On Sunday, July 3, 2022, rebellious cyber activists launched a major cyber offensive against the Iranian regime’s Islamic & Relations Organization (ICRO), a subsidiary organization of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance—responsible for spreading the religious dictatorship’s regressive and medieval mindset throughout 70 countries and recruiting extremist elements for terrorist purposes.
Ghiam Sarnegouni [Uprising till Overthrow], a group of cyber activists who waged the attack, declared it took over and wiped six websites, 44 servers, 580 computers, and two automation servers. The group also defaced 15 ICRO websites to display the photos of Mr. Massoud Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance Leader, and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Meanwhile, Ghiam Sarnegouni obtained dozens of databases, including 230,000 classified documents, secret presidential directives and announcements, names of ICRO front organizations abroad, money laundering evidence, charts of the ICRO staff building, and the network of the organizations’ cross-border spies and terror cells and their monthly salaries.
What Is the “Islamic Culture & Relations Organization?”
The ICRO was officially established in 1995, tasked to consolidate all the activities of exporting extremism to various countries, especially Muslim countries, and to promote and propagate the Velayat-e Faqih [Supremacy of clerics]. This organization is key in establishing terrorist entities and recruiting fundamentalist and extremist elements.
Furthermore, the Iranian regime ensured its malign influence in Muslim countries’ interior affairs and political elites through forging “fake oppositions.” Evidence shows the mullahs have funded and organized several so-called opposition groups in non-Muslim countries in Asia and Africa by encouraging Muslim minorities.
The organization also recruited dozens of Muslim asylees in western countries, trained them, and organized them in sleeper cells. In this context, the ICRO extended a vast network from the United States to many European and Middle East countries, putting peace and security at risk.
The mullahs also used the ICRO in spreading misinformation against the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) and NCRI. In February 2019, Der Spiegel “journalist” Luisa Hommerich published a “feature” against the MEK in Albania, parroting misleading tales against the opposition manufactured by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) .
In a longstanding lawsuit in Germany, a court ruled in favor of the Iranian opposition, ordering Der Spiegel to remove the slanders or pay a massive fine to the plaintiffs. Notably, Mrs. Hommerich was one of the ICRO-aligned “journalists.”
Aside from Tehran’s misinformation campaign against the MEK in Albania, the ICRO had established a so-called cultural foundation named Saadi in Tirana. The mullahs exploited this foundation to recruit local thugs against MEK members, playing a pivotal role in a foiled bomb attack against dissidents’ rally in March 2018.
The Albanian Minister of Education, Sports, and Youth issued an order to immediately close the Saadi Foundation in the country following the expulsion of several Iranian diplomat-terrorists, including the ambassador and his deputy. Therefore, the ICRO is directly involved in terrorist activities.
The ICRO also has separate bureaus in almost all of Tehran’s embassies in Europe. In collaborating with the designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its terrorist arm the Quds Force, the organization holds religious events in different countries, identifying extremist elements to Quds Force commanders.
“The organization’s budget for this calendar year has not been made public. But the official budget for last year (March 2020 to March 2021) was 4,150 billion rials, approximately $100 million at the official exchange rate in 2021,” the MEK declared.