US State Department Report: Iran’s Assassinations and Terrorist Activity Abroad
A recent fact sheet released by the U.S State Department on Friday, May 22, details the Islamic Republic regime of Iran’s many terrorist activities, assassinations, and threats abroad, including the threat to kidnap journalists of Iran International TV and forcibly take them to Iran.
The report states that the regime uses its diplomats for assassination and terrorist activities:
- Multiple countries have issued arrest warrants for Iranian diplomats for the killings of dissidents and others perceived as threats to the Iranian regime and its ideology.
- Two Iranians who were assigned as diplomats at the time are among Iranian officials subject to INTERPOL Red Notices for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA community center in Argentina that killed 85 people.
- Mohsen Rabbani, the alleged mastermind of the bombing in Argentina, was the cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires with support from Ahmad Reza Asghari, reportedly a member of the IRGC, who used a position as third secretary at the Iranian Embassy as cover.
- Since 2018, Asadollah Asadi, who had been assigned as an Iranian diplomat to Austria, remains in a Belgian prison awaiting trial based on evidence that he provided explosives to bomb a dissident rally in Paris, which could have killed scores of men, women, and children.
- In March 2020, senior Turkish officials accused Iranian diplomats of ordering and coordinating the killing of Masoud Molavi Vardanjani in November 2019.
The fact sheet also mentions targeting of civil society by the regime, harassment of journalists, news agencies, and civil rights activists, including Iran International journalists:
- Besides targeting political dissidents, ethnic and religious minority leaders and activists, and foreign government officials for assassination, Iran has increasingly threatened Iranian civil society activists and journalists abroad.
- Iran leverages its well-earned reputation for extrajudicial killings to try to silence civil society through death threats against activists, dissidents, and journalists.
- In March, four UN Special Rapporteurs called on the Iranian government to cease death threats against BBC and other journalists working outside Iran for Farsi-language news outlets.
- Iran is also well known for misusing INTERPOL Red Notices to pursue political dissidents, as well as kidnapping dissidents to bring them back to Iran to face arbitrary detention, torture, and execution.
- Earlier this year, reports emerged that Iranian intelligence threatened to kidnap journalists of London-based Iran International TV and forcibly take them to Iran.