Two Iranian Spies Arrested – Tip of the Iceberg?
The Free Beacon reported that Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, were arrested on August 9 and the indictment unsealed last Monday, August 20. They were charged with being Iranian spies. They may just be the “tip of the iceberg.”
The indictment charges both men with “allegedly acting on behalf of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran by conducting covert surveillance of Israeli and Jewish facilities in the United States, and collecting identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).”
The Dept of Justice website reported:
According to the indictment, in or about July 2017, Doostdar traveled to the United States from Iran in order to collect intelligence information about entities and individuals considered by the government of Iran to be enemies of that regime, including Israeli and Jewish interests, and individuals associated with the MEK, a group that advocates the overthrow of the current Iranian government.
On or about July 21, 2017, Doostdar is alleged to have conducted surveillance of the Rohr Chabad House, a Jewish institution located in Chicago, including photographing the security features surrounding the facility.
On or about Sept. 20, 2017, Ghorbani is alleged to have attended a MEK rally in New York City, during which he photographed individuals participating in the protest against the current Iranian regime. In or about December 2017, Doostdar returned to the United States from Iran and made contact with Ghorbani in the Los Angeles area. During the meeting, Doostdar paid Ghorbani approximately $2,000 in cash and Ghorbani delivered to him 28 photographs taken at the September 2017 MEK rally, many of which contained hand-written annotations identifying the individuals who appeared in the photos. These photographs, along with a hand-written receipt for $2000, were found concealed in Doostdar’s luggage as he transited a U.S. airport on his return to Iran in December 2017.
The indictment also alleges that Ghorbani traveled to Iran in or about March 2018, after informing Doostdar that he would be going to Iran to conduct an “in-person briefing.” Thereafter, on or about May 4, Ghorbani attended the MEK-affiliated 2018 Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights in Washington, D.C. During the course of the conference, Ghorbani appeared to photograph certain speakers and attendees, which included delegations from across the United States. On May 14, Doostdar called Ghorbani to discuss clandestine methods Ghorbani should use in order to provide this information to Iran.
(The indictments for both men can be found at the DOJ website).
The MEK group are dissidents that are hoping for regime change in Iran. Iran considers them a terrorist group.
Acting with impunity until now
Rep Peter Roskam (R-IL) believes that there may be far more Iranian sleeper cells operating in the United States, thanks to the Obama nuclear deal.
“This is the tip of the iceberg. This is not a surprise and this is a result of the Iran regime getting financial support from the Obama administration in the Iran deal…Iran has been emboldened by the lack of international repercussions on its malevolent behavior and may have increased its intelligence operations in America in the years since the landmark nuclear deal.” Rep Peter Roskam
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) remarked:
“I am deeply alarmed by the Justice Department’s new indictment against alleged Iranian agents. Iran’s regime has sponsored terrorist attacks against Americans abroad and our allies, and may now be seeking to target American citizens, as well as Jewish or Israeli facilities, on U.S. soil.” Sen Marco Rubio
“Iranian leaders fear the soft power of the opposition more than the hard power of foreign countries. It is likely that the Iranian regime has a much larger number of spies overseas than just those who have been arrested so far. Iran must be held accountable for blatantly violating the sovereignty of other nations through its agents and spies.” Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, – a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist. He is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a businessman and president of the International American Council.
Iran is also capable of “outsourcing” terror attacks to Hezbollah.
“They are as good or better at explosive devices than ISIS, they are better at assassinations and developing assassination cells. They’re better at targeting, better at looking at things.” Michael Pregent, a former intelligence officer who worked to counter Iranian influence in the region