Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 22, 2020—The Iranian regime’s ongoing terrorism initiative in Europe should be condemned by the international community and the European Union, at least for its own security, should adopt a firm policy vis-à-vis Iran’s regime as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. This was the call made by a long list of European and American dignitaries participating in an online event on Thursday, October 22, hosted by the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The event took place as a regime diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, is standing trial in Antwerp, Belgium, with four other Iranian regime operatives for a bombing plot against the Iranian Resistance in 2018. Speakers at the online event included lawyers and politicians, who condemned the regime’s support for global terrorism and called on the European Union to end its failed appeasement policy under the pretext of engagement. It is high time to make it crystal clear for the Iranian regime that their support for terrorism in Europe and across the globe will not be tolerated.
NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi was the keynote speaker at this event. “For the first time, a so-called diplomat carrying a bomb with him is being prosecuted in Europe,” Madame Rajavi said. “As usual, the religious fascism ruling Iran tried hard to put the blame on the victims, meaning the Iranian Resistance.”
Rajavi stressed that the decision for the bombing plot had been made by regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, president Hassan Rouhani, foreign minister Javad Zarif, and intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi. “This is not something new for us,” she said.
NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi
In her speech, Madam Rajavi stressed that the policy of appeasement has greatly emboldened the regime, to the extent that their arrested diplomat continues to make terrorist threats from inside prison. European states must set aside political considerations and hold all regime leaders to account in this case, she said, adding, “This is a necessary and a preventive measure against terrorism under the name of Islam with the clerical regime as its central banker.”
Rajavi also underlined that the desperate terrorist measures of the regime only betray its vulnerability in the face of the Iranian people’s uprisings, the spread of the Resistance’s influence, and the overthrow of their regime.
The opposition president called on the EU to designate the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and IRGC as terrorist entities, to prosecute MOIS and Quds Force agents, and to close the regime’s embassies and so-called religious and cultural centers. “These are indispensable to ensure the security of Europe, and especially the security of Iranian refugees and dissidents. This will bring about the friendship and support of the Iranian people,” she said.
Other speakers at the event underlined the importance of an Iranian regime diplomat being tried for terrorist acts in Europe.
“This is one of the most important terrorism cases in the 21st century. This is an attack on democracy, on human rights,” Christophe Marchand, lawyer of international criminal law said in his remarks at the event. “[Assadi] claims to have diplomatic immunity. But if he does so, then he also accepts responsibility by the regime for this horrible act.
Criminal law lawyer Rik Vanreusel stressed that while four people are being tried in this case, there is a fifth defendant, the Iranian regime, which was behind the attack. “The fifth party will be the Iranian regime, and it might in fact be the first party in this trial,” he said. “This is a case that symbolizes the protection of European values against dictators. Iranian opposition members are citizens. We will not allow secret agents to commit terrorism under the guise of diplomats.”
Rik Vanreusel, criminal law lawyer
John Sano, Adjunct Professor at The Institute of World Politics and former Deputy Director of National Clandestine Service at the Central Intelligence Service (CIA), underlined the role and modus operandi of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), which was behind this and other terror attempts against the MEK.
“The MOIS is above the law and only reports to the supreme leader. The supreme leader often goes directly to the MOIS. Given the fear the regime has about the MEK, it gives the regime great concern. They are concerned about their survival given the uprisings in Iran in the past few years. The regime is extremely frightened and they see the MEK and the largest entity that represents a free and democratic Iran. It is important that the MOIS and the mullahs in Iran be held accountable for their atrocities,” he said.
Former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi underlined the need for a firm response by the European Union to this and other terror attempts by the Iranian regime. “The European Union still does not see Iran as a fundamental threat against its citizens. Some regime opponents assassinated by the regime were European citizens. The EU did not react to the threat posed by Assadi against its authorities. The EU must be much louder and clear against these intimidations by terrorists who belong to the criminal regime of Iran.
Former Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi
Robert Joseph, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, stressed that appeasement will only encourage the regime to commit more crimes. “As a matter of policy and principle, we must support human rights and democracy in Iran. We must support the democratic opposition inside and outside of Iran. We know regime change comes from inside Iran,” Joseph said. “The ten-point plan of the NCRI, calling for democracy and respect of human rights, provides a pathway for insurance against a failed state. Finally, we must not throw the regime a lifeline to continue its threats. We must not return to appeasement. The central problem is not the absence of negotiations and particular agreements. The central problem is the regime itself.”
Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chair of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, highlighted that the regime aimed to exact revenge on the Iranian opposition for the uprisings in Iran, and their prime target was Maryam Rajavi. “At this moment, the reaction of the European Union is very important. While I appreciate the activities of security services in Belgium and other countries, I must reiterate that political decision-makers in the EU should have an appropriate reaction to this major crime. This is a historical test or challenge for the EU,” he said. “We call for the embassies of this regime to be closed. All agents of the regime must be expelled from European countries.”