This month, U.S. sanctions are renewing on Iran as part of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the Trump administration. In light of the economic impact of these sanctions and other recent political developments in the war of words between the Trump administration and the Iranian regime, an investigation by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) was released on August 8.
In the press conference outlining the results of that investigation, Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI, noted that the regime is reacting with terrorist activities in Europe as part of its efforts to destroy the resistance and retain power.
Sanctions bring economic impact
On Monday, the first round of U.S. sanctions against Iran was renewed, putting pressure on the unstable regime. These sanctions impact financial transactions using the U.S. dollar, Iran’s automotive sector, the purchase of commercial planes, and the purchase of metals, including gold.
“We urge all nations to take such steps to make clear that the Iranian regime faces a choice: either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy or continue down a path of economic isolation,” said U.S. President Trump in a statement.
The Iranian government blames the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA for its current economic woes, including the devaluation of the rial and widespread protests, as well as increasing inflation. Others argue that the economic outlook in Iran was not improving, despite the lifting of sanctions due to the JCPOA, in large part because of the corruption throughout the regime. High unemployment and increasing poverty, as well as environmental crises, have turned the Iranian people against their government.
Investigation reveals that embassies are used to plan attacks
In light of the increasing struggles of the Iranian regime to maintain their hold on power, harassing the Iranian resistance with the goal of eliminating this threat, has become their focus and all the more so since 2016.
Several developments contributed to these renewed efforts, including the relocation of PMOI members out of Iraq, economic and social crises that have led to an increasing number of protests throughout Iran, and the end of the support of the Obama administration, which had been focused on finalizing the JCPOA and creating a more diplomatic relationship with the regime. However, the Trump administration has taken the U.S. out of that agreement and has also imposed harsher sanctions in hopes of creating change in the Iranian government behavior.
Mohaddessin revealed multiple instances of attacks planned by the regime on gatherings of members of the PMOI and the Iranian resistance, including the latest attempted bombing of the “Free Iran” rally in Paris on June 30. One of the individuals arrested for planning that attack was a diplomat assigned to Vienna. Assadollah Assadi was arrested in Germany for his part in the aborted attack. The NCRI revealed that he is involved in intelligence activities and was also in Iraq planning attacks on PMOI members in Camp Ashraf.
On July 11, the Office of the Federal Prosecutor of Germany announced that Assadi is a member of the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) and personally handed over a bomb to two terrorists in Luxembourg.
Intelligence apparatus throughout Europe
MOIS uses the embassies of Iran throughout Europe as cover for their operations. The previous chief of the Vienna bureau has been reassigned to Albania, which is where the members of the PMOI group were relocated from Iraq.
According to reports from the German government, the MOIS focuses on monitoring the Iranian opposition, in particular the PMOI and the NCRI, with the objective of infiltrating its ranks. The NCRI encourages European governments to consider expelling Iranian diplomats based on the actions of those tied to the MOIS and their terrorist activities.