Iran’s human rights violations and terrorism are intertwined, and both are gaining new dimensions. Terrorism has a direct impact on human rights abuses, trampling on the victim’s right to life, liberty, and physical integrity.
In addition, over the past decades, the regime’s terrorism has destabilized many governments in the region while taking thousands of lives of foreign nationals.
The regime undermines civil society, jeopardizes peace and security, and threatens social and economic development. Examples can be seen in countries like Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Due to the regime’s interference, these countries are now suffering from many difficulties, most importantly, a lack of security.
The regime’s terrorism has a long history. It should be separated into two parts to have a clearer vision of the regime’s actions.
The first is the regime’s previous terror acts now under investigation in the different courts. And the second is the regime’s terrorist operations in 2021.
There are four active cases in this regard, which have made the headlines:
- The first case relates to the trial of Assadollah Assadi, a senior Vienna-based diplomat. He was ordered to bomb the annual “Free Iran” Summit held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris in 2018. The German, Belgian, and French security services arrested Assadi and his three accomplices, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami, and Mehrdad Arefani. The three were convicted and received 15 to 20 years of prison terms.
- The second case relates to the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi on April 24, 1990, near his home in Coppet, Switzerland. A 13-member hit- squad commissioned by the then Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian, carried out the cowardly assault. In a ruling on September 23, 2021, The Swiss Federal Criminal ordered the Federal Prosecutor to pursue this case as a crime against humanity and genocide.
- The third case is the court of a Lebanese national and a former senior Iranian diplomat at the regime’s embassy in Oslo accused of involvement in the assassination of the Norwegian publisher William Nygaard. The Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service has been investigating the attempted assassination of William Nygaard for 12 years since it resumed in 2009. Nygaard was targeted in 1993 by several fanatics for publishing Salman Rushdie’s novel.
- The fourth case is a proceeding in a court in Istanbul in connection with the assassination of Massoud Molavi in Ankara in 2019. The assassination was planned and carried out by the Iranian embassy. Although the perpetrators escaped, Mohammad Reza Naserzadeh an Iranian diplomat was determined to be an accomplice in this case, and at present, the court is investigating the assassination.
The fact is that in each case, the Iranian regime’s embassies, their staff, and ambassadors have played a prominent role in these assassinations.
State sponsored terrorism
On February 26, the Iranian regime attacked an Israeli-owned ship near the strategic mouth of the Gulf.
March 21, 2021, AP reported that Iran’s regime’s made threats against Fort McNair, in Washington D.C., and against the Army’s vice chief of staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin who lives on that base.
On April 6, 2021, the Swedish police arrested two people named Salma Khormaei and Fouad Malekshahi on charges of planning a terrorist attack in the country. They presented themselves as Afghan nationals. The Swedish security service, SÄPO, determined that their ages, nationalities, and even names were false. their real names were Fereshteh Sanaei Farid and Mehdi Ramezani and they were Iranian citizens, and both have since been arrested on terror-related charges.
On June 22, 2021, the regime’s Revolutionary Guards attacked the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Iraqi Kurdistan with drones and missiles.
On July 6, 2021, pro-Iran regime militias attacked the U.S. base at the Erbil airport. This attack came one day after the regime’s-backed Iraqi militias attacked the Ain al-Asad airbase, which houses U.S. troops and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
So far, such attacks are continuing against the U.S. forces in the Middle East while most of them are carried out by the Iranian regime’s proxy militias.
On, July 14, 2021, the U.S. Justice Department charged four Iranians for an abduction plot against Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad. Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, also known as Vezerat Salimi and Haj Ali, 50; Mahmoud Khazein, 42; Kiya Sadeghi, 35; and Omid Noori, 45, were involved in the plot, according to a DoJ indictment.
On July 15, 2021, the Iranian regime’s plot to assassinate a Kurdish political activist named Behrouz Rahimi from Diwandareh, Iran, was carried out in Sulaymaniyah on Iraqi soil.
On July 31, 2021, a drone attack on Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned, Liberian-flagged, Israeli-managed oil products tanker in international waters off the coast of Oman, killed the Romanian captain ad a British crewmember. Despite the regime’s claims of not being involved in this attack, US experts in a report released by the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said that the drones were made by Iran. The statement added that the distance from the Iranian coast to the location of the attacks was within the range of Iranian one-way attack drones.
On August 5, 2021, Musa Babakhani, a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, was abducted at a party in a hotel, tortured, and finally killed.
On August 12, 2021, the regime unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Dara Beigi, a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Ghaleh Dezh.
On September 10, 2021, two mercenaries recruited by the regime’s Quds Force were arrested in Colombia. They wanted to act against foreign traders in this country. The men were recruited by a member of the Quds Force, Assad Ahmadi, who himself had been prosecuted and wanted for terrorist acts he had previously carried out in Thailand.
On September 24, 2021, the regime tried to kidnap a former pilot who had taken refuge in Turkey. Its operatives carried out this plan with the help of the regime’s intelligence service (MOIS) and local elements in Turkey, but the plan failed.
In late November, Kenyan police announced that an Iranian intelligence officer named Mohammad Saeed Golabi and a team of Kenyan indigenous operatives were gathering information on several institutions and facilities to blow them up.
To be continued.