By Mahmoud Hakamian
A Middle East analyst and counter security expert has issued a white paper on the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities on European soil, outlining how the main target of the Regime’s aggression is the Iranian Resistance, specifically the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Claude Moniquet’s in-depth report, entitled “The Recent Iranian Terrorist Plots in Europe”, examines how the Regime uses terrorism to distract the world from its many crises, including a domestic uprising at home, and punish the MEK for leading the uprising and exposing the Regime’s many flaws to the international community.
In the 35-page document, published in February 2019, Moniquet wrote: “In 2018, the Iranian regime, facing a domestic uprising, collapsing economy, and international sanctions, took the decision to step up terrorism on European and US soil against the Iranian opposition movement [MEK].”
He explains that the Regime plotted two terrorist attacks against the MEK in 2018; one in Albania in March, targeting a Persian New Year gathering, and one in France in June, targeting the annual Free Iran rally. Both were thwarted by European authorities before anyone could get hurt.
There was also a plot to assassinate another Iranian dissident in Denmark – thwarted by authorities before the attack could take place – and a plot targeting MEK members in the US that was thankfully uncovered during the surveillance stage.
Now, in the wake of these terror attacks against the MEK, the Regime has suffered some blowback, but it has been very limited.
The US had already begun placing sanctions against the Regime after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. While the Netherlands, France, and Albania expelled diplomats that were, or were thought to be linked, to the attacks.
France also levied sanctions against the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and two Iranian officials, including the Regime’s diplomat to Vienna who orchestrated the France attack and supplied the would-be terrorists with the explosives. These sanctions were adopted by the European Union in January 2019, when the EU also put a branch of the MOIS on the EU terror list for the first time.
But Moniquet notes that the “conciliatory policy” that the EU and the US have shown towards the Regime for some 40 years has only emboldened the Regime to commit such heinous acts in order to eliminate the MEK, which are the biggest threat to the continued rule of the mullahs.
He advises that this is far from the first time that the mullahs have used terrorism as a “political tool”, citing the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis, the 1982 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, the Mykonos assassinations in 1992, and the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1994.
Moniquet wrote: “Terrorism is used to support Iran’s political agenda in the Middle East and extend its influence on the “Shiite crescent” (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon), to fuel tensions in the Gulf Area…, to provoke the Israeli “arch enemy” … and to eradicate opponents living in exile.”
It is clear that the Regime is using these terror plots as part of a deliberate attempt to damage the MEK and reduce its domestic and international influence. They know that the MEK is leading the anti-regime protests that have plagued them since the end of 2017 and that the MEK is at least partly behind the growing international pressure on Iran, so the mullahs believe that eradicating the MEK will make the problems go away.
So, how should the world respond?
Moniquet wrote that the world must:
• expel all Iranian intelligence officers
• close all Iranian sponsored institutions involved in terrorism or hate propaganda
• blacklist all officials linked to the MOIS and the IRGC
• blacklist all institutions, companies and individuals linked to Iranian intelligence activities
• condition political relations with Iran to a strict observance of human rights inside its borders and end of terrorist activities, support and funding outside its borders
• support democratic opposition forces seeking fundamental and democratic change in Iran