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IRAN - EU Must Address Iran’s State Terrorism

January 28, 2021:

EU Must Address Iran’s State Terrorism.
In an online conference hosted by the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) on January 28, experts called on the European States, particularly High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell, to adopt a firm approach against Iran’s state terrorism.
Notably, on February 4, a court in Antwerp of Belgium would issue its verdict against senior Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi and his three accomplices on charges of terrorism.
On July 1, 2018, European law enforcement arrested this terror cell during a joint anti-terrorism operation. German authorities detained Assadollah Assadi in Bayern State after delivering 1lb of TATP explosive material. Belgian and French security forces arrested Assadi’s accomplices on their territories.
Europe policy vis-à-vis Iran state terrorism is feckless. Diplomatic ties should be downgraded until Iran gives assurance that it will halt its terror apparatus in Europe.
IRGC and Intelligence Ministry must be designated as terrorist entities. Over twenty former senior European officials issued a statement initiated by Mr. Giulio Terzi, former foreign minister of Italy and Chairman of the ISJ Committee on the protection of human rights and justice in Iran, to criticize the EU’s response to the Iranian regime’s state-sponsored terrorism, underscoring the imperative of a firm approach to Tehran’s blackmail and hostage taking, and stressed that “appeasing this regime is feeding the crocodile.”
The officials, who include former ministers in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Poland, Ireland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Albania, as well as the former president and prime minister of Romania, said the prosecution of those who ordered Tehran’s terrorist plot on European soil was “a necessary and deterrent action against the godfather of international terrorism in the world today.”
After nearly two-and-a-half years of investigation, a Court in Antwerp heard the case of four defendants, including an Iranian diplomat (Assadollah Assadi) for attempting to bomb a large rally of the NCRI (Iran’s main opposition) in June 2018 in France’s Villepinte. Had the terrorist bombing plot in June 2018 at Villepinte succeeded, hundreds of innocents including European citizens and prominent political figures from both sides of Atlantic would have been killed.
Belgian State Security Service, VSSE, concluded, “The plan for the attack was conceived in the name of Iran and under its leadership.” As such, regardless of the Court’s final verdict, the Iranian regime’s direct role in this crime makes it an imperative that Europe reviews its Iran policy.
The signatories, who represent a wide spectrum of political movements, impressed upon EU leaders, including Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Mr. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament as well as the leaders of the EU member states and non-EU states, that “Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, must be held accountable for his diplomat’s proven role in plotting to blow up a peaceful rally in Villepinte, France. In this respect, the activities of Iran’s embassies and religious and cultural centres need to be scrutinized and diplomatic relations with Iran should be downgraded. Any return to normal diplomatic relations should be subject to Iran giving assurances that it will never engage in terrorism in Europe again.”
The signatories also emphasized, “The European Union should designate Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC in their entirety as terrorist entities. Their agents and mercenaries in European countries must be put on trial, punished, and expelled.
On April 29, 1997, the EU Council reaffirmed that any progress in the EU’s normal relationship with Iran can only be made if the Iranian authorities respect the norms of international law and refrain from acts of terrorism, including against Iranian citizens living abroad and cooperate in preventing such acts.
The former EU officials stressed, “This time an acting diplomat of the Iranian regime was personally engaged, bringing the bomb from Iran via a commercial airline and personally delivering it to the would-be bombers. Thus, the undisputed evidence in the terrorist Villepinte case indicates that the involvement of Iranian authorities at the highest level not only has not come to an end but it has been upgraded into plans for mass murder. The recent expulsion of the Iranian ambassador and three diplomats from Albania and three other diplomats from France and the Netherlands following similar terrorist acts, clearly show the involvement of the Iranian embassy and its diplomats in these acts. The EU must take firm action. To do otherwise would provide impunity for the Iranian regime and embolden them to carry out further terrorist attacks in Europe. Terzi also highlighted the need to further investigate Tehran’s terror network in Europe. “Only four people have been discovered. What about the other people on this network who remain in Europe? A considerable network of criminals are waiting for orders to carry out terrorist activities,” he said. “Europe’s lack of proper action has emboldened Iranian authorities in pursuing their malign activities. The Iranian government has been convinced that it has impunity no matter what it does in Europe,” Terzi said, emphasizing the necessity of reviewing EU policy toward Tehran.
Struan Stevenson, former MEP from Scotland: “As a diplomat, you can’t make hundreds of visits to different countries without permission from your ambassador,” said Struan Stevenson, referring to Assadi’s track record of constantly visiting European countries to coordinate with his network of agents.
“We know that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the regime President Hassan Rouhani and the always-smiling Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, all three knew about the attack, all three agreed to the attack, and all three ordered it. If you reflect on this, you can imagine the scope of this attack,” Vidal-Quadras said.
Giulio Terzi, former Italian Foreign Minister: “The Assadollah Assadi’s case is not a case among others, not just a judiciary event. It is a turning point for understanding in full of how Iran and its criminal structure of terrorist activity threaten Europe.”

https://irannewsupdate.com/news/terrorism/eu-must-address-irans-state-terrorism/

http://isjcommittee.com/2021/01/statement-by-over-20-senior-former-european-officials-addressed-to-eu-leaders-2/ (Source: irannewsupdate.com)

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