Iranian state-aligned media suggest military strike against resistance group on foreign soil

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An Iranian resistance group has urged European leaders to stop engaging with the current regime as Tehran threatens military action against its rivals – even on foreign soil.

The Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), published an article on July 27 calling on the Islamic Republic to “put military action against the headquarters of the MKO in Albania”, claiming that the action would help to maintain “international peace and security”.

Iran refers to the group as the “MKO”.

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People wave flags during an event at Camp Ashraf-3, which is a base for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) in Manza, Albania, July 13, 2019.
(Reuters/Florion Goga)

The agency even referred to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which grants the right to “individual or collective self-defence” of a member state.

Ali Safavi, a member of the foreign affairs committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, denounced the Fars report and urged Western allies to do more to oppose the current regime.

“The brazen threats of Iran’s ruling theocracy against its principled opposition, the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), above all reflect how terrified the mullahs are of the growing prowess and influence of resistance units affiliated with the MEK inside Iran,” Safavi said. said, calling the report “a pathetic attempt to blackmail Western governments into offering him concessions.”

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“Firmness is the only effective policy to confront terrorism and Tehran’s belligerence beyond its borders.”

Fars has called the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK or MOK) a “terrorist sect” or “terrorist cult”, but the group has developed healthy relations with the United States and other countries over the past two decades.

The United States once listed the MEK as a foreign terrorist organization for the alleged killing of personnel in Iran in the 1970s, but the State Department changed the group’s status following a rejection of violence in 2012. Since then, former Secretary of State John Kerry in 2016 has visited MEK members on a tour of Albania, and former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have each met members of the MEK group in 2022.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Jerusalem Post annual conference on October 12, 2021 in Jerusalem.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Jerusalem Post annual conference on October 12, 2021 in Jerusalem.
(Amir Levy/Getty Images)

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Tehran went so far as to sanction 61 US officials this month for their support of the PMOI, including their attendance at PMOI events and their vocal support for the group and its opposition to Supreme Leader Khamenei, Reuters reported. .

“The Iranian regime’s Foreign Ministry has sanctioned 61 former senior US officials, including Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and General Jim Jones…a host of highly distinguished Americans for their longstanding support of the PMOI” , noted Safavi.

“Of course, the same type of support that you see in the United States… is also happening in Europe, where many parliamentarians from different European countries, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, national parliaments… have all expressed repeatedly their support for a firm policy with the regime and the need for the West to abandon the policy of appeasement and engage the Iranian people and the Iranian resistance.”

Safavi argued that this more aggressive stance by the current regime indicates that Tehran’s leadership “fears the impact” the MEK is having in Iran itself. The West, he said, must begin to take tougher stances against Iran, including an end to appeasement.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on March 21, 2022.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on March 21, 2022.
(Iranian Supreme Leader’s website via AP)

“Recall that in 2018, a very senior Iranian diplomat in Vienna transported 500 grams of explosives from Tehran to Vienna on a commercial airliner to hand it over to two of his agents in Luxembourg in an attempt to detonate the entire annual exercise Free Iran World. Summit near Paris.” He said the European Union’s response was a “simple slap on the wrist” that will only encourage Iran to act “brazenly”.

He also claimed that the JCPOA will not prove effective and that the United States should abandon its attempt to resuscitate a “hopeless and useless” plan that Iranian officials have never stopped “cheating and violating”.

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“This deal never permanently stopped Iran from galloping towards nuclear weapons,” Safavi said. “In fact, while the JCPOA was in place, the mullahs were cheating and violating their obligations.

“If Iran is interested in peaceful energy, peaceful nuclear energy, it doesn’t need to enrich uranium like many other countries. It can be imported from abroad.”

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