the Iranian regime, under the guise of families of MEK, a number of its members in Albania wrote an open letter to the Albanian authorities. The letter read in part, “the Mullah’s Gestapo (MOIS) under the name of one of its branches called the “Nejat Society” puts the family members of the PMOI /MEK and other members of the Iranian Resistance under pressure to sign pre-dictated petitions or produce video clippings which the MOIS writes their scenarios in order to propagate propaganda and swear at us and the Albanian government 

United States and European governments should be aware that the other side of appeasement with the Iranian regime, in particular against its democratic opposition, results to nothing, but continuous domestic crackdown and the destructive wars in the region and promoting terrorism around the world. As the first and most necessary step, the intelligence and espionage agencies of this regime in US and Europe should be suspended and all its agents should be expelled.

Hassan Mahmoudi

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.

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