Australia’s home affairs minister announced Tuesday that security agencies disrupted a plot by the Iranian regime against citizens of Iranian descent on its soil.

The individual targeted was an opponent of the Iranian regime who took part in recent protests in Australia. Iranian communities worldwide have held frequent rallies to support their countrymen in their uprising against the government.

The individuals involved in the plot allegedly monitored the home of the anti-regime activist and extensively researched the person and the family, the Guardian reported.

Home affairs minister Claire O’Neil revealed the incident in a speech to the Australian National University, while condemning foreign interference as “one of the core threats our democracy faces.”

The incident took place last year as protests were raging in Iran and security forces were using lethal force against protesters, killing more than 500 and inflicting gunshot wounds on hundreds of others. As young people were dying and many were losing their eyes to shotgun fire, Iranians in many countries began organizing and holding protests to support their compatriots.

Australia’s announcement came one day after British anti-terrorism police announced the arrest and indictment of an Austrian citizen for stalking the headquarters of Iran International television network in London. The network and its journalists have been under threat at least since last November and under police watch.

Earlier this month the Australian Senate expressed concerns about credible allegations of intimidation and threats against Australians, residents and their families, urging the responsible ministers to provide an update to the Parliament and the Australian public on the government’s current assessment of whether persons connected to the regime are undertaking such behavior in Australia.

O’Neil praised the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (Asio). “I’m pleased to say our agencies were on to it like a shot. Asio tracked the operation and shut it down immediately,” she said.

She defended the right of Australian citizens to criticize a foreign regime and added that security agencies were “not going to stand back and have Australians or indeed visitors to our country watched and tracked by foreign governments on our soil.”

The Islamic Republic has long threatened, killed and kidnapped dissidents in democratic, and neighboring countries where they found refuge. The history of these attacks goes back to the 1980s and as recently as last year and as far the United States, where rights activist leader Masih Alinejad in New York was the alleged target of two separate terrorist plots.

The danger to Iranian dissidents abroad is real but O’Neil said, “This is Australia, this is our democracy, and if you engage in activities like this, you will be discovered.”

“To those states who operate in the shadows, I have a simple message – we are watching you. Where our national interest is served by calling out your operations, we will. And to those in Australia making their voice heard, we are acting to protect you.”

News Summary - DC
Chicheka Lullaby
IITV News (12) - DC

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