Monica Witt: US accuses former spy agent on behalf of Iran as "anti-Tehran" conference begins | News from the world

A former US Air Force counterintelligence officer has been accused of revealing classified information to Iran.

The US Department of Justice indictment occurred while a suicide bomber had killed 20 people and injured 20 others during a targeted attack against a bus carrying staff members. of the Iranian paramilitary revolutionary guard.

The militant group Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack.

The US Justice Department charged Monica Elfriede Witt with "conspiring to provide information on national defense to the representatives of the Iranian government".

Aged 39, he left Iran in 2013 and is still on the run.

Deputy Attorney General John Demers, head of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, said: "It's a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country. . "

"This case highlights the dangers for our intelligence professionals and the efforts our adversaries will make to identify, expose, target and, in rare cases, eventually return them to the country they have vowed to protect.

"When our intelligence professionals are targeted or betrayed, the National Security Division will relentlessly pursue justice in the courts."

Monica Elfriede Witt is accused of having transmitted information to Iran
Picture:
Elfriede Witt is accused of having sent information to Iran

Witt reportedly helped the Iranian intelligence services to target his former colleagues and "revealed the code name and classified mission of a special US Department of Defense access program."

Four other suspected Iranian pirates are also indicted by his side.

Prosecutors said they have targeted former Witt colleagues in the intelligence community.

Monica Elfriede Witt is still on the run
Picture:
Monica Elfriede Witt is still on the run

The indictment indicates that the four pirates were acting on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps linked to the government.

According to the Fars news agency, Jaish al Adl, a group of insurgents operating in southeastern Iran, reportedly claimed responsibility for the bus carrying security guards' personnel. revolution.

The bombing occurred in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, a major opium smuggling route that provoked clashes between Iranian forces and Baluch separatists.

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. File image
Picture:
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. File image

The Guard is a major economic and military power in Iran and reports only to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif linked the suicide bombing to the US-led conference that began Wednesday in Warsaw.

He tweeted, "Is not it a coincidence that Iran is struck by terror the same day that #WarsawCircus started – especially when cohorts of the same terrorists like it on the streets of Warsaw and support it with Twitter robots? "

Mike Pence greets US troops during a visit to Polish and US soldiers at a military base
Picture:
Mike Pence greets US troops during a visit to Polish and US soldiers at a military base

He added: "The United States always seems to be making the same bad choices, but expecting different results."

The conference organized by the United States in Poland should include discussions on what the United States calls the perverse influence of Iran throughout the Middle East.

The United States has imposed new sanctions on Iran, including Net Peygard Samavat and the New Horizon organization.

Net Paygard Samavat is sanctioned for a "malicious cyber-campaign" targeting current and former US government and military personnel.

New Horizon organizes international conferences.

The sanctions are in line with the current measures taken by the forces of order against Iran.

Donald Trump originally described the conference in Poland as centered on Iran, but it was expanded to include wars in Syria and Yemen, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the fight against the Islamic State group.

Mike Pence with his wife Karen and soldiers at the 1st Warsaw Air Transport Base
Picture:
Mike Pence with his wife Karen and soldiers at the 1st Warsaw Air Transport Base

It is sponsored by the United States and Poland and has been touted as an opportunity to promote peace and security in the Middle East, although critics say it is an attempt to isolate Tehran .

Mr. Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Warsaw for the conference. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leaders from Arab countries will also participate.

The event is boycotted by the Palestinians, who called the conference a "circus" and urged others to do the same. France and Germany have not sent senior officials.

Iranian communities in Europe gather to protest human rights violations by the Iranian government
Picture:
Iranian communities in Europe gather to protest human rights violations by the Iranian government

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: "About the United States, the resolution of any problem is unimaginable and negotiations with that country will bring only material and spiritual damage."

Mr. Pompeo told reporters that the event would constitute "a serious and concrete discussion on a wide range of topics ranging from counterterrorism to the perverse influence that Iran has exerted in the Middle East. on instability ".

Pence accused Russia of seeking to divide the Western alliance with nuclear weapons and "to interfere in elections in Europe and the world" at the start of its four-day visit to Europe.

Poland is looking for a permanent US base on its soil in fear of a revival of Russia. Mr. Pence and his wife visited US soldiers in Warsaw before the day's speeches.