Now, as US sanctions on Iran begin to bite, grinding the already failing economy to a near standstill, it looks like the MEK have a very strong chance of overthrowing the Regime, especially with an angry populace calling for regime change in the streets during MEK-led protests.
The beauty of this is that the MEK will be able to do this without US military support, which is good for many reasons. Most importantly, it showcases that regime change in the will of the people, not a foreign power.
But the Regime is terrified of losing power and has attempted to launch large-scale attacks on the MEK in foreign countries at least three times in 2018 alone; one in Albania, one in France, and one in the US.
Surveillance and Plots
The Regime has frequently sent its intelligence agents to Albania to discredit the MEK, after some 3,000 MEK members were given refuge in the country after facing violent persecution from the Regime in Iran and their proxies in Iraq, but in March, during the Iranian new year celebrations, they went one step further.
The Regime sent its agents, disguised as journalists, to the MEK camp in Albania, where they began filming without permission. This was likely one of the first steps in a surveillance operation that would have given the Regime information about the MEK camp that would later be used to attack the MEK members there. Thankfully, the agents were caught by security guards and the attack was thwarted.
This is not unlike the case of the two Iranians that were arrested for spying on the MEK in the US in August. Majid Ghorbani went to a MEK rally to take pictures of and gather information about MEK members in the US, which he then passed on to Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, who planned to take the information back to the Regime.
While in June, the Iranian Regime attempted to bomb the Free Iran Gathering 2018 in Paris; an annual event held by Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is its biggest group. This event is routinely attended by over 100,000 people and hundreds of diplomats and politicians from the US, Europe, and the Middle East.
Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who was stationed in Vienna, recruited two Iranians living in Belgium and gave them the explosives to bomb the MEK rally. Thankfully, European intelligence was already aware of the plot and arrested the would-be bombers in Belgium and Assadi in Germany. Those three and another man arrested in France are set to be tried on terrorism charges in Belgium.
In response, France has said that the Regime’s intelligence ministry ordered the attack on the MEK, frozen the assets of Assadi and another intelligence official in France, called back their diplomats from Iran, and refused to appoint a new Iranian diplomat to France.