Testimony to Modus Operandi of Iran’s Intelligence in Europe

Former Agent Reveals the Regime’s Demonizing Campaign against Opposition Groups
Maryam Rajavi (L), President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), listening to Gen. Jack Keane, former Vice Chief Staff of the United States Army, during the Trans-Atlantic Summit on Iran Policy, held online on September 18, 2020, in Ashraf -3, Albania. (Getty)

An exiled Iranian opposition council released a letter sent by a former operative of the Iranian regime’s intelligence ministry to the United Nations Secretary General and other international entities, in which he disclosed the details of a demonization and terrorism campaign against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The Committee on Security and Counterterrorism of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said that it received the letter which was also sent to the UN High Commissioners for Human Rights and Refugees, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, the International Federation of Human Rights, the Friends of a Free Iran Group in the European Parliament, as well as the Minister of Interior and the General Director of the State Police in Albania.

Hadi Sani-Khani (41 years), the author of the letter, said that he joined the MEK in Iraq, after he left Iran for Turkey in 2003. He was relocated to Albania in September 2016, but two months later he decided to quit the MEK ranks, because he “could not continue the struggle,” and went to the office of the UN Refugee Agency in Tirana. He added, “Two weeks later, I went to the Iranian embassy in Tirana. For four years I fell into a trap set by the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and its Iranian embassy in Albania. During this period, I began to collaborate with official agents of the MOIS in the Embassy in Albania.”

“They used me in demonization, espionage, intelligence gathering, and reconnoitering schemes to carry out terrorist actions against the MEK,” he revealed.

In the letter, he wrote that an Iranian official insisted that he gather information about Maryam Rajavi, the chief of the NCRI, as well as senior MEK officials. The information required was specifically focused on their residence and the number of bodyguards they have. Another task assigned to him included leading a group of agents to write and publish articles on topics identified by the MOIS officials against MEK and publishing them on MOIS-affiliated websites and social media accounts.

Khani revealed more information about the regime’s mercenaries in Albania disclosing their names and roles. He provided details of the amounts of payment given to those agents along with payment methods. Moreover, he offered to testify in any court about the plans of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.

In response, the NCRI opposition group called upon Albania and other European countries to close the Iranian embassies, adding that, “the prosecution and expulsion of the agents and operatives of the MOIS, the IRGC, and the Quds Force are indispensable to countering the Iranian regime’s terrorism and espionage and preventing the MOIS from using diplomatic sites and capabilities.”

The information provided by the letter is of specific importance, especially after a Belgium court, earlier this month, sentenced an Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison over a foiled bomb plot. Assadolah Assadi, the third-ranking counselor in Iran’s Embassy in Vienna, was convicted of the attempted bombing of a NCRI rally near Paris in 2018. French officials revealed that he was running an Iranian state intelligence network and was acting on orders from Tehran.

After the court’s decision, prosecution lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier told Reuters, “The ruling shows two things-- A diplomat doesn’t have immunity for criminal acts... and the responsibility of the Iranian state in what could have been carnage.”

Investigators determined that Assadi brought the explosives for the plot with him on a commercial flight to Austria from Iran, according to Belgium’s federal prosecutor.

In an interview with Reuters, NCRI’s Maryam Rajavi said that the ruling proved that Iran was carrying out state-sponsored terrorism. She added that the EU could not remain intact/keep standing while some countries in the bloc were pushing for more dialogue with Tehran.

“The European Union and its governments must hold the regime accountable,” Rajavi said.