Sunday , 14 July 2024

Inside Iran’s global assassination network: Unmasking the mastermind

iranintl – Yahya Hosseini Panchaki, alias Yahya Hamidi, the Deputy of Internal Security in Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence, has been identified as the mastermind behind Iran’s overseas assassination operations.

According to information obtained by Iran International, this revelation unveils Hosseini’s role in a world of international espionage and targeted killings, marking the first time his identity has been disclosed.

The Islamic Republic has been systematically planning to assassinate its opponents abroad. These plans are orchestrated by high-ranking officials within the ministry of intelligence, aiming to eliminate dissidents who pose a threat to the Islamic government.

Utilizing undercover agents stationed in embassies and operatives disguised as business people, Tehran has been able to plot and execute various attacks globally. This intricate network involves coordination with international drug traffickers and proxy forces to ensure the operations leave no trace back to Iran’s intelligence agencies.

A source within the Islamic Republic’s ministry of defense indicated that Hosseini is part of a new generation of intelligence managers trusted by Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. The ministry of intelligence, along with the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization, has been conducting the most significant sabotage activities abroad for years. However, information received by Iran International shows that the ministry of intelligence has a more cohesive structure than the IRGC for conducting overseas operations.

Who is Yahya Hosseini Panchaki?

Born in 1975 in Karaj, near Tehran, Hosseini holds a PhD in Political Science from Azad University of Tabriz and has published two articles in academic journals. Sanctioned by the European Union and the United Kingdom for his involvement in a 2018 bombing plot in Paris targeting the MEK’s conference, Hosseini has a notorious reputation. Despite the plot being foiled, his role in founding the “Martyr Soleimani” unit, which conducts sabotage operations worldwide in cooperation with the IRGC, marks him as a key figure in Iran’s intelligence apparatus.

The Terrorist Infrastructure

The ministry of intelligence employs two main routes for deploying its agents abroad. The first involves intelligence agents under the cover of the ministry of foreign affairs, often stationed in embassies. The second route sends military-intelligence agents under the guise of commercial activities. These agents plan assassinations, kidnappings, and sabotage, typically executed by proxy forces to avoid leaving any traces back to the ministry. Major drug traffickers often serve as primary contractors for these missions.

High-Profile Operations

The ministry of intelligence has executed numerous operations on European soil. One significant plot was the attempted bombing of the MEK’s conference in Paris, designed by Assadollah Assadi, an intelligence operative and an employee of the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Austria. This plot was foiled, and Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Belgium but later exchanged for a Belgian citizen imprisoned in Iran.

Another operation involved the assassination of Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, a member of the MEK, in Almere, Netherlands. Two years later, Ahmad Mola Nissi, an Arab political activist, was killed in The Hague. The Times reported that Ridouan Taghi, a Moroccan-born criminal, connected the ministry to these two assassinations.

The eliminations of Saeed Karimian, director of GEM TV, and Masoud Mowlavi, director of the Telegram channel Black Box, both in Istanbul, were also carried out by this branch of the ministry. A Turkish journalist revealed that Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, the then Minister of Communications, threatened Mowlavi over the phone a day before his assassination.

The Broader Impact

These operations underscore the lengths to which the Islamic Republic will go to silence its critics and maintain its power. Utilizing an intricate network of proxies, drug traffickers, and undercover operatives, Iran’s ministry of intelligence has developed a sophisticated system for targeting opponents abroad. This system, managed by Yahya Hosseini Panchaki, highlights the ongoing global threat posed by Iran’s intelligence operations.