Kingdom Assembly of Iran
Kingdom Assembly of Iran (Persian: انجمن پادشاهی ایران, romanized: Anjoman-e Pâdeshâhi-ye Irân), also Soldiers of the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, Iran Monarchy Committee, or Tondar (Persian: تندر), is an Iranian exile monarchist opposition group based in Los Angeles, United States which seeks to overthrow the Islamic Republic and restore the Iranian monarchy under the rule of the Pahlavi dynasty. The group is currently banned in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Tondar, a name which means 'thunder' in Persian, is not on the US terrorist organization list.
Although it has been called "a little-known exile group," the Assembly has appeared in several news stories in recent years. The group was founded and was headed by Frood Fouladvand who has reportedly been missing since January 2007.
Activities and alleged activities
The Jamestown Foundation reported that the organization took responsibility for the 2008 Shiraz explosion at the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada Mosque where 12 people were killed and 202 injured. Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour, alleged by the government to be members of the assembly, were arrested and tried for the bombing by the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In January 2010 they were executed for moharebeh ("waging war against God") and attempting to overthrow the Iranian government. An Assembly spokesperson has denied that Ali Zamani had played any role in the post-election protests, stating that he had worked with the organization, but his job was "simply to pass on news for our radio station and to make broadcast packages".
In 2005, 56 Iranians staging a sit-in against the Iranian Islamic government were arrested at the Brussels airport for refusing to leave a Lufthansa plane. At least one protester, Armin Atshgar, identified himself as a member of the group and told the press that "We want the European Union to remove the Islamic leaders from Iran." The group was also reportedly active at the annual Nowruz Persian parade in New York City.
In 2010, Iran accused the organization of planning terror attacks within its territory. The group runs pro-Iranian opposition radio and television stations and has called for the overthrowing of the Iranian government.
Iran analysts said Iran may be pointing the finger at Tondar because it prefers to "blame the internal dissent and tumult on outside forces".
On January, 2010, Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador to Iran, who is representing the interests of United States in Iran, demanding the extradition of individuals associated with the group, whom Iran believes are behind the assassination of Masoud Alimohammadi, a nuclear physics professor in Tehran who was killed in a bomb blast.
On 1 August 2020, Iran's Ministry of Intelligence announced they detained Jamshid Sharmahd, spokesperson of the assembly. Iranian state television (IRIB) broadcast a report on Sharmahd's arrest, linking him to the 2008 bombing of the Hosseynieh Seyed Al-Shohada Mosque in Shiraz. It also said his group was behind a 2010 bombing at Ruhollah Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran that wounded several people.
- Iran hangs alleged dissidents to warn opposition, January 29, 2010
- Iranian Monarchist Group Claims Responsibility for Shiraz Mosque Attack, Terrorism Focus, Volume: 5 Issue: 20, May 20, 2008
- Yitzhak Benhorin. Iran: LA Terror group working against us.
- "Iran activist sentenced to death for election protests", Robert Tait, The Guardian (8-10-2009).
- Iran 'executes two over post-election unrest' BBC News, 28 January 2010
- "Iranian protest ends in Brussels", BBC News, 11 March 2005
- Alicia Colon, "Tehran Condemns Persian Pride", The New York Sun, March 16, 2007
- U.S.-Iran Feud Hits L.A.. Wall Street Journal. May 2010
- Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center Archived 2010-01-21 at the Wayback Machine. Spotlight on Iran.
- Iran summons Swiss envoy over scientist assassination Archived 2012-03-26 at the Wayback Machine. Jan 25, 2010
- Iran says it has arrested head of US-based opposition group
- Iran says it detains leader of California-based exile group