Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Aug 5, 2019 - As tension between Iran and the West over the seizer of cargo ships and oil tankers by the Iranian regime is escalating, some Western intelligence agencies believe that the clerical regime ruling Iran has organized and funded sleeper terror cells across Europe including the U.K. that could attack on a green light by the Iranian regime in response to a conflict in the Gulf.
In an article titled “Iran’s ‘proxy’ terror army with cells ready to strike across West exposed” the Daily Star of UK cited a warning from the Iranian opposition group, the MEK, saying, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) - an opposition group which advocates the overthrow of the regime - warned the worsening political situation will see more use of these so-called proxies.
Other security agencies and groups have also acknowledged the existence of such sleeper cells.
Security intelligence group StratFor earlier this year detailed the spread of these forces - with Iran believed to have linked forces in at least six countries in the Middle East.
The Daily Star added that Operations linked to Iran reach deep into Europe and in the US as part of the regime’s use of “proxy” terrorist groups. And all of these are overseen by the military group known as the Quds Force, watched over by the powerful Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) which are both designated as a terrorist organization, FTO, by the US State Department.
According to an Iranian opposition official, Iran’s proxy groups have been engaged in terror acts including bombings, car bombs, missile firing and assassinations.
Shahin Ghobadi, the spokesman for the Iranian opposition MEK, warned we can see a “stepping up” of Iranian terrorist activity as the regime is “facing crises from all directions”.
Ghobadi told Daily Star that: “In this situation, the mullahs’ only solution is resorting to stepped-up suppression, more arrests inside Iran, and more terrorism and extremist measures abroad to maintain the regime’s balance and to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.
“Export of extremism, terrorism, and belligerence in the region have been a pillar of survival of the clerical regime for the past 40 years,” Gobadi added. “This pillar has complimented the other pillar, total repression, and suppression.”
“These two constitute the main pillars of the clerical regime based on the concept of 'Velayat-e-faqih', or the absolute rule of the religious leader,” according to Ghobadi.
Iran’s Quds Force under command of General Qassem Soleimani - reports directly to the supreme leader of fundamentalist regime of Ali Khamenei
The Daily Star article continues, it is estimated the force is up to 20,000 strong and is understood to be responsible for supporting and training proxy groups worldwide.
Stratfor’s analysis from earlier this year points to Iranian proxy forces being directly involved in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza.
And it marked out Iran providing material support for forces in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon.
Terror plots and surveillance linked to Iran stretch much further than the Middle East, reaching into Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
Iran seized the Stena Impero as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz (Pic: GETTY)
Iranian proxies have linked to incidents in France, Denmark, Germany, the US, Argentina, Thailand, Nigeria and more.
“Iran's embassies, intelligence networks, and proxies give it a global reach,” StratFor said in an analysis of the ongoing tensions with the US.
It is also believed Iranian proxies have been responsible for six attacks on shipping in the Strait of Hormuz amid the new tanker wars.
Oil tanker attacked by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in Gulf waters
PMOI officials also estimated they believe Iran is now linked to training foreign mercenaries as part of the proxies.
And one of the largest groups linked to the Iranian regime is the Lebanese Hezbollah, which is linked to attacks on US forces in the 1980s.
Ghobadi told Daily Star it is estimated that the Iranian regime continues to hand around $1 billion every year to Hezbollah.
“Hezbollah has played a key role in the regime’s terrorism even outside of the Middle East,” he said.
“Hezbollah explicitly confessed that Iran provides everything, from money to weapons, ammunition, food, and clothing to Hezbollah and that without the clerical regime in Iran, Hezbollah cannot continue its survival.”
Iran is also linked to the ongoing war in Yemen, with the regime believed by the PMOI to be supporting Houthi rebels who have staged numerous attacks on Saudi Arabia.
“It provides them with missiles and other weapons and equipment,” Ghobadi said.
“In addition to warfare, the proxy groups have been engaged in terror acts, bombings, car bombs, firing missiles and similar acts that result in heightened tensions in the region.”
Iranian terrorist groups have also been linked to the cyber-attacks on UK infrastructure - including on MPs in 2017 and on government email servers in 2018.
Ghobadi told Daily Star Online the rise of the proxies can be linked to the Iraq War in 2003, which “opened the doors to the regime as a gateway to the rest of the region”.
He also claimed that “until two years ago, [the Iranian regime] paid no price for its outlaw conduct” - which is helping to fuel the expansion of the proxies.
More sanctions must be placed on the leadership of the Iranian regime and they should be designated as “terrorists”, Gobadi added.
“The ultimate solution is regime change by the Iranian people and the Resistance. The West should recognize the right of the people of Iran and the Resistance for regime change and should stand on their side.
“The clerical regime has never been as weak as today, and the prospect of its overthrow has never been so close.”
HMS Duncan and HMS Montrose have been given instructions to escort all British shipping in the Strait of Hormuz amid fears of further seizures after the capture of Stena Impero.