Ministry of Education closes Iran-backed capital school

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 24, 2020 11:06

Ministry of Education closes Iran-backed capital school

Story Highlights

  • Diplomats declared personae non-gratae were Mohammad Ali Arz Peimanemati and Seyed Ahmad Hosseini Alast, both of whom were also heads of the Saadi Shirazi Foundation, which finances the school in question.

Related Articles

TIRANA, Jan. 23 - The Ministry of Education has closed the Saadi School, which was reportedly funded by Iran and has been operating in Tirana for several years. 

This ruling was issued by Education Minister Besa Shahini. 

The decision does not explain the reasons for the school's closure, but it is recalled that this step was taken shortly after our country declared 'non grata' to two Iranian diplomats in Tirana a few days ago.

Diplomats declared personae non-gratae were Mohammad Ali Arz Peimanemati and Seyed Ahmad Hosseini Alast, both of whom were also heads of the Saadi Shirazi Foundation, which finances the school in question.

Albanian government sources told the Voice of America that the two diplomats are being expelled for activities against the Iranian opposition MEK group, being hosted in Albania. According to them, cultural attaché Seyed Ahmed Hosseini Alast had held senior positions in the Revolutionary Guard of the Islamic Republic and Mohamed Peimanemati was a member of Iran's Mois Operational Intelligence Unit and was responsible for several terrorist acts carried out in EU countries.

According to sources, they had been collaborators with Qassem Soleiman, Iran's most powerful general whom the US assassinated on the first days of 2020.

This is the second time Albania has declared Iranian diplomats working and living in the country personae non gratae. 

In December 2018, Iran's Ambassador to Albania and another embassy diplomat were expelled from the country after being suspected of being involved in "activities that threaten security in the country". 

At that time, the Albanian Foreign Ministry specified that the decision had been taken in consultation with the Allied countries, due to their activity in Albania contrary to their diplomatic status.

Extremism expert Adrian Shtuni sees the move by the Albanian government as a defiant act against Iran's recent statements concerning "a very small but devilish European state, where Americans cooperate with Iranian traitors against the Islamic Republic." 

Shtuni says the fact that Albania houses 3,000 members of the Iranian opposition group MEK, after a deal first made with the US in 2013, puts the country at risk not because of the group's current activities, but simply because of their status as active members of the Iranian regime's opposition. 

The growing tension between the US and Iran after the assasination of Soleiman has also ignited friction between Iran and Albania, whose relations have not been the best ever since the country began hosting the opposition group. 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 24, 2020 11:06