Albania expelled two Iranian diplomats because of their “involvement in activities that harm the country’s security” and for “violating their diplomatic status,” Albanian authorities declared on Wednesday.
One of the expelled diplomats, the Iran regime’s ambassador to Albania, Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, was involved in terrorist plots against Iran’s opposition members in Albania. He is a well-known agent of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He was appointed to the regime’s embassy in Tirana shortly after MEK members were relocated from Iraq to Albania.
In the past year, the Iranian regime has made several terrorist attempts against the Iranian opposition and dissidents abroad. In March, Albanian authorities foiled a bombing plot against the New Year celebration of PMOI/MEK members in Tirana, Albania’s capital.
In June, European authorities stopped another bombing plot, this time against the annual gathering of the Iranian dissidents and NCRI supporters in Paris. Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat based in Vienna, who was arrested in Germany and subsequently extradited to Belgium where he is being tried for his crimes, was directly involved in the terror plot and had personally delivered explosives to the hit team.
In August, U.S. authorities arrested two individuals who were spying on MEK members on behalf of the Iranian regime.
In October, Danish authorities discovered and thwarted another terror plot by the Iranian regime that was aimed at Arab dissidents.
The U.S. President’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, said the Iranian ambassador’s expulsion from Albania was due to “Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe” signalling to the regime’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated.
Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, 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.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) December 19, 2018
While commending the move, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said three Iranian plots have been thwarted this year alone by the European Nations, reminding the broader threat of Tehran’s foreign terrorism. He called on the world leaders to “stand together to sanction Iran’s regime.”
I commend PM Edi Rama’s expulsion of two Iranian agents who plotted terrorist attacks in #Albania. European nations have thwarted three Iranian plots this year alone. The world must stand together to sanction #Iran’s regime until it changes its destructive behavior.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 19, 2018
The Iranian opposition has been warning about the Iranian regime’s uptick in terrorist activities since the turn of the year. On Saturday, an interactive conference of the Iranian communities in 42 cities across Europe, North America and Australia hosted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) urged the international community to take a firm stance toward the Iranian regime’s intensifying global terrorism.
“All of Iran’s wealth is being spent on terrorism and terror groups and all the while the Iranian people are in the worst possible economic conditions,” former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who spoke at the event, said. The Iranian embassy in Albania has doubled its size, Kennedy warned, adding all of Iran’s embassies in Europe are involved in terrorism.
“The Iranian regime is very active in Albania, especially in malign measures,” said former Albanian defense minister Fatmir Mediu at the conference. “Tehran is spreading lies, especially through its embassy in Tirana. The more they adopt such measures, the more they prove how terrified they are of the PMOI/MEK.”