Canadian-Albanian historian Dr. Olsi Jazexhi released a video of his interview with several individuals who said they had defected the MKO, but were now being framed by the terrorist group as Iranian agents sent to attack the camp near Durres, Albania's main port.
Albanian police on Wednesday claimed that they had foiled planned attacks by Iranian agents against the MKO, but several former members of the group have come forward to reveal that they are the real individuals being accused of the plot.
Since 2014, some 3,000 MKO members have settled in a camp in Albania after being transferred by the US from Iraq. Earlier this week, Albanian authorities claimed that they had discovered an active cell of the Iranian Quds Force and prevented their "plan of March 2018" to attack the camp.
In March 2018, two people were held in Albania but set free for lack of evidence. At the time, an opposition leader denounced the announcement as a ploy by Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama to divert attention from Tirana’s failure to start entry talks with the European Union.
The accusation was similar to those made against Iran in Europe, including by France in October 2018 which accused Tehran of plotting to attack an annual MKO rally outside Paris.
The timing of the accusations was suspicious. They came as European governments apparently sought to save a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran after the US abandoned the agreement.
From the outset, Tehran vehemently dismissed the claims as false flag operations, while those detained in connection with the alleged plots were released later due to lack of evidence.
Jazexhi, who carried out the interview, explained that a “cold war” is underway in Albania between former MKO members and the ringleaders of the terrorist organization.
Jazexhi, who specializes in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe, described those speaking in the interview as former terrorists who have abandoned terrorism against Iran and decided to lead a civilian life.
He has already aired a TV show called the “Opinion” in Albania, which said the MKO runs its own secret service in the impoverished European country, and that it spies on former members of the organization who live there.
A former member of the MKO in the video, labelled as an agent of Iran, is heard saying, “I don’t want to fight anything, any side. I want my own life, personal life, civilian life and I don’t want to fight."
"For this reason, the MKO does not want us to live here. They put pressure on us to leave this country because if another member in the MKO comes out for anything or any work and see us we have a free [life], maybe they want to come out and have a free life. For this they make fake news against us, accuse us of being agents and mercenary of Iran,” the man says.
Last year, Albania expelled two Iranian diplomats suspected of “involvement in activities that harm the country’s security.”
Iran denounced the expulsions, saying Albania has fallen prey to a scenario fabricated by the US and Israel and certain terrorist groups.
The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community. Its members fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq, where they received support from then dictator Saddam Hussein.
The notorious outfit has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials for several decades.
In 2012, the US State Department removed the MKO from its list of designated terrorist organizations under intense lobbying by groups associated to Saudi Arabia and other regimes adversarial to Iran.
A few years ago, MKO members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former US military base in Baghdad, and were later sent to Albania.
Those members, who have managed to escape, have revealed MKO's scandalous means of access to money, almost exclusively coming from Saudi Arabia.
The MKO terrorist group specified the targets as Major General Qassem Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Iranian Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.
The terrorist organization said it would “welcome” their assassination, adding that it desired for the ranking officials to “join” Asadollah Lajevardi, Tehran’s former chief prosecutor, and Ali Sayyad-Shirazi, a former commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces during Iraq’s 1980-88 war against Iran.
Earlier in June, a leaked audio of a phone conversation between two members of MKO, revealed Saudi Arabia has colluded with the MKO elements to frame Iran for the recent tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf.
In the audio Shahram Fakhteh, an official member and the person in charge of MKO’s cyber operations, is heard talking with a US-based MKO sympathizer named Daei-ul-Eslam in Persian, IFP news reported.
In this conversation, the two elements discuss the MKO’s efforts to introduce Iran as the culprit behind the recent tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf, and how the Saudis contacted them to pursue the issue.
“In the past week we did our best to blame the [Iranian] regime for the (oil tanker) blasts. Saudis have called Sister Maryam (Rajavi)’s office to follow up on the results, [to get] a conclusion of what has been done, and the possible consequences,” Fakhteh is heard saying.
“I guess this can have different consequences. It can send the case to the UN Security Council or even result in military intervention. It can have any consequence,” Daei-ul-Eslam says.
Attacks on two commercial oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, and an earlier attack on four oil tankers off the UAE’s Fujairah port on May 12, have escalated tensions in the Middle East and raised the prospect of a military confrontation between Iran and the United States.
The US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have rushed to blame Iran for the incidents, with the US military releasing a grainy video it claimed shows Iranian forces in a patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the side of a Japanese-owned tanker which caught fire earlier this month.
It later released some images of the purported Iranian operation after the video was seriously challenged by experts and Washington’s own allies.
The MKO which is said to be a cult which turns humans into obedient robots, turned against Iran after the 1979 Revolution and has carried out several terrorist attacks killing senior officials in Iran; yet the West which says cultism is wrong and claims to be against terrorism, supports this terrorist group officially.
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the MKO began its enmity against Iran by killings and terrorist activities.