The European Union sent a message to Iran by imposing the first sanctions since the flawed nuclear deal was signed in 2015.
The green continent decided on Tuesday to blacklist and freeze the assets of an Iranian intelligence (MOIS) unit and two of its staff for planning two political assassinations in Netherlands and for plotting attacks in Denmark and France.
Last June, the regime targeted the annual gathering of the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in Paris which the French Government said was planned by the now sanctioned MOIS unit.
In November, Denmark’s security service and police revealed that they have stopped a plot by the MOIS to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil.
Secretary Pompeo welcomed the decision and wrote on Twitter, “European nations sent Iran a clear message that terrorism will not be tolerated. The US strongly supports the new sanctions and stands with our European allies as we counter this common threat.”
Today, EU faces a new threat from Iran’s organized terrorist operations under diplomatic protection. Member states understand now this reality and have decided to act together to counter this threat.
The 28 EU member states are not alone. Other countries such as Albania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Canada also comprehended the threat of Iran’s terrorism and responded by cutting diplomatic ties with the regime in order to protect their citizens.
Weeks ago, senior American officials praised Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s decision to expel the Iranian Ambassador and another diplomat for threatening the country’s security.
Europeans should be alarmed as the MOIS gains experience from its latest failures in Europe, especially in light of Rouhani’s recent threat that “the EU will be flooded by drugs and terrorism”Hamid Bahrami
On March 22, 2018, two Iranian operatives were arrested in Tirana on charges of plotting a terrorist attack against thousands members of the Iranian dissident group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK), at their Persian New Year celebration.
The MEK members are living in Tirana since they were welcomed and moved from Iraq under the supervision of the UN. Iran regime views the group as the main threat to its existence and senior regime officials are unable to hide their concerns over the MEK’s activity.
The regime’s foreign minister Javad Zarif attacked the EU on Twitter writing, “Europeans, incl (including) Denmark, Holland and France, harbor MEK”. During the UN Security Council meeting over Iran’s missile program in December last year, Tehran’s ambassador repeated the regime’s baseless allegations against the MEK.
Pundits and experts believe that such desperate actions and false statements by the theocracy against the opposition is a testament to the group’s capacity and political weight.
It is not surprising that the religious dictatorship, world’s leading state sponsor for terrorism, orchestrates a series of terrorist operations across the world. It has just done that for the last four decades with the MEK being its first and main target.
The NCRI President-elected Maryam Rajavi welcomed EU’s decision but pointed out that the imposed sanctions are not enough to stop the MOIS. She called on International Community to list the entire MOIS as a terrorist entity, a conclusion which the EU has yet to reach.
Mrs Rajavi believes sanctions are necessary to fight terrorism in Europe as she tweeted, “they must be completed by blacklisting of the entire intelligence and IRGC (Revolutionary Guard) apparatus and by prosecuting and expelling the regime’s terrorist diplomats and mercenaries.”
It is the first time after signing the nuclear deal that proponents of the policy of appeasement like Federica Mogherini and her team were unable to whitewash Iran’s destructive behavior in Europe.
Iran regime is currently like a wounded dog seeking revenge as the Iranian opposition MEK has successfully inspired and led popular protests against the regime inside the country.
Europeans should be alarmed as the MOIS gains experience from its latest failures in Europe, especially in light of Rouhani’s recent threat that “the EU will be flooded by drugs and terrorism”.
Then the question is will the people of Europe show their dismay by voting out the responsible EU leaders, like Federica Mogherini, in the May EU Election. What is evident however is that the era of whitewashing Iran’s terrorist operations has just ended.
Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner from Iran. Living in Glasgow, Scotland, he is a human right and political activist and works as a freelance journalist as his work cover’s the Middle East affairs. He tweets at @HaBahram and blogs at analyzecom.