The Iranian regime scrambles to distance itself from the foiled terror attack in Europe
On Monday, July 2nd, Belgian authorities confirmed they arrested a husband and wife of Iranian origin in connection with a plot to bomb the Free Iran rally held in France. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), two Iranian opposition groups in exile, held their annual gathering in Villepinte, Paris, with critics of the Iranian regime attending from all corners of the world.
As well as the couple in Belgium, German authorities arrested an Iranian diplomat, named as Assadollah Assadi, at the Austrian Embassy in connection with the plot. A fourth person was arrested in France. The French authorities are in the process of extraditing the suspect to Belgium.
It is reported that the diplomat provided the couple, Amir S. and Nasimeh N., with 500g of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and a mechanism to ignite the homemade explosive. Belgian authorities found the bomb in a “small toiletry bag”.
The regime rushed to conceal its involvement
The timing of the plot was unfortunate for the Iranian regime. President Hassan Rouhani embarked on a European visit, beginning in Switzerland on July 3rd, in an attempt to court European governments and persuade them to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.
As major European law enforcement agencies, the VSSE, the Antwerp Federal Judicial Police, DOVO, the French DGSI, and German Judicial authorities, are unraveling the full scope of the plot, Rouhani may find his charm offensive undermined.
Unsurprisingly, the regime immediately began to distance itself from the attacks. The regime’s Foreign Minister stated that the plot was a deliberate attempt to undermine Iran’s relationship with European Nations. A spokesperson for the ministry strived to deflect accusations by laying the blame on the MEK. He alleged the couple were members of the MEK.
The French government dismissed the regime’s denial. It will proceed with the extradition of the suspect in French custody. However, a French diplomat confirmed that a full investigation was in process.
Former New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, was also unconvinced by Tehran’s explanation. In a statement, he called the Iranian regime, “the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world”. The motive for the attack was clear. He said, “Nothing could be worse for these misogynists [the mullahs] than a movement seen as replacing them headed by a heroic woman.” Giuliani was referring to Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
The regime’s European network of spies
The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s stance would be more believable if this was the first time Iranian state agents had been arrested for operating in Europe. But it is not.
As recently as January, German police raided 10 apartments in search of Iranian “state spies”. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused the regime’s Quds Forces of carrying out “covert assassinations in the heart of Europe”, in May.
A campaign of deceit
In the wake of the foiled attack, the Iranian regime has intensified its campaign of vilification aimed at the MEK. The Iranian state-run media and their proxies abroad have repeatedly pedaled the notion that the plot was orchestrated by the MEK to undermine the regime’s relations with Europe.
Some outlets have asserted that the 500g of TATP found in the possession of the Belgian couple was not intended to kill, only to create a “sound bomb” and generate a media storm.
The perpetrators behind these falsehoods are familiar faces. Darius Bazargan, who broke the “news” that the plot was a “MEK inside job” is the producer of a recent MSNBC segment which was lambasted for spreading misinformation about the MEK place of residence in exile in Albania.
Similarly, the Guardian journalist Saeed Kamali Dehghan – an infamous regime advocate – regurgitated the regime’s narrative, pointing the finger at the MEK.
The regime can use its mouthpieces all it wants; it is not having the desired effect. The narrative is falling on deaf ears. Representatives from France and the US have shown they will not permit the puppet masters in Tehran to play them.
The case has drawn attention to Iran’s European spy network. A network that major European nations will be keen to eradicate. With any luck, this will be the wakeup call Europe needs. To remove Rouhani’s tentacles, you must cut off the head. Regime change is the only way to end Iran’s terrorist financing and destabilizing efforts abroad.
The first step towards prising Iran out of the mullahs’ grip is to endorse American sanctions. Without sanctions, the regime will remain free to spread its networks across Europe, and next time, the plot may not be foiled in time.