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Albania claims to have foiled Iranian plot to assassinate exiled dissidents

According to Albanian police, a year-long investigation led to the discovery of an active cell of the Iranian Quds Force's foreign operations unit, members of which it says are now living in Austria and Turkey.

Iranian Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Iranian Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Albanian police foiled numerous attacks last year by Iranian agents against exiled Iranian dissidents living in Albania, General Police Director Ardi Veliu said on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.

Veliu said Albanian authorities had uncovered an active cell of Iran’s Quds Force’s foreign operations unit, according to the report.

“The Albanian authorities have identified these individuals and thanks to intelligence from informants inside the criminal organizations have prevented the plan (attack) of March 2018 and the eventual planning of attacks by organized crime members … on behalf of Iran,” said Veliu.

Around 3,000 members of the Iranian exiled opposition movement, the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran, also known as Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), live in a camp near Albania’s main port.

A police spokesman told Reuters that it took a year to gather all the evidence in the case, and that Albania would seek to arrest the main suspects, who the spokesman said are currently residing in Austria and Turkey.

Albania’s Foreign Ministry expelled Iran’s ambassador and another diplomat from the country in December 2018 for “damaging Albania’s national security.”

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