International conference held in Brussels to discuss Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

Leading Minds Meet in Brussels to Discuss the Iranian Threat

International conference held in Brussels to discuss Iranian regime's terrorist activities in Europe

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE-BRUSSELS- FEB 4, 2019
Iranian State Terrorism – Growing Threat for Europe – Correct policy
Role of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diplomats in Terrorist Structure and Operations

On Monday, February 4th, Alejo Vidal Quadras, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, Farzin Hashemi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Giulio Terzi, the former foreign minister of Italy, Yves Bonnet, the former director of France’s DST, and Claude Moniquet, a counter-terrorism and Middle East specialist, attended the International Conference in Brussels to discuss the Iranian threat.

Vidal Quadras opened the conference with a brief on the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities in Europe and the US, particularly the recent terrorist activities targeting the MEK. He described how those accused of plotting terrorist acts abroad have close ties to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and regularly accompanied the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to meetings.

The Former Vice-President of the European Parliament criticized the EU’s policy of appeasement and asked, “why not sanction the regime’s supreme leader who endorses all of the terrorist operations?”

Vidal Quadras asserted that Europe, “cannot have normal relations with a regime which jeopardizes the safety of citizens in Europe and the US.”

A State-Financed and Controlled Operation

Next, Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI addressed those in attendance. He reiterated that the connections between the terrorist assailants and the upper echelons of the regime’s leadership demonstrated that “the terrorist activities of the Iranian regime is not the work of only several rogues.” He said, “it is clearly state-financed and state-controlled.”

Freeh drew parallels between the most recent spate of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks on foreign soil and previous attacks that took place while he was head of the FBI.

In 1996, the Iranian regime carried out an attack on the Khobar Tower in Saudi Arabia. 19 US soldiers were killed and the FBI opened an investigation. Freeh said, “the attack was controlled, organized and carried out by the IRGC (the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp). This was done by the government of Iran at senior levels of power.”

“In those days,” Freeh continued, “the regime wanted to appear strong and disciplined and at the same time they resorted to terrorism.”

Freeh concluded, “the Iranian regime cannot be trusted,” adding, “the regime has been doing the same thing for the past 25 years.” “Terrorism is not a pattern of behavior but it is institutionalized. Appeasement of the regime not only conveys a sense of weakness, but it conveys to the adversary to continue to do what it does and the business goes on,” Freeh asserted.

For Freeh, the EU needs to modify its position. Continuing down the road of appeasement will not help combat Iranian terrorism. It will allow it to continue unchecked. “The only way to deal with this regime is clear, firm force and applied sanctions,” he said.

A Regime of Terrorists

To support Freeh’s assessment, the NCRI’s Farzin Hashemi described the findings of an investigation carried out by the NCRI and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Hashemi revealed that Reza Amiri Moghaddam was responsible for the planning and execution of the foiled terror attack in Paris. He coordinated the operation, which involved using a car laden with explosives to attack members of the MEK and their allies at the opposition group’s annual Grand Gathering event, from Vienna with the regime’s diplomat, Assadollah Assadi.

Moghaddam also represented the Iranian regime during the Iranian nuclear deal negotiations. “The EU has been negotiating with individuals who have been personally involved in acts of terrorism and planning in terrorism,” he said.

Additionally, the recently expelled ambassador to Albania, Gholam Hossein Mohammadnia was also a member of the regime’s JCPOA negotiating team.

“Terrorism is institutionalized in the Iranian regime and is approved by Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Security Council,” Hashemi said, “literally terrorism is in the regime’s DNA.”

“All the regime’s officials are involved in terrorism. They cannot be interlocutors to the European governments. It is time for the EU to impose sanctions on the entire MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence and Security) and IRGC,” Hashemi concluded.

The Cyber Threat

Alejo Vidal Quadras then handed the former Foreign Minister of Italy, Giulio Terzi, the floor. Terzi introduced the regime’s cyber threat and charted its subversive activities online.

He accused Iran of using social media to subvert Western democracy. “Accounts under false names” are emerging from Iran, he said. “Special attention is needed for counteracting the cyber threat from Iran,” Terzi asserted.

Dealing with the Iranian Threat

All of the speakers at the conference endorsed similar methods for dealing with the regime’s threat. “We must close down the embassies of the Iranian regime that violate the laws of the countries that host them,” Yves Bonnet, the former director of France’s DST, said.

He also endorsed international recognition of the NCRI and the MEK as a viable democratic alternative to regime rule.

Counter-terrorism and Middle East specialist, Claude Moniquet echoed these views and called for tougher sanctions against the MOIS and IRGC. “We have the power to use our authority to obtain and impose verifiable sanctions on the Iranian regime immediately for its terrorist activities on European soil,” he said.

He concluded, “complacency never paid. Today there is plenty of evidence against the Iranian regime and this will help us to put pressure on the EU to punish this terrorist regime and demand the end of these activities against Iranian opponents in Europe.”

 

Staff Writer

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