On Wednesday, the Albania government announced that it had expelled two Iranian diplomats for their alleged illegal activities. These activities, according to a statement from the Albanian Foreign Ministry, threatened the security of Albania. They were also accused of violating their diplomatic status. The move occurred after talks with other countries, one of which was Israel.
The U.S. government praised the move by Albania. John Bolton, U.S. national security advisor, praised the Albanian Prime Minister, for “signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.”
In November, Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said, “Tehran’s recourse to terrorism is not a transient or tactical reaction, but a strategic outlet for it to confront the uprisings and its overthrow. Today, the regime uses terrorism to confront the Iranian people’s uprisings.”
Others have noted the increase in terrorist activities that can be tied back to Iran, including a thwarted attack on a Free Iran gathering being held in Paris.
“Over the past year, the Iranian regime has increased its terrorist activities in Europe and simultaneously, intensified its propaganda against the MEK. This clearly shows the fear of the regime from the MEK and its decisive role in the continued anti-regime protests in Iran and their desire for regime change,” said Columbian Senator Ingrid Betancourt.
President Trump Thanks Albania for Its Efforts
The Trump administration is active in trying to cut Iran’s oil and energy revenue, in hopes of bringing the regime to the negotiation table and instigating change in their behavior. The regime has been determined to maintain its influence in the region, despite the renewed sanctions and their impact on an already fragile economy.
“Thank you for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe. The leadership you have shown by expelling Iran’s Ambassador to your country exemplifies our joint efforts to show the Iranian government that its terrorist activities in Europe and around the world will have severe consequences,” said U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter released on December 14.
Albania is home to over 2,500 members of the PMOI/MEK, an Iranian resistance group that was in exile in Iraq before being relocated to Albania.
Not the First Diplomats Expelled
Although Albania has expelled an Iranian ambassador, they are not the first country to expel Iranian diplomats for their terrorist activities.
German police arrested an Iranian diplomat for his role in the summer attempt to bomb a Free Iran rally in Paris. The French government also sanctioned Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), accusing them of being behind the bombing plot.
“This extremely serious act, which was intended to take place on our soil, cannot go without a response,” said the French ministers in a joint statement. Other countries continue to foil plots that are being tied to the Iranian regime.