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EU sanctions Iran’s regime for terror plots in Europe

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen

Reported by PMOI/MEK

 

Jan. 8, 2019 - The European Union agreed on Tuesday to impose sanctions on the Iranian regime’s intelligence service along with two of its staff after designating them on the EU terrorist list for plotting assassinations in Europe, according to Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen and EU diplomats talking with the media.

“EU just agreed to enact sanctions against an Iranian Intelligence Service for its assassination plots on European soil. Strong signal from the EU that we will not accept such behavior in Europe,” Denmark’s Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

In a strong warning to the Iranian regime, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen also emphasized “such actions are unacceptable and must have consequences.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Danish Foreign Ministry named the two individuals as the deputy minister and director general of intelligence, Saeid Hashemi Moghadam, and Assadollah Asadi, a Vienna-based diplomat. Their names are set to appear officially in the EU’s Official Journal on Wednesday.

Reuters reported the decision, freezing financial assets in the bloc belonging to the unit and the two individuals, comes after Denmark said last year it suspected the Iranian regime intelligence service of carrying out an assassination plot on its soil.

France has said there was no doubt the Iranian intelligence ministry was behind a failed attack in Paris.

EU officials said the decision was taken without debate at an unrelated meeting of Europe ministers in Brussels and the asset freeze comes into effect on Wednesday.

The move follows efforts by Denmark and France to marshal a EU-wide response to the accusations of the Iranian attack plots in France and Denmark late last year.

 

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The Iranian regime has been facing growing troubles and isolation in Europe through the course of 2018 to this day.

On December 19, Albanian authorities declared the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats because of their "involvement in activities that harm the country's security" and for "violating their diplomatic status."

One of those diplomats was the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Albania Gholamhossein Mohammadnia.

“Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated,” the U.S. President’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, tweeted. “We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.”

While praising the move, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also reminded the broader threat of Tehran’s foreign terrorism. “European nations have thwarted three Iranian plots this year alone. The world must stand together to sanction Iran’s regime until it changes its destructive behavior,” Pompeo tweeted.

The Iranian opposition has been warning about the Iranian regime’s uptick in terrorist activities since the turn of the year. In December, an international conference hosted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) called on the international community to take a firm stance toward the Iranian regime’s intensifying global terrorism.

“All of Iran’s wealth is being spent on terrorism and terror groups and all the while the Iranian people are in the worst possible economic conditions,” former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who spoke at the event, said. The Iranian embassy in Albania has doubled its size, Kennedy warned, adding all of Iran’s embassies in Europe are involved in terrorism.

“The Iranian regime is very active in Albania, especially in malign measures,” said former Albanian defense minister Fatmir Mediu at the conference. “Tehran is spreading lies, especially through its embassy in Tirana. The more they adopt such measures, the more they prove how terrified they are of [PMOI/MEK].”

In the past year, the Iranian regime has made several terrorist attempts against the Iranian opposition and dissidents abroad. In March, Albanian authorities foiled a bombing plot against the New Year celebration of PMOI/MEK members in Tirana, Albania’s capital.

In June, European authorities stopped another bombing plot, this time against the annual gathering of Iranian dissidents and NCRI supporters in Paris, France. Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat based in Vienna, Austria, was directly involved in the plot and had personally delivered explosives to the hit team. Assadi was subsequently extradited to Belgium, where he is being tried for his crimes.

In August, U.S. authorities arrested two individuals who were spying on MEK members on behalf of the Iranian regime.

In October, Danish authorities declared they had discovered another terrorist plot by the Iranian regime that was aimed at Arab dissidents.

Gholamhossein Mohammadnia, the expelled Iranian ambassador to Albania, is a well-known agent of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He was appointed to the regime’s embassy in Tirana shortly after MEK members were relocated from Iraq to Albania.

The expulsion of the Iranian regime’s ambassador and another diplomat from Albania was a scenario planned by the United States and Israel to “damage relations between Iran and Europe,” according to the expelled envoy who has been talking about his ordeal. The truth is, however, the two diplomat terrorists were expelled from Albania on the grounds of “illegal activities.”

In an interview with the state-run IRNA news agency, Gholam-Hossein Mohammadnia, the Iranian regime’s former ambassador to Albania, claimed American “hawks” supporting the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were “concerned about the future of this organization” due to the “growing relations” between the Iranian regime and Albania.

“The most important objective of those plotting this scenario to confront Iran, be it in Albania or other countries, and to challenge any measures aimed at maintaining the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” he added.

It is worth noting that prior to being appointed as the Iranian regime’s ambassador in Albania, Mohammadnia was a member of Tehran’s team involved in nuclear talks with the P5+1.

He links his expulsion from Albania to all subjects possible other than supervising the preparation and implementation of terrorism-related activities. Mohammadnia considers this move by Albania following a trend of “a series of measures” being carried out “especially on the verge of a special purpose vehicle” seeking to bypass U.S. sanctions and maintain trade relations between the European Union and the Iranian regime.

 

Why was Tehran’s man expelled from Albania?

On December 19, a series of published reports indicated the Iranian regime’s ambassador in Albania was expelled along with another diplomat terrorist due to suspicions of “illegal activities” endangering this country’s security. On that very day, the Albanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson described the reason behind the expulsion of these two Iranian regime diplomat terrorists as “violating diplomatic customs.”

Initial reports indicated the expelled diplomats were suspected of being involved in illegal activities related to a football/soccer match between the two teams of Albania and Israel. Further reports showed around 20 individuals were arrested on suspicion of attempting to stage a possible terror attack.

However, Albanian government officials subsequently stressed that the reason the Iranian regime's diplomats were expelled was their terrorist activities and plots against PMOI/MEK members who were relocated in the Balkan country in the past years.

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in this regard on December 14, whereas the Albanian Foreign Ministry announced the Iranian regime’s expulsion on December 19.

It is worth noting that on December 19, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Albania’s measures of expelling the Iranian regime’s ambassador and another diplomat.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton also described this move by Tirana Prime as “signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated.”

Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe.

The expulsion of Iranian regime diplomats from Albania is not the only case of such accusations raised against the Iranian regime. Tehran is also accused of seeking to eliminate dissidents in France, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The European Union says it is following up on the events in this regard.

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