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Germany charges Iranian agents with spying on opposition

Federal prosecutors said Friday that the indictment against 31-year-old Maysam P. and 33-year-old Saied R. was filed March 22 at a Berlin court. The two men’s full names weren’t given in keeping with German privacy rules.

Prosecutors say both men once belonged to the opposition group known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK.

However, they say that Maysam P. was working by January 2013 and Saied R. by August 2014 for an Iranian intelligence service and that they were tasked with obtaining information on members of the MEK and its National Council of Resistance arm in Germany and other European Union countries, the AP said.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a statement on Saturday identified the two men as Maysam Panahi and Saied Rahmani.

The NCRI’s statement said that the Iranian Resistance had announced on October 28: “Panahi and his accomplices” were expelled from Camp Liberty since April 2012. They subsequently went to Mohajer Hotel in Baghdad that is under the control of the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) and the terrorist Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Qods Force.

The statement added: “Following the disclosure about the MOIS spies last October, the MOIS compelled its operatives to write numerous articles and letters for propaganda purposes and to impose pressure on the German judiciary to try to thwart referral of the agents’ files to court and the subsequent trapping of other MOIS operatives. The websites affiliated with the MOIS and its agents ludicrously wrote that the arrest of Panahi is due to the enticement of ‘some factions and currents within the German security apparatus and judiciary’ and it is ‘PMOI’s newest scheme’ to ‘frighten other PMOI [MEK] members’. They wrote to the German Federal Prosecutor that ‘the fictitious allegation of espionage and passing on of information to the regime and security threat’ against Panahi is ‘fabricated by the PMOI’ and that ‘he is one of the thousands of PMOI victims… They tag anyone even slightly opposing this organization as a MOIS agent’. This absurd rhetoric shows the regime’s fear of the disclosure of its espionage network and operatives and its conspiracies against the Iranian Resistance.”

“Germany’s intelligence services, especially the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, have repeatedly emphasized in the past that MOIS activities in Germany target the PMOI and NCRI. It has stated that the MOIS has a systematic mandate to collect information on the activities of this organization and to infiltrate the PMOI and NCRI.”

“The MOIS tries to discredit the PMOI and NCRI through propaganda activities. Acquiring information on PMOI members, especially members that have left Iraq for Europe, is a focal point of the espionage and surveillance activities of the Iranian regime.”

The NCRI welcomed “the fact that German prosecutor has brought the case of espionage targeting PMOI and NCRI to justice and calls on the German government and relevant officials to disclose and make public the details of the case of espionage and illegal activities of the Iranian regime and its agents in Germany. This is an imperative step to prevent these criminal activities.”

“The Iranian Resistance also strongly warns of the perils of the presence of MOIS agents in European countries and the United States for the security of Iranian refugees. In particular it urges Germany and other EU member states to implement the April 1997 decision of the EU Council to try, punish and expel the intelligence agents and operatives of the religious fascism ruling Iran.”

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