An association called ASILA, which is said to have been set up by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) in Albania, regularly advertises the logo and flag of another organization in Iran called “Nejat Society” as its partner in its various activities. According to expert research, “Nejat Society”, as one of the MOIS branches, is an accomplice in the regime’s terrorist attacks outside Iran, and suppressing the family members of the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI-MEK) inside Iran. However, the “Nejat Society” introduces itself as an organization working for the rights of the PMOI members and their relatives to join together.
What is the “Nejat Society” in reality and why Albanian public must be careful about this branch of the Iranian regime’s secret service in Albania?
Iran Probe has previously reported on “Nejat Society” in length. The following topics will be additionally discussed here in short:
• The history of Nejat Society,
• Nejat Society and its supplementary bodies in Iraq and Albania (the MEK members were the target for terrorists of Iranian regime in Iraq before arriving in Albania).
• Nejat Society is a MOIS entity, as expressed by American and European sources
The Nejat Society was founded in 2001 in Iran by Ali Younesi the then Minister of Intelligence, with the aim of suppressing families of the MEK in Iran.
The first cell of the Nejat in Iran consisted of agents of the Quds Force and the IRGC who had been sent to infiltrate ranks of MEK in Ashraf I in Iraq. After these agents were disclosed, they were expelled from Iraq to Iran and the Iranian regime used them as the MEK ex-members and founded the Nejat Society. Some of them, upon completion of their mission, they killed the MEK members who were with them and then escaped to Iran. One of such agents is called Mohammad Reza Edalatian who now plays the role of instructor for the other agents.
After the fall of the Iraqi government in 2003, the Nejat Society stepped up its destructive activities and sent Quds Force and IRGC forces to Ashraf I under the cover of MEK families or Nejat activists. Several thousands of MEK members were living in Ashraf I in 2003, under the name of National Liberation
Army of Iran.
Nejat Society and Sahar Foundation in Iraq
Following the fall of the Iraqi government in 2003 and the rise of Islamic extremist parties that were all puppet of Tehran, the Iranian regime found a strong foothold inside Iraq and started dispatching its terrorist forces into this country. Since Ashraf I in Iraq was under monitoring of the UN and the US forces, it was difficult for the terrorist groups and the pro-Iran militants to get close to Camp Ashraf. Therefore, the Quds Force started sending its men to Ashraf I and later to Ashraf II in Camp Liberty under the guise of members of the Nejat Society, and a local society called Sahar Family Foundation and family members of the MEK.
Based on the information collected by these agents, more than 10 ground and missile attacks were launched on Ashraf I & II leaving more than 150 killed and 1500 injured. In addition, the pro-Iran militants kidnapped two residents of Ashraf by the names of Hussein Pooyan and Mohammad Ali Zahedi in Baghdad in August 2005. These agents had already passed the information of their trip to Baghdad to the kidnappers of Quds Force
With the Nejat Society been formed in Iran, the Quds Force needed the Iraqi branch of the society. Therefore, it formed a society in Iraq called “Sahar Foundation” that was the extension of the Nejat
Society in Iraq. The founder and the CEO of the Sahar Foundation were Batool Soltani and Masood Khodabandeh. To make the job easier, they even employed some Iraqi people in the foundation. US
Army officers have recognized Batool Soltani as agent of the Quds Force. The MOIS and the Quds Force sent her to Albania on July 29, 2022 to lead the activities of ASILA. Due to previous knowledge about Batool Soltani, she was banned from entering Albania and was expelled to Germany. The Sahar Foundation continued some activities until 2018, but from 2018 due to the new undercover activities in Albania, the Quds Force closed down the Sahar Foundation. Now, even the domain of Sahar (saharngo.com) has been put on sale.
Nejat Society and ASILA in Albania
ASILA activities in connection with the “Nejat Society” in Albania resembles activities of Sahar Foundation set up by the MOIS as an its extension in Iraq.
Since ASILA has started its public activities in November 2021 to mid-2023, it has had more than 30 public video conferences from Albania linked with the agents of Nejat Society in Iran. The
MOIS affiliated websites have publicized such activities.
According to a decision by SPAK court in Albania, members of ASILA are also suspected of receiving money from the terrorist Quds Force.
In its research report, which was done at the request of the government of Albania, Microsoft revealed that the Iranian regime is responsible for the cyber-attack on the digital infrastructure of the Albanian government, and that Nejat and ASILA amplified the propaganda of the Iranian regime and “Homeland Justice” before and after the cyber-attacks.
Currently, a person named Dashamir Mersuli and his wife along with a gang of MOIS agents are promoting the launch of the “Nejat Society” in Albania. These actions provide a suitable and easier cover for the subsequent terrorist activities of the Iranian regime against the Iranian refugees, members of PMOI-MEK in Ashraf, in Albania.
ASILA’s main person in Albania was a MOIS agent named Hassan Heyrani, who, according to another regime agent in Albania, had hired Dashamir Mersuli as his footboy for 200 euros a month. Since Heyrani was expelled from Albania as a non grata person, Dashamir Mersuli has taken over his duties, probably with a higher wage.
American and European Sources Link “Nejat Society” to MOIS
British Parliament website
The website of the British Parliament issued a statement on behalf of the British
Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom and mentioned the Nejat Society and its website as a tool in the hands of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence. The names of 24 members of the House of Lords and the Parliament appear below the statement. Four of them were prominent judges and members of the Queen’s Royal Council. The names of the judges are as follows:
Rt. Hon. Lord Archer of Sandwell, QC
Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington, QC
Rt. Hon. Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, QC
Lord Taverne, QC
The names of members of both houses appear below:
Lord Corbett of Castle Vale
Lord Alton of Liverpool
David Amess MP
Baroness Gould of Potter newton
Dr. Rudi Vis MP
Brian Binley MP
Baroness Turner of Camden
David Drew MP
Lord King of West Bromwich
11.Mark Williams MP
12.Andrew Mackinlay MP
13.Lord Inglewood DL
David Gauke MP
Roger Gale MP 18.Baroness Blood
John Leech MP
Lord Clarke of Hampstead
A Report Prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress for the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office’s Irregular Warfare Support Program in Pentagon.
The report of the research division of the Library of the US Congress on Ibrahim Khodabande, who i introduced by the Iranian regime as the CEO of Nejat Society, explains how he and his brother, Masoud, and his brother’s wife, Ann Singleton, were recruited by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).
Ibrahim Khodabande and the Nejat Society are engaged in open daily cooperation with ASILA. This report has been distributed confidentially in the US government departments. It is now accessible on the website of the very prestigious organization “Federation of American Scientists”. On page 27 of this report about Ibrahim Khodabandeh’s membership: states:
“After the 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq, MOIS made anti-MEK psychological warfare one of its main objectives, but MEK nonetheless has remained a viable organization. Aside from MEK, MOIS assassins also targeted opposition figures in cities abroad such as Baghdad, Berlin, Dubai, Geneva, Istanbul, Karachi, Oslo, Paris, Rome, and Stockholm.
The recruitment of a British subject, Anne Singleton, and her Iranian husband, Masoud Khodabandeh, provides a relevant example of how MOIS coerces non-Iranians to cooperate.
She worked with MEK in the late 1980s. Masoud Khodabandeh and his brother Ibrahim were both members of MEK at the time. In 1996 Masoud Khodabandeh decided to leave the organization.”
Later, he married Anne Singleton. Soon after their marriage, MOIS forced them to cooperate by threatening to confiscate Khodabandeh’s mother’s extensive property in Tehran. Singleton and Khodabandeh then agreed to work for MOIS and spy on MEK. In 2002 Singleton met in Tehran with MOIS agents who were interested in her background. She agreed to cooperate with MOIS to save her brother-in-law’s life—he was still a member of MEK at the time. During her stay in Tehran, she received training from MOIS. After her return to England, she launched the iran-interlink.org Web site in the winter of 2002. After she made many trips to Iran and Singapore—the country where the agency contacts its foreign agents—MEK became doubtful of Singleton and Khodabandeh’s loyalty to the organization.
In 2004 Singleton finally met her brother-in-law, Ibrahim, who was sent from Syria to Iran after the Syrians arrested him (it appears that Syrians closely cooperate with MOIS). Eventually, MOIS forced him to cooperate as well.”
The book Self-sacrifice by Struan Stevenson
Struan Stevenson is a British expert on international issues and especially the Middle East.
He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran
Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and is also president of the European Iraqi Freedom Society (EIFA). He is the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC).
In his famous book, Self-sacrifice, which is a description of Iran and the MEK, Struan Stevenson writes about the Nejat Society as a tool in the hands of the Iranian regime:
“The Mullahs also threw endless resources into backing bogus NGOs in Europe such as the Nejat (Saviour) Association and the Edalat (Justice) Society. Their task was to spread lies and false news about Camp Ashraf residents and the leadership of the resistance and traduce parliamentarians like me, Paulo Casaca, Alejo Vidal Quadras and other opinion-leaders who backed the PMOI. The lengths the regime was prepared to go to and the resources it was prepared to invest in demonising us demonstrated the PMOI’s effectiveness and status in Iran.”
Mr. Stevenson’s book, Self-sacrifice, can be accessed at the following address.
CQAAQBAJ&pg=PT48&lpg=PT48&dq=MOIS+nejat+society&source=bl&ots=bKpx5K_r1B&sig=ACfU3U2JJEqijrFUus9BsGoTILfeJT NQ_w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjjp7L1mO_4AhUyiv0HHerxBiIQ6AF6BAgXEAM#v=onepage&q=MOIS%20nejat%20society&f=fa lse
Report of European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center
The well-known European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC) in Brussels, in its latest research published in January 2022 on the international terrorism situation of the Iranian regime, points out how the Iranian regime recruits former opposition elements as agents for its operations.
The director of this center, who prepared the report, Claude Moniquet, is a long-time former French
foreign intelligence officer. He has followed the “security and strategic affairs” linked to Iran since 1981, first as a journalist, then (for 20 years) as a field agent for the DGSE (French foreign intelligence) and later, since 2002, as co-founder and co-director of a strategic consulting firm, ESISC.
In this report, it mentions an example of the cooperation of the Nejat Society belonging to the Ministry of Intelligence and the Quds Force. In the press conference about the terrorist network of the Quds Force in Albania on October 23, 2019, the then head of the police of Albania, Ardi Velio, he mentions a person, Naqashzadeh. The ESISC report writes about Naqashzadeh as follows:
“Naghashzadeh was expelled from the MEK in 1999 while in Camp Ashraf in Iraq due to his suspicious behavior, but he requested to remain and be given another chance to be part of the movement. In July 2004, he was expelled from the MEK and went to Iran on July 31, 2007, where he started full cooperation with the Nejat Society, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).
On December 19, 2010, the Nejat Society published a letter by him addressed to the US Secretary of State, requesting not to delist the MEK. He was subsequently sent to Austria, under the cover of “refugee” for propaganda activities against the MEK, and under guise of “former member” of the organization for the purpose of gathering information for the Quds Force.
For a while, Naghashzadeh was active in the context of the regime’s disinformation campaign against the MEK along with a network of the regime’s agents in Europe.”
This report also states:
“Certain components of the intelligence community focus primarily on the exiled opposition using various tactics ranging from surveillance to infiltration and manipulation to physical liquidation through different assassination methods.
Among the different Intelligence and Security instances, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) remains the Iran regime’s main instrument to survey, infiltrate, demonize and assassinate dissidents abroad. But for these missions, the regime could also rely on the Islamic Revolution Guard Corp (ITCG), the al-Quds Forزe and on “proxy allies” as the Lebanese Hezbollah.
The regime has sent its agents to European countries as refugees or “businessmen” engaged in commercial activities. Iranian communities abroad have provided the basis for the MOIS to recruit agents and sleeper cells for propaganda purposes and future terror plots.
The resistance’s defectors have been an important target of recruitment by the MOIS, used for disseminating disinformation and gathering information with terrorist intentions.
With the degrading political situation in Iran, MOIS activity against the opposition abroad is seeing an upsurge in tandem with oppressive measures against the resistance inside the country.”
This report also emphasizes:
“An important part of the work of the Iranian intelligence community, when it comes to the operations against the MEK, serve only one purpose: to organize terrorist attacks against the organization.”
Report of the Parliamentary Committee for a Free Iran
Albania is not the first country where the Ministry of Intelligence and Quds Force operate under the
cover of the Nejat Society created and paid by the Iranian regime, such as ASILA. The Iranian regime
has been doing this in other European countries for nearly two decades.
A report of the parliamentary committee for a free Iran in 2007 about the terrorist and espionage
activities of the Iranian regime in England, which is carried out under the cover of the Nejat Society and other Societies, is noteworthy. This report states:
In witness statements provided to a British Court by members of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, MPs and Peers set out the ways in which the regime and its Ministry of Intelligence operate in Britain.
Win Griffiths, a respected former Member of Parliament who has a great deal of expertise in Iranian affairs, set out his own experience and that of his Parliamentary colleagues. Mr. Griffiths explained that whenever a Member of Parliament expresses support for the goals of freedom and a secular democracy for Iran, as espoused by the NCRI and PMOI, they are bombarded with misinformation about Iran’s main opposition.
On some occasions MPs and Peers are contacted directly by the Iranian Embassy in London, while more often they are approached by people claiming to be disaffected former members of the PMOI who have been recruited by the regime.
He added that on other occasions, Parliamentarians are approached by organizations that claim to be human rights organizations or NGOs. These front organizations for the Iranian regime include Nejat Society,
Peyvand and Aawa Society. He also exposed the details of numerous websites used by the Iranian regime
to spread misinformation against the PMOI. The list included:
With more than 20 years of experience and expertise in affairs concerning Iran and the Middle East, the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) is the leader for analysis of Iranian affairs.
The Committee has a cross-party membership from both Houses of Parliament. Its membership comprises members of the Parliamentary Select Committees, spokespersons of the main political parties, shadow cabinet ministers, as well as former senior government Ministers.
Intelligence Education for 21st Century research report
In this research report written by Mrs. Claire Lopez in America, she writes about Nejat Society as follows:
“The Nejat Society is nothing more than a front organization of VEVAK [MOIS]. The Nejat Society purports to be an organization dedicated to the “rescue” (‘Nejat’ in Farsi) of MEK members, but in fact operates under the direction of Iranian intelligence to block the efforts of genuine Iranian patriots trying to bring democratic reform to their homeland.”
Mrs. Claire Lopez is an American researcher with a long history and well-known in security issues related to Iran. Clare M. Lopez is Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security
Policy. She previously was a Senior Fellow with the Center as well as with the London Center for Policy
Research, member of Sen. Ted Cruz’ 2016 presidential campaign national security advisory team, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee, and a career operations officer with the CIA.
Research report of the European Parliament
A fact-finding delegation from the European Parliament visited Camp Ashraf I in Iraq in 2005. Subsequently, this team issued a report, “Mission report” on behalf of the Free Iran friendship group in the European Parliament, in which it gives details about the role of Nejat Society:
“The role of Nejat
In discussions with residents at Camp Ashraf, the delegation was informed of various forms
of psychological pressure placed on the families of PMOI members living in Iran, by the Iranian regime or groups affiliated with the regime.
Upon its return, the delegation conducted research into these groups, which are said to be set up in order to save PMOI members imprisoned in Camp Ashraf. One example is an organization by the name of ‘Nejat’ or rescue translated into Farsi. The main aim of these groups appear to be to place pressure on the family members of PMOI members in Camp Ashraf, to in turn place pressure on their relatives in Camp Ashraf to leave the Camp and return to Iran. Hosseinali Amiri, General Director of the Judiciary in Fars province, Iran, stated, “Nejat Society is made up of those who have left hypocrites [the name used by the Iranian regime for the PMOI] in each province, under the supervision of the Intelligence Ministry and the section for combating hypocrites. They are very active. Without referring to Ministry of Intelligence, they are contacting almost all families of the members of the hypocrites through the country …”.
Source » iranprobe