The West Must Organise a United and Organised Response to Iranian Terror
Alireza Jafarzedah, the Deputy Director of the Washington D.C. office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and spokesperson for the Iranian opposition, published a thought-provoking piece on US news site, Townhall.
The piece, entitled “Europe and the US Must Confront Iran’s Terror On Their Soil”, highlights the escalating threat Iran poses to the West and the need for Washington and its European allies to address increasing Iranian terrorist activities.
A Year of Terror Plots
“Over the past year, Europe and the United States have seen an unprecedented increase in terrorist threats”, Jafarzedah begins.
The Iranian regime has orchestrated attacks against the Iranian resistance group, the People’s Muhajedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), in Paris, Albania, Turkey, the Netherlands, and the US. It attempted to carry out a truck bomb attack in Paris, an assassination in Denmark, and a bomb plot on the MEK’s compound near Tirana, Albania’s capital.
“For decades, Tehran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has orchestrated terror plots abroad, using diplomatic facilities as cover”, Jafarzedah continues, and this year has been no different.
Following the regime’s foiled terror attack on the MEK’s annual Grand Gathering event in Paris, a diplomat working out of the regime’s Austrian embassy was arrested over coordinating the attack and supplying the would-be attackers with the explosive material.
The MEK revealed in a press conference later that the diplomat, named Assadollah Assadi, had been acting on the orders of the regime leadership, indicating that the elaborate web of Iranian terrorism runs from the upper echelons of the Iranian regime, and relies on diplomats working out of regime-affiliated embassies to execute the violent attacks.
Uprisings at Home
Alireza Jafarzedah believes that the surge in Iranian terror activities can be explained by the mullahs weakening grip on the political landscape at home.
Iran has been racked by a wave of protests which began with the MEK-organised nationwide uprising in December and January. Major strikes in Iran’s key industries spread across the countries, and since January the mullahs have had to deal with a series of anti-regime strikes and protests among Iran’s truck drivers, teachers, steelworkers, factory workers, and students.
“Unable to crush the unfolding uprising at home, the mullahs are striking overseas”, Jafarzedah writes. This certainly makes sense as the targets in the majority of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism abroad have been MEK members living abroad.
“Western governments need to take several concrete steps”
Jafarzedah goes on to outline several concrete steps that Western governments must take to protect their own citizens and end the regime’s terror machine in Europe and the West.
“Firstly, begin arresting or expelling Iranian agents acting illegally”, he writes. There is no shortage of agents operating on foreign soil. In the last 12 months, four diplomats have been accused of illegal conduct or engaging in plotting terror attacks against the MEK. Three were expelled by the Dutch and French governments, the last was detained and will face charges for the Paris terror plot in Belgium.
There is some appetite within the EU for a firmer stance against diplomats engaged in nefarious activities. 150 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) recently signed a letter calling for the expulsion of Iranian intelligence agents from EU soil.
“Secondly, Western governments should seriously consider shutting Iranian diplomatic facilities”, Jafarzedah suggests. Tehran has consistently demonstrated contempt for international and domestic law. The regime cannot be trusted to maintain facilities on Western soil without engaging in violence. Therefore, the West should consider limiting Tehran’s diplomatic activities.
“Thirdly, Western governments should work together to enact sanctions on firms that fund the terror”. The US has reintroduced sanctions against the Iranian regime and its affiliated companies. The EU must join the US the avoid Iranian companies bypassing these sanctions.
Europe & U.S. Must Confront Iran’s #Terrorism On Their Soil https://t.co/HguurxnPXP Unable to crush the unfolding uprising at home, the mullahs strike overseas…Tehran’s running record is 4 attempts in Europe & U.S. in 6 months; that's one major terror plot every six weeks. pic.twitter.com/LRLeLjfH7K
— Alireza Jafarzadeh (@A_Jafarzadeh) December 2, 2018
The only way to end terrorism is by cutting off its financing. This is why it is imperative the West stands firm and brings the full weight of sanctions against the Iranian companies involved in funding terrorism.
Jafarzedah concludes his article by suggesting that the regime is weaker than it portrays itself. With uprisings occurring on a daily basis, the regime in on the brink of collapse. He concludes, “the Iranian people’s desire for a new future is stronger than their fear of the regime. The West should recognize this and stand with them instead of their oppressors”. Only then will the West ensure that the Iran threat is neutralized once and for all and protect their citizens from terror attacks.