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Iran Press TV

Albania, host of anti-Iran terrorists, snaps diplomatic ties with Tehran

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 2:17 PM

Albania, which has for years hosted anti-Iran terrorists in criminal collusion with the US, on Wednesday severed diplomatic ties with Tehran, accusing it of orchestrating a "cyberattack" against Tirana.

"The government has decided with immediate effect to end diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran," Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama was quoted as saying in a video message.

The southern European country has ordered Iranian diplomats and embassy staff to leave within 24 hours, following a so-called investigation into the July attack, Rama added.

"This extreme response...is fully proportionate to the gravity and risk of the cyberattack that threatened to paralyze public services, erase digital systems, and hack into state records, steal government intranet electronic communication, and stir chaos and insecurity in the country," he said.

The United States quickly jumped in defense of its NATO ally, calling for Iran to be "held accountable for this unprecedented cyber incident."

"We join in Prime Minister Rama's call for Iran to be held accountable for this unprecedented cyber incident," the US National Security Council stated in a tweet.

Iran has not yet formally reacted to the development but experts believe the move has been choreographed to show support for the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), an anti-Iran terrorist group based in Albania that has carried out numerous acts of terrorism on Iranian soil.

The group has killed thousands of Iranians in terrorist attacks since the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979, including senior political leaders, clerics and ordinary civilians.

Albania took in around 3,000 members of the MKO terrorist group in 2016 at the request of Washington, after the group was disowned by Iraq and snubbed by many European countries.

In 1986, Iran asked France to expel the group from its base in Paris, following which it moved its base to Iraq.

The group members spent many years in Iraq, where they were hosted and armed by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. They sided with Iraq during the 1980-88 war against Iran, and then helped the Iraqi dictator quell uprisings in various parts of the Arab country.

Albania started hosting the terrorists after the cult was shunned by the government of former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The European Union, Canada, the United States, and Japan had previously listed the MKO as a "terrorist organization".

In 2012, the group was taken off the US list of terrorist organizations. The EU followed the suit, removing the group from its list of terrorist organizations.

The group throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American, Western, and Saudi Arabian officials in attendance as guests of honor.

These include former US national security advisor John Bolton, former US president Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi Arabian spy chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal.

US, Israeli patronage for MKO

Experts have underlined the role played by the United States in the resettlement of the terrorist group from Iraq to Albania. It is widely believed that Tirana agreed to accommodate the designated terrorists in order to secure American financial support.

Pundits have also identified espousal by the Israeli regime as an element that has contributed to the group's survival all these years.

"Although the group gets little mainstream attention, it has actively been courted by powers hostile to Iran, primarily the United States," London-based website Emerging Europe reported last year.

In 2020, Olsi Jazexhi, an Albanian historian, told Tehran Times that the MKO group was not embraced by Albania but imposed on it by the administration of former US president Barack Obama.

Last year, Jazexhi considered Albania's hospitality towards the terror outfit to be a sign of American hegemony over Tirana. "Albania today is ruled by the US embassy in Tirana. The embassy vets our politicians...and it decides which politicians enter parliament or not. The hosting of MKO in Albania is not an Albanian affair, but an American-Israeli affair."

"The Americans have a long history of supporting terrorist organizations for their imperialist interests," he added at the time.

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