The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), denounced an attempt by Iranian state agents to kidnap Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad from American soil and urged the US and European governments to undertake actions to address Iran’s kidnappings and increasingly unlawful and violent behavior as soon as possible.
This heinous kidnapping attempt is part of the Iranian authorities’ unbridled campaign to suppress any peaceful dissent by Iranians inside and outside the country who dare to criticize state policies.
Iranians will continue to be targeted by state agents if the international community—particularly countries Iran is currently negotiating with such as the U.S. and in Europe—does not address Iran’s worsening human rights record through sustained, comprehensive policies.
For decades, Iranians inside and outside the country, including activists, dissidents, and journalists, have been persecuted and terrorized by Iranian state agents for criticizing government policies, and the recent kidnapping attempt on the US soil is proof that the campaign against those outside the country is becoming more frequent.
Recently, the dissident Ruhollah Zam was kidnapped by Iranian state operatives while traveling to Iraq from his home in France, and executed in Iran in December 2020. Despite having a refugee residence card in France, Zam died as a result of France’s failure to pursue his release actively.
Iranian opposition urges all nations with citizens locked up in Iran to achieve their release as soon as possible, including German national Jamshid Sharmahd, who was kidnapped by Iranian state agents in Dubai in August 2020 and remains detained in Iran in terrible conditions and without the right to legal representation.
The BBC urged the UN Human Rights Council in June 2021 to “protect” Iranian-born employees and workers living abroad who have been harassed and intimidated by Iranian state agents; some BBC Persian employees said they had been threatened with being kidnapped from London and taken to Iran by intelligence agents.
As international negotiators work to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, addressing the Iranian government’s recklessly violent and unlawful activities should be a top priority.
This foiled kidnapping attempt should raise a red flag for US and European governments—policies and precautions must be developed to address the fact that Iranian exiles, wherever they are located, are at risk due to the Islamic Republic’s disregard for law and life.
Following hard on the heels of the conviction in a Belgian court of Iran’s own chosen terrorist, Assadollah Asadi, around 200 Iranian ex-pats have signed a joint letter to the President of the Council of Europe, Charles Michel, asking the E.U. to change tack on how it responds to Iran.
Alluding to the failed bomb attack that Assadi had planned the signatories to the letter said that may hundreds, possibly thousands of attendees at the Paris rally, organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) could have been blown up if the bomb plotters had been successful.