By Staff Writer
On Monday 4th February, former FBI director Louis Freeh, spoke at a conference in Brussels regarding the Iran security threat. Other panellists at the event in the headquarters of European Parliament included former EP Vice President Alejo Vidal-Quadras, retired French journalist and former intelligence agent Claude Moniquet, member of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Farzin Hashemi, former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and former French intelligence chef Yves Bonnet.
Freeh emphasised the failed policies of appeasement towards Iran that are undermining security, not just in the Middle East, but also in Europe and much further afield. He said that looking back through history, the “dangers and consequences of improper appeasement” should serve as a lesson.
He also emphasised the scale of terrorist operations organised by Iran and highlighted that it was not just a few “rogues” or individuals that are performing and plotting terrorist and criminal attacks. The government of Iran and high-level officials are involved and this should be ringing alarm bells. Not least because it warrants decisive and tough action.
“It’s clearly state-directed, state-financed, state-controlled, and it’s controlled by the people who have the levers of power into the Islamic Republic – the Supreme Leader, the President, the IRGC, and the MOIS, whether it was blowing up the Jewish facilities in Argentina or murdering 19 Americans and many other people in the Khobar Towers.”
Speaking about the nature of the regime, Freeh said that terrorism against its enemies is something that it relies on. He gave examples of the deadly activities against opposition members around the world and against activists. He said that these attacks and assassinations form a “pattern and practice” to achieving what it is unable to achieve through legitimate means – i.e. survival. The regime, he said, is clearly “desperate to maintain its influence and its leverage”.
He warned the European Union against its policies of appeasement towards Iran, saying that you cannot have a good relationship with a country that presents such a threat to its own security. He said that the United States has taken a strong position against the Iranian regime and reminds the EU that if you cannot trust a partner, you should not be doing business with the partner. “If the report is that the person lies, cheats and steals, and in this case also tries to kill you, maybe you don’t want to do business with them. It’s sort of the rule of thumb for human relationships.”
Freeh said that the fact Iranian authorities were involved in plots to kill opposition members on European soil should not be taken lightly. Especially when it is not just a single isolated incident, it is an “institutionalized way of doing business” that will continue for as long as the EU tolerates it.
He also said that sanctioning only part of one of the agencies involved “conveys a sense of weakness” and it also shows the regime that it is being appeased. Saying that this behaviour will not be tolerated, while allowing it to happen, is what Freeh describes as a “green light to the regime”.
“The only thing that this regime understands and respects is credible, consistent, applied force, and applied sanctions which have driven the economy to the point where perhaps the people there for the first time in decades will have a chance to be free.”
Finally, he advised the countries attending the summit in Warsaw to take very strong action against the regime.