IRAN has a sprawling network of terrorist sleeper cells which are believed to have been responsible for bombings, murders and even plots to blow up MPs.
Bloody operations linked to Iran have reached deep into Europe and the US – all working on orders from the very top of Tehran.
And in the latest worrying development, a deadly shipment of uranium was seized at Heathrow Airport in the UK.
The material is believed to have been destined for Iranian nationals based in the UK.
It is feared it could have been part of a plot to build a dirty bomb or stage an assassination.
Opposition activists have warned The Sun Online that Westerners are increasingly becoming the target of the Iranian regime.
And they accused the West of being weak for not doing more to crack down on the regime
And the worsening political situation back home – with mass protests calling for regime change – is going to make things worse.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) -an opposition group which advocates the overthrow of the regime -has warned Iran has stepped up its terrorist activities.
It warned there is a whole network of proxies- “not only ready but functioning” spread across the globe.
The network has sprawling tendrils especially in the Middle East.
But the regime has also carried out terror attacks or major terrorist operations in the West – including in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy.
Two Iranian nationals were held just last week over a terror plot to use cyanide and ricin in Germany.
And in 2021 an Iranian diplomat was convicted in Belgium for being part of a terrorist plot to blow up an event hosted by a dissident group in Paris.
The conference was being attending by five British MPs.
All of these are overseen by the military group known as the Quds Force, watched over by the powerful and fanatical Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
It is estimated the force is up to 20,000 strong and is understood to be responsible for supporting and training proxy groups worldwide.
And last year, the head of MI5, Ken McCallum, named Iran as a major security threat to the UK.
He said there were ten foiled plots to kidnap or kill people in Britain in 2022.
In a terrifying warning to the West, the PMOI spokesman Shahin Gobadi, said that part of the terrorist group’s tactics is taking Westerners as hostages to later use as “leverage against Europe.”
He told The Sun Online: “As the regime is getting bigger it resorts to more and more repression at home and terrorism abroad- one part is taking westerns as hostages.
“In order to keep the ship at bay and maintain the balance, they have resolved to more executions at home, to more terrorism abroad, to more support for extremist groups abroad and more repression at home.
“Running proxies has been a part impartial of this strategy.
“It’s not a secret the regime has created, financed harboured, trained and armed all sorts of terrorist groups across the world.
“The regime’s tentacles have reached not only Europe but also the States, in Latin America, Africa- so basically all the continents.
“This regime recognises no borders when it comes to terrorism and more and more Westerners are becoming targeted.”
Gobadi states that taking hostages has been part of the regime’s strategy for years, as a shield for its terror operations describing it as a “pattern.”
A report released by PMOI and shared with The Sun Online reveals how Iran’s policy has developed and spread across the West over the years.
In the aftermath of the Iranian 1979 revolution the new regime “gradually learned to develop a strategy of hostage-taking and terrorism to achieve one goal: spreading warfare abroad to preserve an illegitimate rule at home.”
The report notes there is “hardly any” major European country Iran has neither attacked nor established a base.
It points out that Iran has used non-Iranian and especially Arab proxy militants to attack foreign targets.
Gobadi notes that the situation has worsened in the past year since hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi rose to power.
Raisi, known as The Butcher, notorious for torturing women and ordering mass executions became Iran’s President last June after winning 50 per cent of the 29million votes.
“Appointing him as the president signals the fact the regime is bound to more terrorism and more repression,” Gobadi said.
Gobadi has also warned that the West is in danger if it doesn’t adapt its response stating that Iran’s priority is to ” step up repression and terrorism abroad, to intensify its drive to acquire nuclear weapons and increase its ballistic missiles arsenal.”
He continued: “Producing sanctions with the regime would be totally counter-productive as it would simply feed this apparatus.
“There should be a warning to the West. The West should adapt its response proportionately.
“If it provides incentives to the regime not only sends the wrong signal but simply facilitates this kind of misconduct which endangers the security of our Europeans and our Westerners.
“It’s about time European countries put aside all these illusions hoping this way by providing concessions and offering concessions you can change the conduct of the regime or make it much more civilized or a more normal state- to the contrary.”
And while it seeks to expand its influence and spread chaos, Iran has been suffering back at home.
Tehran has been brutally trying to crush an uprising over the death of Mahsa Amani, 22, in police custody in September.
She was allegedly beaten to death by the morality police after she was detained for wearing an “improper” headscarf.
Massive protests are taking place across Iran in one of the most sustained challenges to the regime.