This morning, the US News outlet NBC reported that Israel is a state sponsor of a terrorist group in Iran and has documents that prove it.
In the report, Mohammad Javad Larijani – one of the Ayatollah Khamenei’s senior advisors – was quoted as saying that Israel is funding a group called the MEK, which was found guilty of terrorist activities against Iran in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Larijani was also quoted as saying that an unsuccessful assassination led to the capture of a man who possessed documents and other materials that showed direct Israeli support. In addition, he claimed that Mossad agents were training MEK members in bomb-making that could be used against Iranian targets. Larijani also claimed that Israel built replicas of areas where attacks took place so MEK terrorists could practice.
In addition to Larijani, the report also quoted two US officials as confirming that Israel was backing the group in order to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear energy that could be used in a weapon against Israel. The officials also categorically denied that the US is involved in any terrorist activities in the Middle East, including Iran.
The report comes in the wake of series of mysterious explosions and assassinations that Iran has blamed the CIA and Israel for. Those explosions have set back Iran’s nuclear energy and killed scientists and military officials involved in missile technology. Both the US and Israel have denied their involvement.
The MEK, also known as the People’s Mujihadin of Iran, was designated as a terrorist group in the 1970s after the Islamic Revolution that led to the deaths of American citizens. The MEK was part of the Islamic Revolution but has been engaged in a bitter war with the government for the last 30 years. Most of the world has labeled the group as being of a terrorist nature; the US did so in 1997. The NBS report labeled the leaders of the MEK as being inherently antidemocratic.
The Israeli response was muted, with the Foreign Ministry saying that until evidence from NBC is produced so it can be analyzed, Israel will not react to “every gossip and report being published worldwide”.