NewsSpecial WireExiles warn of new offensive by Iran's secret police

Exiles warn of new offensive by Iran’s secret police

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Iran Focus: London, UK, Nov. 10 – Iran’s notorious secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), is expanding its operations in Britain, an Iranian opposition figure said on Thursday. Iran Focus

London, UK, Nov. 10 – Iran’s notorious secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), is expanding its operations in Britain, an Iranian opposition figure said on Thursday.

Dowlat Nowrouzi, who represents the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Britain, told Iran Focus that over the past several years the MOIS had developed several “cells” in Britain whose main targets were Iranian opposition activists.

“The Intelligence Ministry runs a two-pronged strategy in dealing with the Iranian opposition; On the one hand, it has a policy of assassinating leading figures in the Iranian opposition; but it also runs a very sophisticated and coordinated demonisation campaign targeting the opposition [Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK)”>”, she said.

The latter, Nowrouzi insisted, was designed to discredit the opposition movement as the viable alternative to the Iranian regime thus limiting international support for those struggling against Tehran and boosting support for the theocratic regime.

Nowrouzi, a U.S.-educated engineer who has garnered much support for the Iranian opposition among British politicians, identified two top MOIS cells in the UK as the husband-and-wife team of Iranian-born Massoud Khodabandeh and British-born Anne Singleton whom she said were in contact with Iranian intelligence officials in Tehran carrying out the orders of MOIS chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ezhei.

A small look into the backgrounds of the Khodabandeh and Singleton reveals what Nowrouzi termed their “true sinister side”.

On Wednesday, former Member of Parliament Win Griffiths announced in a statement that while he was on a humanitarian mission in Tehran’s Evin Prison last summer, he had seen Singleton walking around freely in the notorious prison, which had gained infamy as the place where thousands of opposition activists had been tortured or executed over the past 27 years.

Singleton has admitted to travelling to Tehran on several other occasions, though Nowrouzi contends she had made the trips to be briefed by senior MOIS officials on new methods to effectively demonise the MeK. Singleton along with her husband, a former MeK member, run a website called Iran-Interlink, generally viewed by Iranian exiles as a heavy propaganda organ aimed at demonising the group.

Massoud Khodabandeh has also been implicated as a veteran operative of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. According to a witness statement filed with British Courts on 12 November 2002, by his brother Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Massoud Khodabandeh was recruited by the MOIS in the mid-1990s. There are allegations that he had repeatedly travelled to Tehran and East Asia for face-to-face briefings by MOIS officials on how to tackle the MeK.

Iran-Interlink had organised a parliamentary press conference against the MeK and its leadership this morning, which was cancelled due to complaints by several MPs and human rights activists. The conference lost its parliamentary status and was instead held this afternoon at a hotel in central London.

“I think this ultimately turned out to be a disaster by the MOIS agents in Britain. Of the half dozen people that turned up half turned out to be Iranian exiles that supported the [MeK”> cause”, Nowrouzi said.

“I think it came as a shock to Khodabandeh and Singleton, who weren’t expecting to be confronted with embarrassing questions such as ‘since when have you been an MOIS agent’ and ‘how much does MOIS pay you and is it legal’”, she added.

Another blow to the Khodabandeh-Singleton duo came when Baroness Emma Nicholson who had registered the original session in her name failed to turn up at the conference, leaving the pair empty-handed in claiming political legitimacy.

Further political embarrassment for the conference organisers came when Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Chair of the Labour Peers in the House of Lords and the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Iran Freedom, issued a statement denouncing the motives of the conference. “It is incredible that those using terror at home, sponsoring and inciting it abroad should think anyone sensible in London wants to listen to them”, the statement said.

“Their wild allegations about the [MeK”> show the success of the Iranian Resistance in exposing the mullahs’ nuclear deception, their aid to those killing British troops in Iraq and their escalating abuse of human right”, it added.

Nowrouzi warned of an increasing use of British soil by MOIS entering from European countries such as Holland.

One of the speakers at the conference was Karim Haqi, who has had a history of involvement with the MOIS in Holland. In February 2002, Dutch security services warned Haqi over his links to the MOIS and for being on the payroll of the Iranian secret services involved in a disinformation campaign against the MeK.

Nowrouzi claimed their existed “irrefutable evidence” that Haqi had travelled frequently to Asian countries to meet with MOIS handlers and receive money and instructions for his operations in Europe.

Another MOIS agent at the conference was French-born Alain Chevalérias, according to Nowrouzi.

According to Iranian exiles, Chevalérias travelled to Tehran on several occasions at the expense of an MOIS front organisation called House of Labour.

House of Labour was set up and is operated by Ali Rabei, the former secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and a former MOIS deputy director.

Nowrouzi said that British security agencies had an obligation to prevent the MOIS from infiltrating British soil, cautioning that Tehran usually preceded the assassination of Iranian exiles in Europe with activities by its undercover operatives.

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