An expert in international politics asks how long the European Union will be “kissing up to the mullahs” of Iran while the Islamic regime floods Europe with terror plots and assassinations.
Majid Rafizadeh, a Harvard-educated political scientist, board member of the Harvard International Review and president of the International American Council on the Middle East, wrote about the issue at the Gatestone Institute.
He said the more the EU “appeases the ruling clerics of Iran, the more it will also empower them to continue carrying out terror and assassination plots on European soil.”
“How long will the EU continue its misinformed, dangerous policy of kissing up to the mullahs? The EU instead, for its own security, would do better to suspend its business transactions with Iran for a while and commit itself instead to putting a stop to the Iranian government’s unending rapacious behavior.”
His concern stems from the EU’s reaction to President Trump’s declaration of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror group.
The designation imposes restrictions on who can interact with the Islamic nation’s IRGC.
“While President Donald Trump may have his critics, his hard-line sanctions are the only kind of political message that Iran’s leaders can understand. Coming into force last November, Trump’s secondary sanctions have hit most of Iran’s major industries, including oil, shipping and banking,” Rafizadeh wrote.
“Commercial relations with all blacklisted entities are prohibited. Anyone who trades with Iran can no longer trade with the US. This policy may seem harsh, but it is well-informed and ultimately can significantly damage the ruling clerics’ ability to carry out their aggressive goals. This policy might also win the US back its leverage,” he explained.
The EU, instead of supporting sanctions, moved the other direction, he explained.
“Iran’s latest acts of terror in Europe reveal that those leaders who are appeasing Tehran, despite its terrorist plots, are most likely damaging their nations’ national security and leaving their countries more vulnerable to the Iranian government’s violent behavior.
“Ever since the nuclear deal, Iran’s destructive actions in its own surrounding region have also increased, as has its funding and arming of known terrorist sects or militia groups. These include Hezbollah, the Houthis and Hamas. The militant groups’ indiscriminate firing of rockets into other countries has made peace in the region impossible,” he said.
He said the EU’s move was “unfathomable,” but it has been taking the side of the Iranian government and rejecting longtime trading partner and ally the United States.
Trump’s harder line followed his abandonment of the so-called “nuclear deal” with Iran negotiated by Barack Obama.
The EU is using loopholes to work around the U.S. sanctions.
But Rafizadeh argued the assassinations and terror attacks by Tehran continue.
In recent years, a series of four assassination and terrorist plots across Europe were traced to Tehran. They include a foiled a terrorist attack in Paris in July of 2018 that targeted a large convention attended by prominent speakers, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.
In another case, French officials believe the Iranian regime was behind a plot that was foiled with the arrest of an Iranian diplomat and several other individuals of Iranian origin.
“If the EU does not change its position and continues its support of Iranian leaders and the nuclear deal,” Rafizadeh wrote, “Tehran’s aggressive policies in the Middle East will persist, and Tehran will keep on pursuing its subversive agenda of attacking Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States via Yemen, Israel through Syria and Lebanon, and the U.S. via Venezuela.”