Reported by PMOI/MEK
Albania, Dec. 23, 2018 - In an interview with Albanian Vizion Plus network, Albanian Interior Minister Sandër Lleshaj talked about the reasons why two Iranian diplomats, including Tehran’s ambassador to Tirana, were expelled from the country.
“Albania is more secure today than yesterday. The international community considers the Iranian regime the main supporter of terrorism,” said Lleshaj during the interview.
“MEK isn’t a threat to us. We have welcomed them as our friends. MEK has been threatened in other countries too.”
The following are passages translated from the interview.
Reporter: We are talking about the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador and, while it’s still not confirmed, the expulsion of a commander of the intelligence service in the Iranian embassy… As far as I know, in the past 30 years, this is the first time that the Albanian government is expelling an ambassador.
Lleshaj: …It’s obvious that the two Iranian diplomats are expelled for reasons that have been revealed: national security reasons. The issue has raised much attention from the U.S. president [Donald] Trump, Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo, and National Security Advisor [John] Bolton.
This means that the decision is very important, and the Albanian government has come to it for its own national security and national interest.
You know that we have accepted the responsibility of giving refuge to a large number of Iranian citizens who were facing an imminent threat in Iraq.
Albania has accepted these Iranian citizens for humanitarian reasons to give them refuge and security. But it is known that these Iranian citizens are part of the Iranian resistance. This fact has brought part of the battle between the Iranian resistance and the Iranian government to Albania… To prevent these dangers, the Albanian government has made such a decision…
Reporter: When you put it this way, we learn that the Iranian ambassador has been the main responsible person for potentially increasing these dangers and fights. When you, as a government, have come to the point that you expel the ambassador, it means that it isn’t guesswork anymore, but fact. Is that right? We are talking about real efforts to organize incidents, attacks, and terrorist actions, is that right?
Lleshaj: Everything that comes out of an embassy, good or bad, belongs to the ambassador who has been in charge of that diplomatic mission. In this case, the ambassador is an important part of our, and our international allies’ concerns. Please understand that when we’re talking about national security matters, I can’t reveal facts…
Reporter: You mean the investigations are ongoing?
Lleshaj: Sure, no responsible government, including Albania, can base its decisions on opinions or allegations. This has been based on concrete proof in connection to potential threats to the national security.
Reporter: This must be a very important issue…
Lleshaj: If you look at the recent developments in Europe, you’ll see similar incidents where members of the MEK have been threatened by the Iranian regime’s intelligence services.
Reporter: This year, I was at their gathering in Paris and their leader Maryam Rajavi was also present and was threatened with an attack. If I’m not mistaken, two Iranian diplomats were detained in Austria. Is there a connection between these incidents?
Lleshaj: I can’t talk about the connection between them but there have been similarities between different incidents in Europe that connect them to the MEK.
So, we have signs that members of the Iranian intelligence service, under the diplomatic guise, have done things against the security of particular countries. Considering this, Albania has made this decision to prevent such actions and protect its security…