In a fact sheet released on Friday, the US State Department highlighted allegations that since coming to power the Iranian regime has been implicated in more than 360 assassinations, terrorist plots and terrorist attacks in more than 40 countries.
“Senior Iranian officials have said that Iran is constantly following and monitoring Iranian dissidents in other countries to ‘crack down’ on them and ‘strike decisive blows’,” the fact sheet reads and alleges that the “global campaign of terror ”of Iran has included as many as 360 targeted assassinations in other countries as well as mass bombings that have killed and maimed hundreds of people.
According to the technical sheet, the United States believes that these assassinations were mainly carried out by the Quds Force of Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Intelligence, but also via third parties and proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The State Department’s fact sheet also indicates that Iran uses diplomatic cover and is prepared to use criminal gangs and drug cartels to conduct its clandestine operations abroad.
Political dissidents, ethnic and religious minority leaders and activists, and foreign government officials, as well as Iranian civil society activists and journalists abroad, are among the regime’s targets, the fact sheet says. .
The assassination of the Iranian-Kurdish opposition leader Sadeq (Sadegh) Sharafkandi and three other people at the Greek restaurant Myknonos in Berlin in 1992 and the bombing of the building of the Associación Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires in 1994 are the best known historical cases of Iranian operations abroad. Iran has always denied any involvement in these incidents.
The assassination of Masoud Molavi Vardanjani in Istanbul in November 2019 is one of the most recent cases in which the Iranian regime has come under fire. The controversial editor of “The Black Box” website, which had published allegations of corruption among the military elite, and Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba, were murdered in the streets in Turkey. According to senior Turkish officials quoted by Reuters in March, the murder was carried out by two intelligence officers stationed at the Iranian consulate in Turkey.
Iran has also repeatedly accused journalists working for Persian-language media overseas of treason and made threats against them to prevent them from covering heavily censored information inside the country.