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Members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran told Fox News Digital exclusively how far the current regime in Tehran will go to kill them, even on US soil.
“Since the start of the uprisings in Iran in 2017, Tehran has stepped up its terror plans abroad, particularly against our movement because of its growing appeal among the protesters,” said Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the US office of the National Council. of the Iranian Resistance (NCRI).
“Tehran saw the MEK as an engine for change in Iran and found the NCRI network abroad as key to building pressure against the regime.”
The Justice Department announced charges on Aug. 10 against Iranian associate Shahram Poursafi, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, for an alleged plot to assassinate John Bolton, who served as President Trump’s national security adviser until 2019. New details also showed agents allegedly targeting former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
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US officials said the plot was likely planned in retaliation for the January 2020 strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) terror-listed Qud, but members of the NCRI and People’s Mojahedin Organization (MEK) told Fox News Digital about attacks on their lives going back years.
Jafarzadeh discovered he was a prime target for the regime after seeing media reports of an indictment and affidavit related to the Trump and Bolton assassination attempt and seeing his own name as possible targets in the affidavit.
“I was already alert to the possible terror threats from the Iranian regime because only a month earlier a diplomat with bombs from the Iranian regime had been arrested, and we knew that Tehran does not usually operate on a single target, so it was expected that it planning terrorist operations in the United States,” he explained.
He pointed to three failed attempts in 2018 just to hit MEK targets, including an attempt to bomb the MEK headquarters in Albania and an attempt in July of that year to hit a meeting in Paris, after which the French authorities arrested an Iranian diplomat.
Iran’s reach extends to agents operating covertly in the US who maintain “a benign cover” to hide their connection to Tehran, Jafarzadeh said. He claimed that there are many agents of the Iranian regime who use Iranian-American cover or operate in think tanks or academic institutions.
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Ali Safavi, a member of the Paris-based NCRI’s foreign affairs committee, argues that the efforts against the counter-regime groups validate them, as it proves that the regime sees them as “existential threats.”
“The misguided policy of appeasing the medieval theocracy and turning a blind eye to the gross behavior of the mullahs at home and abroad has created a culture of impunity that has only encouraged them to spread their terrorism beyond Iran’s borders.” , Safavi told Fox News Digital. He also discovered that he was a target when the affidavit against the Iranian agents became public.
“I had seen one” [the assassins], the waiter in Orange County,” he revealed. “The restaurant where he worked was a popular outfit and frequented by all Iranians. I was in town in 2015 and went to the restaurant a few times. And on both occasions he was our server and very attentive to us. We didn’t realize he was actually trying to eavesdrop on what we were discussing.”
The would-be killer also requested a photo with Safavi when the two bumped into each other during a protest outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City in 2017.
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Both men believe that revealing repeated and ongoing efforts against former US officials and Iranian dissidents should be enough for the Biden administration to end negotiations for a nuclear deal and potentially release millions of much-needed funds for an economically starving nation that continues. to fund terrorist proxy groups in neighboring countries.
“A leopard never moves,” Safavi said. “Consistent with the Democratic Party’s policy platform, human rights should be at the heart of any policy towards the Iranian regime. The only viable and effective policy to address the brutality of Tehran domestically and the spread of terrorism abroad is to tighten and extend sanctions to deprive the regime of the means by which it supports its machinery of oppression and war.”
Critics have also used the revelation of attempted assassinations of US officials to argue that the Biden administration should deny President Ebrahim Raisi a visa, which he would need to attend the UN General Assembly in September.
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“The Biden administration has publicly acknowledged that the regime in Tehran is actively plotting to kill Americans,” Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former National Security Council official, told Fox News Digital.
“How can they issue visas to the people responsible for the plot? It would be completely in line with US law and treaty obligations to deny Raisi and his delegation visas on grounds of national security.”
Brooke Singman of Fox News contributed to this report.