The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) is deeply concerned about a recent surge in Tehran's disinformation campaign against Iran's democratic opposition, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (the PMOI/MEK), especially recent efforts to thwart the relocation process of Camp Liberty refugees to Albania.
While the Albanian government in a humanitarian effort has agreed to accept more camp residents, the Iranian regime is stepping up its plots and propaganda through spies and agents of its Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to prevent a peaceful solution to Camp Liberty crisis, since Tehran does not want the residents to leave Iraq.
Engulfed in numerous economic and political crises, the Iranian regime is eager to tarnish the image of the democratic opposition movement, the PMOI, on the international scene to pave the ground for their physical annihilation in Camp Liberty.
The Iranian regime is therefore putting pressure on the Albanian government to walk away from its admirable and bold decision to resolve this matter peacefully in order to avoid future massacres of these defenceless Iranian refugees. Tehran sees only two options for its opposition: either surrender completely or to be massacred in Camp Liberty.
The BPCIF has for over a decade raised the plight of these refugees and their lack of basic protection in camps Ashraf and Liberty in its statements as well as various conferences and meetings calling on the US, UK and the UN to act urgently according to their responsibilities and given promises. In this regard, Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the co-chairman of the BPCIF, visited Albania in 2014, and met with Albanian officials to personally convey the committee's gratitude for securing a peaceful solution by welcoming former Camp Liberty residents in their country.
The late Lord Corbett, founder of the BPCIF, highlighted these threats in a BPCIF report from 2007, titled “Spying For The Mullahs: Iran’s Agents in UK” and wrote “the MOIS has focused considerable resources in recruiting agents in Europe for use against its main opponents and Iranian refugees.”
This is a serious matter to which Interior Ministries and Intelligence Services in Europe like the German Ministry of Interior and the Dutch Internal Security Service (BVD) have drawn attention previously.
In addition, a report prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of the US Congress, in 2012, states under the subtitle “Control of media” that “The ministry (of Intelligence and Security) also engages in disinformation. The largest department within MOIS, the Department of Disinformation (Farsi: nefaq), uses psychological warfare and disinformation against the government’s opponents. This department is also in charge of employing psychological warfare to manipulate the media and to mislead other intelligence agencies about Iran’s intelligence and military capabilities … Ali Younesi, Iran's former minister of intelligence and security, reported on state television in October 2004 that the ministry’s Department of Disinformation had hired thousands of agents, including some former MEK members, to boost the department’s function.”
Both the BPCIF report from 2007 and the report by Library of the US Congress refer to Massoud Khodabandeh and his British wife, Anne Singleton.
With regards to these two individuals, the report by the Library of US Congress states that “Soon after their marriage, MOIS forced them to cooperate by threatening to confiscate Khodabandeh’s mother’s extensive property in Tehran. Singleton and Khodabandeh then agreed to work for MOIS and spy on MEK.”
Over the last decade, Khodabandeh was given a mission to focus on a defamation campaign against Iranian refugees previously in Camp Ashraf and then Camp Liberty. In this respect, he appeared suddenly as an expert on the Middle East strategy using the title to promote his anti-PMOI campaign more efficiently.
The BPCIF warns of the threats from the MOIS and the alarming consequences its activities pursued by individuals like Massoud Khodabandeh in Britian could have for thousands defenceless refugees in Camp Liberty that already have been targeted with seven deadly attacks at the behest of Tehran regime.
We urge our government to act upon the resolution passed by the European Union some years ago confirming the commitment of all member countries to take unified action to expel and prevent the entry of the MOIS’s personnel to member countries of the European Union.
British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF)
12 March 2016