The arrest of political scientist and Iran expert Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi by the FBI should have been top news in Western media, according to Struan Stevenson, the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change.
He wrote that Afrasiabi has been openly praising Iran for 13 years without registering as a foreign agent, despite being paid over $265,000 through Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
The U.S. Justice Department is charging Afrasiabi for “conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, with John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, explaining that Afrasiabi presented himself as neutral when talking about the regime to Congress, the media, and the public, swaying opinion and perhaps policy in an illegal way.
“The revelation that an Iranian spy was embedded in the heart of the U.S. democratic process certainly came as no surprise to representatives of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI), the main opposition movement to the theocratic fascist regime in Iran,” wrote Stevenson a former member of the European Parliament. “The NCRI and MEK have long been the target of a campaign of misinformation and demonization by Tehran.”
This campaign took place in papers, on the internet, on TV, and on the radio, parroting the narrative of the Iranian government, with so-called experts quoted. Sometimes, Stevenson said, Western reporters and media outlets are even on Iran’s payroll.
It has been going on since the 1979 revolution, with the most common victims being the Iranian opposition because they seek a democracy with full respect for human rights.
This is not just a war of words but has been used strategically to justify Tehran’s abuses of the MEK, from the 1988 massacre of 30,000 supporters to the assassination of its leading members abroad.
“Needless to say, following their long history of lies and deception, all of these murders and assassinations are routinely denied. There is now a high-level investigation into the 1988 massacre underway by the United Nations,” Stevenson wrote.
Stevenson believes the trial of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who is charged with attempting to blow up the 2018 Free Iran rally, has the power to fundamentally change relations between the West and Iran.
In this regard, many politicians like former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Gov. Tom Ridge, former U.S. National Security Advisor and United States European Command Gen. James Jones, former Vice-President of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras, and many prominent dignitaries agreed with him.
Notably, Assadollah Assadi and his accomplices were convicted of long-term prison by a Belgian court in Antwerp on Thursday, February 4. However, the Iranian “diplomat” is facing further charges in Germany over information that was found in a notepad in his car upon his arrest that reportedly links him to a Europe-wide terror network.
“Sadly, years of appeasement of the tyrannical Iranian regime have emboldened its efforts to deceive the West while indulging in grave violations of human rights at home and aggressive military expansionism and the export of terrorism abroad. The arrest of Afrasiabi and the trial of Assadi should surely be a wake-up call for the West,” Stevenson addressed.