MEK Iran: Importance of Confronting Iranian Terrorism
The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that two major caches of Iranian weaponry were captured en route to Yemen across the Arabian Sea in late 2019 and early 2020. The shipment included 171 surface-to-air missiles and eight anti-tank missiles, making it the greatest legal forfeiture of Iranian weapons ever. Within the same era, more than a million barrels of Iranian oil were intercepted, all of which were judged to be headed for Venezuela.
In Saudi, the list of casualties is extensive
The US Justice Department noted in the complaint that led to the confiscation of the oil that its sale would have benefited the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The proceeds from the oil were apparently added to a fund that is designed to provide reparations to victims of terrorism, including the Iranian regime’s state terrorism after it was confiscated and resold.
Because of occurrences like the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks in Lebanon and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the list of casualties in this category is extensive. It became even larger in 2020, when a US federal judge in New York ruled Iran accountable for damages related to the 9/11 terrorist assault, citing Iran’s harboring of Al Qaeda operatives and provision of “critical training and support.” However, in 2018, the list was on the verge of getting much larger as a result of a brand-new terrorist plot.
This is a testament to the bombs’ destructive potency
The scheme in question was aimed at an international protest organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) near Paris. Three Iranian agents under the direction of Assadollah Assadi, a high-ranking ambassador, attempted to enter the event with 500 grams of TATP, which Assadi had personally carried from Iran to Europe. Fortunately, Belgian officials were able to identify the weapon and safely explode it. This is a testament to the bombs’ destructive potency, which experts estimate would have killed hundreds, if not thousands, of the estimated 100,000 people who attended the Free Iran rally.
Only two days before the Belgian court was set to hear the bomb experts on the impact of the bomb used in the scheme, the DOJ released information regarding Iranian arms smuggling to the international media. Whether by coincidence or not, the revelation of the smuggling emphasizes the seriousness and durability of the Iranian terrorist threat, emphasizing the need for effective counter-measures.
Confront Tehran’s criminal authorities over their terrorism
The order to strike the assembly came from the highest levels of the Iranian regime’s leadership. Belgian prosecutors confirmed this in statements that seemed to allude to the necessity for accountability beyond the current trial. Since Assadi’s conviction, the NCRI has chastised Western politicians for treating the 2018 terror plan as if it were a closed case. The NCRI is correct in warning that if this attitude continues, the Iranian leadership will be encouraged to carry additional operations, which could rely on a network of operatives developed by Assadi but not yet well-established across Europe.
The loss of arms last year should be celebrated. However, one US Department of Justice attorney overstated when he called it “a resounding blow to the Iranian government and the criminal networks that support Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.” To deliver such a blow, Western policymakers will have to go for the head and use every resource at their disposal to confront Tehran’s criminal authorities over their support for terrorism.
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