Press release by Robert Torricelli
Legal representative of the MEK members in Albania
February 14, 2018
On Monday February 13, 2018, the television station Top Channel, in its program Fiks Fare, aired a totally distorted and false report about the democratic Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which repeated the tired and demonstrably false accusations of the notorious Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
It should concern all Albanians that agents of the MOIS were able to take advantage of the free press in Albania to spread their propaganda against the MEK and Iranian refugees in Albania. These attempts at poisoning the free debate of democratic nations are not new and what you are experiencing has occurred in the United States and Europe. While members of the MEK were in Iraq, agents of the Iranian regime used the same propaganda through media in Iraq to set the stage for their terrorist attacks on the MEK members in Camp Ashraf and subsequently Camp Liberty. During these attacks, 140 were killed and over a thousand were injured.
The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has diligently attempted to undermine relations with the refugees by false accounts of terrorism, coercion and authoritarianism. When this propaganda first began, these refugees were under the protection of the United States Army in Iraq. The charges resulted in thorough investigations which found the accusations to be totally false.
I know something about their arguments. In 2011 Secretary Clinton requested that I present evidence to counter these false charges. My argument followed a decision by the United States Courts that found no credibility in charges of terrorism. Similar processes in Great Britain, Canada and France have reached the same result. The MEK is not a terrorist organization. It is a legitimate political opposition, committed to a pluralistic, democratic and non nuclear Iran at peace with its neighbors and the world.
The MEK enjoys broad popular support in the US and Europe. It is considered to be a democratic organization seeking an end to theocracy and establishing freedom and democracy in Iran. The Iranian regime is understandably focused on the popular support of the MEK. During recent street demonstration across Iran the regime leader, Hassan Rouhani , called upon President Macron of France to silence MEK leaders in Paris. In the great tradition of French democracy, it was a plea that fell upon deaf ears.
There is growing concern in the US, including among Members of the Congress, about the increasing malign activities of the Iranian regime in the Balkans. The Iranian opposition NCRI revealed last week that the Iranian regime has recently appointed Mostafa Roodaki, a veteran agent of MOIS, as the first secretary of the regime’s embassy in Albania. It further stated “by paying money, Roodaki uses ex-members to carry out the MOIS conspiracies against the PMOI/MEK.”
I urge all Albanians including members of free press to be vigilant in defense of their freedoms and protect against all attempts to introduce propaganda and false charges into the vibrant and free speech that Albanians cherish.