U.K. and E.U. Parliamentarians Sign Statement Calling for New Approach to Iran as Assadi’s Trial Draws International Attention
A group of 240 European parliamentarians signed a joint statement last week urging the United Kingdom and the European Union’s member states to adopt a firm stance against the Iranian regime and take measures to ensure Europe’s security in light of allegations revealed in the terrorism trial of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi in Belgium last week.
Assadi and three accomplices are accused of plotting a terrorist bombing attack against the 2018 Free Iran gathering in Villepinte, France. Prosecutors say the intended target was National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. The event was attended by tens of thousands of MEK supporters as well as dozens of prominent politicians and dignitaries from the U.K., Europe, the U.S., and many other countries. The bombing, if successful, would have caused mass casualties.
3) The statement refers to the start of a trial in Antwerp, Belgium which clarifies the close connections between Tehran’s terrorist sponsorship and its political and diplomatic institutions.#ShutDownIranTerrorEmbassies pic.twitter.com/jZWvPvEJ0v
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 1, 2020
The initiative was launched in the British Parliament by 48 members from both houses. The International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran and the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) issued the statement, which was signed by 240 parliamentarians from 19 European countries.
A Demand to Reconsider
The statement called for the U.K. and E.U. to “reconsider” its approach to dealing with Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism.
“Considering the Iranian regime’s use of diplomatic cover to carry out terrorist acts, the necessary practical warnings should be given to Tehran, such as the closure of its embassies and the expulsion of its ambassadors and diplomats,” the statement read.
The statement also demanded that the U.K., E.U, and its member states make any further relations with Iran “contingent upon the necessary guarantees from the Iranian regime to put an end to its terrorist acts on European soil.” To that end, the lawmakers stressed that a firm policy toward Iran that includes accountability measures is essential to success in this area.
Citing the Declaration of the European Union of 29 April 1997, the statement called for regime intelligence agents “using the cover of diplomats, journalists, businessmen, etc.” to be expelled, and its religious and cultural institutions, “which serve as terrorist and fundamentalist centers,” to be closed.
Terrorism Trial Highlights Risks of Inaction, Rewards for Assertiveness in #Iran Policy
By: Alejo Vidal Quadras @VidalQuadras #ShutDownIranTerrorEmbassies https://t.co/FZfbzF3VbV pic.twitter.com/3BRSYp05rW
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 1, 2020
The statement then warned of the regime’s escalating attempts to eliminate its opposition on European soil. The statement read: “Since 2018, parallel with growing anti-government protests inside Iran, there has been an alarming surge in Iran state-sponsored terrorist plots in Europe targeting Iranian activists and dissidents on European soil, in particular members and supporters of Iran’s pro-democracy opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).”
Decision Made at the Highest Level
British MP Bob Blackman wrote that Assadi’s trial would demonstrate why the Iranian regime must be held to account. He emphasized that “evidence presented at the trial against Iranian diplomat Assadi proves beyond doubt that the decision to bomb the NCRI gathering in Paris was taken at the highest level of the Iranian Government and approved by the Supreme Leader. Assadi did not act on his own initiative but followed orders from Tehran. So, the UK Government must act with European allies to hold the entire regime to account.”
British MP Bob Blackman: I was not aware of the bomb when attending the rally. As a plaintiff I'm furious and want the British gov. to take up a firm policy and arrest other terrorist agents working in #Europe. They should summon the Iranian official #ExpelIranDiplomatTerrorists pic.twitter.com/b4DlVT4QnX
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) November 27, 2020
The statement also noted its concern over the ongoing human rights violations taking place in Iran. It added that the Iranian regime has further cracked down on popular anti-regime protests—the regime’s suppression of protests and the myriad other human rights atrocities in Iran have been documented extensively by Amnesty International for years—and wrote that more should be done to help.
Tags: #FreeIran2018, Iran human rights, Iran Opposition, Iran Protests, Iran Terrorism, Maryam Rajavi, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI