The Trump administration has been urging its European allies to adopt a tougher stance on Iran, emphasizing in particular the Islamic Republic’s terrorism on European soil. To corroborate the administration’s point, on October 30, 2018, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) announced that a Norwegian nationalized citizen of Iranian decent was arrested on suspicion of attempting the assassination of Iranian Arab separatists.
Lest we forget, the Iranian regime has masterminded and carried out the destruction of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, on March 17, 1992, as well as the Jewish Community Center called Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) on July 18, 1994, in the same city. The embassy bombing took the lives of 29 people and injured 250, including Israeli diplomats, children and clergy from a nearby church. The AMIA bombing killed 87 people and over 100 were injured. In 1998, an intercepted call from the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires proved conclusively that Iran was involved in the bombing. In 2006, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused top Iranian officials of orchestrating the bombings in Argentina’s capital. Nisman, an Argentinian Jew, was murdered on January 15, 2015. It is more than likely that the Iranian regime had a hand in it.
While Iranian terror is worldwide, Tehran’s operations in Europe at a time when the Ayatollah regime seeks European help in thwarting U.S. sanctions is most revealing. Weakened by internal dissent, it has resorted to assassinations which reveals the murderous nature of the regime. The target this time for the Iranian regime was the exiled leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA). According to Israeli media reports, the Mossad (Israel’s Intelligence agency) provided information to Denmark’s PET on the plot that helped prevent the assassination attempt.
Denmark, however, was not the only target for Iran’s murderous regime. The BBC News headline on October 2, 2018, proclaimed “France Blames Iran for Foiled Paris Bomb Plot.” According to the BBC, “On June 30th, Iranian opposition supporters gathered in Paris for a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Guests included U.S. politicians Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, and Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer. The NCRI is considered to be the political arm of dissident group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), which Iran has designated as a terrorist organization. It later emerged that two Belgian nationals of Iranian origin - a husband and wife known as Amir A. and Nasimeh N. - had been arrested by Belgian police in possession of half a kilogram (1.1lb) of explosives and a detonator.”
An Iranian diplomat named Assadollah Assadi, based in Austria, was arrested by police in Germany. He was responsible for handing over bombs to the two perpetrators in Luxemburg who planned to attack the NCRI gathering in France. Another Iranian, named Merhad A. was arrested in Paris. He was accused of being an accomplice in the attempted bombing. French officials blame Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence of being behind the plot. The French police also raided a Shiite-Muslim Center in the French city of Dunkirk, suspected of having close ties to Iran. The French Economy, Foreign, and Interior Ministers issued a joint statement saying: “This extremely serious act envisaged on our territory could not go without a response. In taking this decision, France underlines its determination to fight against terrorism in all its forms, particularly on its own territory.”
Earlier, in March, 2018, Iranian regime agents in Tirana, Albania, attempted to kill Iranian political refugees during the celebration of the Persian New Year. Two Iranian agents pretending to be journalists were detained by local police. This attempted terror attack was confirmed by the U.S. State Department and the Albanian government. Even earlier, in April, 1990, Islamic Republic of Iran agents assassinated Professor Kazem Rajavi, a human rights activist in Geneva, Switzerland.
Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which was hijacked by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his supporters, and soon after the end of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) ended, the regime began its political assassinations abroad. In July, 1989, the regime purported to negotiate with Dr. Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) leader in Vienna. A day after the meeting, Dr. Ghassemlou was murdered by a regime assassin with three bullets fired at close range. The regime assassin also killed party comrade Abdullah Ghaderi Azar, and Fadhil Rassoul, an Iraqi professor who was the mediator. Sadegh Sharafkandi, who succeeded Ghassemlou as KDPI Secretary General, was assassinated in a mafia style attack along with three other comrades in what has become known as the Mykonos restaurant assassination on September 17, 1992, in Berlin, Germany.
More recently, in November, 2017, Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52, the leader of the ASMLA (Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz) was murdered in front of his house in The Hague, Netherlands. His daughter Hawra told Reuters “We came here to be safe but we don’t feel safe. European governments should do more to secure the safety of activists.” She added that her father’s death was reminiscent of a string of murders of Iranian dissidents in Europe in the 1990’s.
Decades-long appeasement of Iran by European governments has encouraged the Tehran regime to pursue its terrorist activities in Europe, in spite of its needs to have open trade and European help against U.S. sanctions. At a press conference in London on September 12, 2018, NCRI leaders exposed Iran’s terrorist plans and activities in Europe. They identified key members of the Iranian regime, including the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (pictured above) as playing a major role in Iran’s global terrorism. The NCRI also charged that Iranian embassies across Europe serve as terrorist hubs, spy on Iranian dissidents, and human rights activists, as well as carry out orders from the Iranian leadership. The embassies are also used to provide logistical support to terrorists including weapons, explosives, and money. Terrorists have also used the Iranian embassies for shelter following their terror operations.
Assassinations of political opponents is not new to the Iranian leadership. Since the onset of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been involved in assassination attempts against political opponents both inside and outside of Iran. The English word “assassin” originated from the word al-Hash’ash’in, a secret order of Shiites established during 11th Century Iran, which carried out political assassinations.
Yet, notwithstanding Iran’s nuclear cheating, its development of long-range ballistic missiles, and terrorism on European soil, the European Union and the individual member states continue to protect the Iran nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and appease the Ayatollahs. Europe’s shameful appeasement is exemplified by the Austrian president giving a red carpet reception to Iran’s President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif in Vienna, immediately following the foiled Iranian plot to bomb the NCRI gathering in France.
Europe should be mindful of President Trump’s urging to get tougher with the Iran. It means closing the Iranian embassies and expelling their staff wherever Iranian terror appears. Appeasement and greed however, are embedded in the European political culture. They had a revolving door for Palestinian terrorist killers in the 1970’s, and today they are doing the same with Islamic Republic of Iran terrorists.
Photo from Alireza Bahari/Fars News Agency