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During trial, terrorist ringleader unveils Saudi intelligence plot to partition Iran

Habib Farajollah Chaab, the ringleader of the SMLA terrorist group, appears in his fifth court session in Tehran, Iran, on February 27, 2022. (Photo by Mizan Online news agency)

The ringleader of a separatist group behind the 2018 deadly terrorist attack in Iran has appeared at court in the capital Tehran for the fifth time since his arrest, unveiling a plot by the Saudi intelligence service to partition the country.

Habib Farajollah Chaab, also known as Habib Asyud stood trial at Branch 26 of Tehran’s Islamic Revolution Court on Sunday.

During the hearing, Amin Vaziri, the prosecutor’s representative, said Chaab had admitted that the Saudi intelligence service pushed to unite all terrorist and separatist movements under a single umbrella organization to counter Iran following the formation of the Islamic Awakening movement.

He added that the Saudi intelligence service has also launched several satellite channels with the aim of facilitating the partitioning of Iran.

Chaab said the Saudi-sponsored satellite channels aired videos and other visual material on a round-the-clock basis in order to spread violence in Iran.

The terrorist ringleader also confessed that Saudi Arabia had funded terrorist groups with the final goal of spreading Takfiri ideology in Iran, Vaziri said.

The prosecutor’s representative noted that the defendant had formed a terrorist group to carry out acts of terror in Iran and cooperated with anti-Iran terror groups, including PJAK and Jaish ul-Adl.

Chaab was the leader of the so-called Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz terrorist group (SMLA), and was arrested in November 2020 on the back of a set of “specialized and combined measures” by Iranian intelligence forces.

The SMLA has been pushing to separate the southwestern province of Khuzestan — home to the country’s Arab population — from the rest of Iran through engaging in an armed conflict against the Iranian government.

In September 2018, it claimed responsibility for an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Khuzestan’s provincial capital, which killed 25 people, including members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and civilian bystanders, and injured 70 others.

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