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Iranian agents in U.S. plead guilty to spying on MEK

The U.S. Justice Department
The U.S. Justice Department

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

United States, November 6, 2019—The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI made an announcement on Tuesday indicating two men pleading guilty to acting as spies of the Iranian regime on American soil. Their charges including spying on two members of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and monitoring a Jewish center in Chicago. Both measures could have led to assassinations, kidnappings and/or a terrorist attack, a hallmark of the Iranian regime’s terrorist plots abroad through the past four decades.

Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and U.S. permanent resident living in Costa Mesa, Calif., pleaded guilty Monday to one count of violating U.S. sanctions, according to court records cited by The Washington Post.

Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual Iranian-U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty back in October 8 to one count of conspiracy and one count of acting as an undeclared agent of the Iranian regime, according to court filings.

Ghorbani was arrested in August 2018, and Doostdar in September of the same year, and both were accused of spying and collecting information about Iranian opposition members Alireza Jafarzadeh and Ali Safavi in the U.S.

The FBI arrested Doostdar, 38 on August 9 in his Hyde Park-Chicago apartment, accusing him of acting as an Iranian regime agent without authorization and providing services to Tehran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The federal charges had accused the two men of being deployed by the Iranian regime to target members and supporters of the Iranian opposition PMOI. The intelligence they are accused of gathering focused on events held by the Iranian Diaspora in support of the MEK, according to an FBI agent who worked on the case.



"The government has a reasonable argument the case is all about performing services for an enemy country," said former federal prosecutor Gil Soffer, ABC7's legal analyst, back in August 2018.

The original lawsuit accused Ghorbani of pursuing covert surveillance at Washington's Grand Hyatt hotel in May of 2018. During the time the hotel was hosting an event organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities putting on an Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights that significantly angered Tehran and gained widespread media coverage.

A YouTube video of one of the speakers, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, clearly shows Ghorbani in the audience, holding up a mobile phone and filming the event, according to U.S. authorities.

“The Iranian government thought it could get away with conducting surveillance on individuals in the United States by sending one of its agents here to task a permanent resident with conducting and collecting that surveillance,” U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu of the District of Columbia said in a statement.

Doostdar is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17 and Ghorbani is scheduled for January 15 following agreements with prosecutors to plead guilty, court filings show. Both of these individuals have been in the custody of U.S. authorities since their arrest.





Recent revelations provided by Albanian authorities have also unveiled a plot by a Tehran affiliated terrorist group plotting against PMOI members in Albania. In March 2018, news reports showed Albanian authorities foiling a terrorist plot by the Iranian regime targeting MEK members in Tirana, the capital of Albania, gathering for the annual Iranian Nowruz celebrations. 

In the past few years, Albania has provided refuge to thousands of MEK members previously stationed in Iraq, where they were repeated targeted by Iranian regime proxies in Iraq. Following the transfer of PMOI members to Albania, Tehran has escalated its footprints in this Balkan country and is using its embassy carry out spying operations and terror plots against its main opposition.


These revelations by the Albanian government follow the numerous terrorist plots by Tehran against the Iranian opposition in Europe and the U.S. On this subject, the NCRI Committee on Security and Counterterrorism issued a statement shedding light on the mullahs’ recent terror plots against the MEK while providing a history on Tehran’s terror agents checkered across Europe.