Iran regime fears opposition’s growing strength
The Iranian authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about the rising power of the resistance against the regime both inside the country and abroad.
For example, Albania’s Special Anti-Corruption Task Force in July busted a network of Iranian regime agents and infiltrators who were actively surveilling and preparing for terrorist attacks on the Iranian resistance. Some members of the regime’s terrorist ring were detained and put under official investigation.
It is worth noting that, every summer, the organized Iranian resistance movement holds its annual gathering in an attempt to showcase a better future for Iran and to tell Western governments to end their appeasement of Tehran and instead side with the Iranian people as they call for a free, secular, pluralistic, democratic and non-nuclear Iran, living in harmony and cooperation with its neighbors and the free world.
The huge Free Iran World Summit 2022 was scheduled to convene at the Ashraf 3 camp in Albania — home to principal opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran — on July 23-24. However, a credible terrorist threat to the event, targeting the oppositional group’s leadership, was identified, meaning the rally had to be canceled. Hundreds of dignitaries from around the world were due to attend and show their support for the Iranian resistance.
The Iranian regime has used its diplomatic presence in Europe to plot terrorist bomb and assassination attacks against dissidents on the continent for decades.
Back in 2018, the regime used an active diplomat, who was in charge of its intelligence operations against dissidents in Europe, to carry explosives on a passenger plane from Tehran to Vienna and then transfer them to accomplices, who were tasked with bombing that year’s Free Iran summit near Paris. Assadollah Assadi was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court for his role in this potentially lethal terrorist plot. He is now the subject of a shameful treaty between Belgium and Iran’s hostage-taking regime that may see him released.
As well as planning such attacks, Tehran is simultaneously illegally detaining Western citizens as a form of hostage-taking in a mafia-like bid to extort concessions from weak European governments like Belgium and force them to free its captured diplomat terrorists. It is also impeding the Iranian resistance and checking the opposition’s political and diplomatic progress in Europe.
Tehran has used its diplomatic presence in Europe to plot terrorist bomb and assassination attacks against dissidents for decades.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
At about the same time as the Albania event was targeted, the Iranian Foreign Ministry published a list of 61 current and former US officials who it had blacklisted due to their “deliberate support” for the NCRI. The list included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Sens. Ted Cruz and Cory Booker.
But it is critical to point out that change is inevitable, as events in Iran and the region likely show. President Joe Biden’s earnest efforts to revive a dying agreement on Iran’s nuclear weapons program have been met with a change of tactics in Tehran. The resulting intransigence and running down of the clock have led even the most ardent advocates of the deal to admit it is likely doomed.
The Iranian people, however, are not waiting for outside actors and they have organized a nationwide network of resistance units to protest and revolt against the regime’s tyranny. They are rebelling against their leaders’ violent suppression of the people’s rights and the plunder of their national wealth for use in proxy wars and on nuclear weapons development.
As social protests take root in cities and towns across the nation and as these resistance units challenge the regime’s authority at every chance — in the marketplace, universities, offices, schools and factories, as well as in cyberspace — the mullahs become ever more desperate to strike at the oppositional group, which is the engine of resistance and political alternative to their religious fascism.
In another defeat for the Iranian regime, Hamid Nouri, one of the accessories to mass murder during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran and a former aide to President Ebrahim Raisi, who himself has been implicated as a member of the death committee, was in July convicted by a Swedish court under the principle of universal jurisdiction and sentenced to life in prison.
As the US and Europe grapple with the reality that the theocratic establishment will not abandon its nuclear ambitions and that appeasement has never worked, new global geopolitical imperatives offer further reasons to seek change in Iran.
• Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist.