On Friday, a group of British lawmakers issued a statement on behalf of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran, expressing their frustration with the trend of silence following a landmark case that ended earlier this month with the indictment of an Iranian terrorist operating under diplomatic cover.
The statement targets both the leaders of the European Union and the UK government, describing their collective policy towards Iran as a policy of “maximum diplomacy” at a time when “maximum pressure” is necessary.
At the same time, the United States began shifting away from the “maximum pressure” strategy, shifting from the Trump administration to the administration of his successor, Joe Biden. However, Biden indicated that he was not prepared to resume the suspension of economic sanctions unless the mullahs’ regime first reconsidered all steps it took to breach the agreement in an attempt to blackmail the international community after Trump withdrew from the deal. Tehran’s reaction showed no sign of determination, especially if the UK and the European Union refused to take a clear side and start pushing for a correct policy.
That kind of pressure is exactly what the declaration signed by Representatives Bob Blackman, David Jones and Steve McCabe, as well as Lord Alton of Liverpool, called for. The day after the release of the statement, Alton sent a separate letter to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, reiterating the message and stressing that the UK could play a key role in pushing its European allies toward a set of policies that would help maintain and expand the cap. Squeeze strategy.
The letter came before the government recommended that investigations be opened with Iranian diplomats in the UK, to determine whether there were any who might have been involved in activities similar to those that led to the case that ended on February 4 with the 20-year prison term for the former third advisor at the embassy. Iranian in Vienna.
This diplomat, Asadullah Asadi, was arrested in the summer of 2018, around the same time with three conspirators he had recruited to try to blow up a crowd of Iranian opposition. The event took place in a convention center on the outskirts of Paris, and had it not been for its frustration, it would have caused hundreds of deaths in the explosion and stampede that followed.
The main target of the plot was the leader of the Iranian opposition, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, who is the elected president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Al-Asadi allegedly ordered his agents to place the bomb as close as possible to them when he met them in Luxembourg to deliver the bomb himself. The lawsuit also established that Al-Asadi had smuggled the explosives to Europe using a diplomatic bag on a commercial flight.
The aforementioned statement and letter rightly indicates that these activities demonstrate an explicit disregard for Western human rights and security interests, and that the lack of an adequate response to these activities may encourage the mullahs to attempt to re-commit the crime. Investigators and prosecutors in the Al-Asadi case made it clear that he did not act on his initiative, but that the order to launch the attack came from senior regime officials.
The Iranian Resistance had revealed earlier that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alawi, and above all, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif were behind the bombing. 2018. This point was echoed by British lawmakers in their statement in which they criticized the European Union for sponsoring the European-Iranian Business Forum from March 1 to 3, at which Zarif is expected to speak alongside the European Union’s foreign policy coordinator, Josep Borrell.
The statement said that this step “rewards the Iranian state’s terrorism instead of holding its foreign minister responsible for terrorist acts committed by Iran’s diplomat.” Lord Alton’s letter goes on to warn the UK against repeating the EU’s mistake: “The UK and its diplomats must refrain from participating in such dangerous diplomatic events and reject any attempt by the European Union to ignore or justify Tehran’s direct involvement in terrorist acts.”
What’s more, Lord Alton and his colleagues urged the United Kingdom and the European Union to demonstrate the consequences for the Iranian regime by cutting diplomatic ties, cutting trade ties, and making a return to the status quo conditional on a strict condition, which Tehran pledges to dismantle. Terrorist networks and will never order such a plot on European soil.
The statement stressed that the meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Monday in Brussels was an ideal opportunity to prepare the ground for this action. This message was repeated on the day of this meeting by a larger gathering of Iranian expatriates and their political supporters in Shoman Square, in front of the European Union headquarters. The protest was specifically intended to draw attention to the Al-Asadi case and the fundamental threats it revealed. The participants chanted slogans and made statements insisting on a firm European approach in dealing with the regime.
The demonstration faithfully reflected the popular feelings of the Iranian communities, which was confirmed by a statement of support signed by more than 200 Iranian expatriate institutions from 16 different countries. This statement was directed at the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, as well as Joseph Borrell, in which he denounced what she described as “the unforgivable silence and inaction of Western countries in the wake of the terrorist attack. Hundreds of expatriates.”
The Iranian community’s statement came three days after the British statement, which expanded by linking the foreign terrorism of the mullahs ’regime to other issues, including human rights violations at the national level. In fact, these two phenomena have accelerated in recent months and years, as the regime faces increasingly difficult challenges from the Iranian resistance and its backers inside Iran.
“Despite the worst levels of repression imposed by the regime,” the statement said, the Iranian people “have shown that they seek to overthrow religious fascism in its entirety.” Since late 2017, at least three national uprisings have erupted in Iran, among them one in November 2019 that swept through nearly 200 towns and villages before the Revolutionary Guards opened fire on the crowds, killing more than 1,500 people.
The continuing internal turmoil that followed is testament to the opportunity for Western governments to choose the right policy. On the contrary, the threat to the security of the West would be greatly diminished if serious pressure was put on the regime for the express purpose of supporting the opposition. In symbolic steps in this direction, the declaration of the Iranian communities indicates that the European Union, its member states, and the United Nations Security Council “are stripping the illegal and cruel religious regime of the seats that Iran occupies at the United Nations and the United Nations and other international civil forums. Instead, These seats should be granted to representatives of the National Council of Resistance of Iran as a democratic alternative to the regime. “