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Was Raid on Iran Opposition Group Tied to Possible New Biden-tehran Nuclear Talks?

The Albanian government’s raid of a camp run by the exiled Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) has led to criticism against the White House and Albania for allegedly placating the Islamic Republic of Iran – the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism.

When asked about the Albania state raid, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Digital, “By providing sanctions relief to the Iranian regime, President Biden and Rob Malley are abandoning the Iranian people and enriching their oppressors. The regime is committed to crushing its own people while spreading terror and mayhem abroad, and the Biden administration’s blind desire to appease and negotiate with it has made the world a more dangerous place.” Pompeo visited the MEK headquarters last year.

Robert Malley, who is the U.S. special envoy to Iran, is seen by some Iran commentators as a highly controversial diplomat because of his efforts to offer Iran’s regime significant financial concessions in order to reach a nuclear agreement with Tehran. Critics term Malley’s posture toward Iran appeasement politics.

Congressional representatives in the Senate and House have expressed alarm about the Albanian government’s violent raid of the MEK camp.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., tweeted: “Deeply concerned that across Europe – and especially right now, France and Albania – our allies are appeasing the Iranian regime and cracking down on anti-regime dissidents.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas., also condemned the raid in a series of tweets.

When asked about the Albanian raid on the MEK and whether the Biden administration is going soft on Iran’s regime to secure a mini-nuclear deal with Tehran, a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “We understand that on June 20 the Albanian State Police entered the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) compound in Durres, Albania to execute a court order. 

The U.S. State spokesperson added, “The Albanian State Police have assured us that all actions were conducted in accordance with applicable laws, including with regard to the protection of the rights and freedoms of all persons in Albania. We support the Government of Albania’s right to investigate any potential illegal activities within its territory.”

Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News Digital, “It is deeply concerning that Albanian officials are obfuscating truth in this situation by denying the presence of violence. These assertions only deepen impressions that there was wrongdoing on the part of law enforcement involved in this raid. I urge the Biden administration to evaluate this situation and not sacrifice justice as the result of any backroom negotiations taking place with Iran.”

Albania’s embassy in Washington, D.C., wrote Fox News Digital, “We cannot tolerate that our territory be used to engage in illegal, subversive and political activity against other countries, as has allegedly been the case with the MEK.”

The Albanian embassy said, “Pepper spray was only used in a number of limited cases in order to control the volatile situation, but at no point during the search operation physical force was used by the State Police.”

According to critics of the White House’s Iran policy, the Biden administration is going to great lengths to secure a short-term agreement with Iran that would provide at least  $17 billion to the mullah regime in exchange for temporary restrictions on Tehran’s alleged illicit nuclear weapons program.

United Against Nuclear Iran’s (UANI) chairman, former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, and CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, said on Friday, “The press reports about an ‘understanding’ between the Islamic Republic and the United States over the nuclear file are concerning because they risk legitimizing its enrichment at 60% purity, even if the product is downblended, which has no credible civilian justification.”

Lieberman and Wallace added, “This represents a collapse of the international negotiating position on Iran’s nuclear program, which morphed from zero enrichment before 2013 to now tolerating 60% enrichment in 2023. The lack of any consequences to thwart Iran’s nuclear escalation is a vindication of [Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei’s strategy and an indictment of our own.”

Former U.S. Secretaries of State, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, played a key role in the resettlement of the Iranians from Iraq to Albania.

A State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, “U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Kerry is focused on climate policy and we would refer you to the comments we’ve already provided on this issue.” A Fox News Digital press query sent to the Clinton Foundation was not returned.

Ali Safavi, a representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, whose main member is the MEK, told Fox News Digital We’ve seen this movie before, a poorly scripted and cheaply produced spectacle. It features Foggy Bottom’s repeated and failed attempts to appease the mullahs’ medieval regime. From the Iran-contra scandal of 1985, to a distorted report in 1994, to misplaced goodwill gestures in 1997, and the ill-advised quid-pro-quo involving the MEK before the Iraq war in 2003, the State Department’s narrative remains predictably and tragically the same: unjustly vilifying the Mujahedin-e Khalq to placate the murderous tyrants ruling Iran.”

He added, “These futile and unconscionable concessions have yielded no results and will not do so now or in the future. The legitimacy of the MEK does not emanate from the State Department’s preposterous proclamations but is instead deeply anchored in its unwavering six-decade-long struggle and the heavy toll it has paid in the quest for freedom in Iran.”

The U.S. State Department said it “continues to have serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, including allegations of abuse committed against its own members.” The State Department added that the White House does not consider the MEK “a viable democratic opposition movement that is representative of the Iranian people.”

Sali Berisha, the former prime minister of Albania (2005-2013) who is currently an MP for the conservative Democratic Party of Albania, told Fox News Digital there was “no doubt” that the raid was an effort to appease the Iranian regime.

“I asked in Parliament that the Interior Minister [Bledi Cuci] should resign because a man was killed and 100 people were injured, “said Berisha, who also served as the country’s president in 1990s.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sanctioned Berisha in 2021 due to alleged “involvement in significant corruption.” Blinken has barred the former prime minister from entering the U.S. Berisha has flatly denied the accusation of corruption and declared the false information leveled against him stems from the controversial billionaire investor, George Soros and the current prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama.

Former Congressman Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., accused the Biden administration of punishing Berisha because he is an ally of the Republicans and opposes the ultra-liberal Soros.

Iran celebrated Albania’s raid of the MEK camp. According to a report in the Tasnim News Agency, “What happened in Albania was actually the result of the power of diplomacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a collection of actions by different institutions.”

Tasnim is affiliated with the U.S.-sanctioned terrorist organization, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The news organization, Kayhan, which is the mouthpiece for the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, said, “The events of Tuesday in France and Albania should be clearly seen as the exemplary prowess of the Islamic Republic and the desperation of the West in its 44-year effort to confront Iran. “

The raid on the MEK camp coincides with the French government canceling a NCRI rally in July and the Belgian government releasing a convicted Iranian diplomat for a planned mass murder bombing of an MEK conference, in exchange for a kidnapped Belgian aid worker held in Iran.

The U.S. added the MEK to its terrorist list in 1997 due to its reported killing of Americans in Iran in 1970s. But by 2012 the State Department removed them from its terror list because the group renounced violence. An NCRI spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the group rejected out of hand any involvement in killing American citizens.

The group, sworn enemy of the Iranian regime, left its camp in Iraq in 2013 under a U.N.-U.S.-brokered agreement where thousands of its members resettled in Albania.

Source: Yahoo News