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Written Question From Rasmus Hansson (MDG) to Norway’s Minister of Justice and Emergency Preparedness About Iran Regime’s Threats

Rasmus Johan Michael Hansson is a Norwegian biologist, civil servant, environmental activist, and a former national spokesperson for the Green Party.

Since the start of the reign of the mullahs in Iran, they not only started the ongoing domestic repression but simultaneously started their global terror and other acts of aggression like espionage to achieve their political objectives.

For more than four decades it has been designated as the leading state sponsor of terrorism around the world by the world powers and democratic countries. It is backing terrorist organizations to further its goals.

It is also tied to the implementation of the assassinations of multiple people, including many political opponents. The regime had even intended to eliminate politicians from other countries.

Its terrorism tactics have evolved since the start of Khomeini’s reign and now expand beyond physical violence, and weapons distribution, like what we are now witnessing the invasion of Ukraine, and bombings, and include more intangible and modern methods of terror.

There is no doubt that the regime will continue to use every means at its disposal to attack everything and everyone who is opposing it and threatens its malign interests. Now it is very clear that they are using their embassies and diplomats to accomplish the attacks and espionage.

And now after the nationwide protests, future implications of the regime’s assassinations, terror, and espionage are designed for one purpose: to keep the regime secure and target everything which they believe would pose a direct threat to its survival.

In a written question submitted on December 9, 2022, by Rasmus Hansson (MDG) to the Minister of Justice and Emergency Preparedness of Norway, while emphasizing that in the government’s National Threat Assessment for 2022, PST states that Iran and other authoritarian states use their intelligence services to map and monitor people in Norway, he asked the Minister of Justice to explain what the government knows about the extent of Iranian intelligence activities on Norwegian soil, and what is being done to prevent such activities?

He added that “the governments of these countries want their political opponents not to feel safe enough to speak publicly. The purpose is to undermine political opposition or what they perceive as unwanted expressions.”

Specifically, about the Iranian regime’s terrorism and espionage, he said: “Iranian intelligence activities have a dramatic history in Norway. In October 1993, publishing manager William Nygaard in Aschehoug was shot outside his own residence, after Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini had issued a death sentence on the writer Salman Rushdie and his publishers and translators. The police suspected that people connected to the embassy in Oslo had contributed to the assassination, and in 2021 the police charged a high-ranking, former Iranian diplomat at the country’s embassy in Oslo with complicity in the attempted murder of Nygaard.”

Then he emphasized that the regime has the intention to take revenge and strike back not only against the protesters but also against its opposition outside the country.

He added: “As a result of the demonstrations in Iran, eleven demonstrators have already been sentenced to death. There is a real danger that the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei will strike back at the protesters with the same ruthless brutality as when many thousands were executed in the 80s. In recent weeks, Norwegian-Iranians have demonstrated against the regime in several places in Norway.”

In response to the concerns and warnings of Mr. Hansson, the Norwegian Minister of Justice Ms. Emilie Mehl responded:

“It is a main priority for the government that everyone living in Norway should be able to feel safe. Threats from representatives of foreign states are something I take very seriously. The justification for the representative’s question shows that he is aware that the Police Security Service (PST) regards Iran as an authoritarian state that uses its intelligence services to map and monitor people in Norway. It is part of the public mission of PST to uncover, prevent, stop, and investigate illegal intelligence activities in Norway, also regarding mapping or threatening behavior toward individuals. PST, therefore, focuses on such activities from the Iranian side. In the case of suspicion of other criminal matters from a foreign regime, the other police have corresponding responsibilities. PST and the other police follow up on their responsibilities in collaboration with other public bodies. Several ministries also work together to prevent and counteract various forms of transnational oppression in Norway.”

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