The National Council of Resistance of Iran-U.S. (NCRI-US) is an outgrowth of the Iranian political group known as the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) or People's Mujahedeen of Iran. It has a well-deserved reputation for exaggeration and misrepresentation as well as for a cult-like lack of transparency. NCRI-US regularly represents itself as an important factor in the opposition inside Iran, which is simply not the case. It has also been less than transparent about the exorbitant speaker fees it has paid to eminent Americans. Despite presenting itself as committed to democracy, internally it is the exact opposite: Dedicated core members—now living in a camp in Albania, after being thrown out of their long-time camp in Iraq—are subject to strict rules set from the top.
That said, NCRI-US sometimes does excellent work. Iran's Emissaries of Terror is in fact a very useful account. Much of the volume details recent plots—many, but not all, against the NCRI—in which Iranian diplomats have been directly implicated. The book also recounts the long history of Iranian officials' direct role in terror attacks from the earliest days of the Islamic Republic. The volume includes chapters about Iranian embassies in seven European countries (Albania, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey) and profiles eleven key individuals in the Iranian government's terror apparatus with important information about their backgrounds and careers. In addition, the book explains the role of five key institutions in ordering and executing terrorist attacks. It also reproduces newspaper articles about the Iranian regime's direct role in terrorism in Europe and North America.
But Iran's Emissaries of Terror has serious limitations. It is sometimes too quick to accept the Islamic Republic's explanations: for instance, the idea that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security was created in 1984 not only from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' intelligence wing but also from the shah's intelligence agency SAVAK, which continued to function after the revolution. And the main limitation is that Iran's Emissaries of Terror is confined to Europe and North America while the principal Iranian embassies that organize terrorism are in the Middle East, notably Iraq and Lebanon. The volume has very little about the many Iranian-sponsored terror attacks against Middle Easterners—mostly Israelis, but also Saudis, Syrian dissidents, and anti-Iranian Iraqis and Lebanese.