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An Iranian resistance group has called on European leaders to stop engaging with the current regime as Tehran threatens military action against its rivals – even on foreign soil.

Fars News Agency, affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), published an article on July 27 calling on the Islamic Republic to “put on the agenda a military operation against the MKO headquarters in Albania,” claiming that the operation would help maintain “international peace and security.”

Iran refers to the group as “MKO”.

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People wave flags during an event at the Ashraf-3 camp, a base of the People's Mojahideen Organization of Iran (MEK), in Manza, Albania, on July 13, 2019.

People wave flags during an event at the Ashraf-3 camp, a base of the People’s Mojahideen Organization of Iran (MEK), in Manza, Albania, on July 13, 2019.
(Reuters/Florian Goga)

The agency also referred to UN Charter Article 51, which describes a member state’s right to “individual or collective self-defense.”

Ali Safavi, a member of the foreign affairs committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, condemned the Fars report and called on Western allies to do more to oppose the current regime.

“The brazen threats made by Iran’s ruling theocracy against the main opposition of Iran’s Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) reflect first and foremost how alarmed the mullahs are by the growing prowess and influence of MEK-affiliated resistance units in Iran,” Safavi reports, “to make concessions to Western governments.” It is said to be a pathetic attempt at blackmail.

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“Resoluteness is the only effective strategy to combat terrorism and war beyond Tehran’s borders.”

Fars refers to the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK or MOK) as a “terrorist sect” or “terrorist sect”, but over the past two decades the group has developed healthy relations with the United States and other countries.

The United States once listed the MEK as a foreign terrorist organization in the 1970s for alleged assassinations of personnel in Iran, but the State Department changed the group’s status in 2012 after it denied violence. Since then, former Secretary of State John Kerry has visited in 2016. MEK members and former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo each met with members of the MEK group in 2022 while visiting Albania.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Jerusalem Post's annual conference on October 12, 2021 in Jerusalem.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Jerusalem Post’s annual conference on October 12, 2021 in Jerusalem.
(Amir Levy/Getty Images)

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Tehran sanctioned 61 US officials this month for supporting the MEK, including attendance at MEK events and vocal support for the group and opposition to Supreme Leader Khamenei, Reuters reported.

“The Iranian regime’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sanctioned 61 very senior former US officials, including Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and General Jim Jones … a whole host of highly respected Americans for their long-standing support of the MEK,” Safavi noted.

“Of course, the same kind of support that we see in the United States … is also happening in Europe, where many members of parliament from various European countries, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, national parliaments … have all repeatedly expressed support. There is a need to abandon the policy of appeasement and engage the Iranian people and the Iranian resistance.

Safavi argues that this more aggressive stance by the current regime indicates that leaders in Tehran fear the MEK’s “influence” within Iran itself. He said the West should start taking a tougher stance against Iran with an end to appeasement.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran March 21, 2022.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran March 21, 2022.
(Website of Iran’s Supreme Leader via AP)

“Remember, in 2018, a very senior Iranian diplomat in Vienna placed 500 grams of explosives on a commercial plane from Tehran to Vienna and handed them over to two of his agents in Luxembourg and attempted to blow up the entire annual Free Iran World. Summit near Paris.” He said the EU’s response was “just a slap on the wrist” to give Iran the courage to act so “brazenly”.

He also claimed that the JCPOA would not be effective and that the US should stop trying to resurrect a “desperate and futile” plan that Iranian officials have never stopped “cheating and violating”.

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“That deal did not permanently stop Iran from galloping toward nuclear weapons,” Safavi argued. “In fact, during the JCPOA, the Mullahs were cheating and violating their obligations.

“If Iran is interested in peaceful energy, peaceful nuclear energy, it doesn’t need to enrich uranium like many other countries. It can be imported from abroad.”