More than 200 Iranian expatriate organizations have sent a letter to Charles Michel, the president of the Council of Europe, urging a change in policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. The new statement comes in two weeks after an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was convicted of planning a terrorist attack on a crowd of tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates just outside Paris.
Assadi, the third advisor at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, had personally smuggled an explosive device into Europe and that for years before the attempted bombing of the 2018 Free Iran rally in Paris, he had been operating a network of operatives comprising at least 11 European countries. The trial began last November in a Belgian federal court and concluded on 4 February with a guilty verdict for Assadi and three co-conspirators.
The Iranian ambassador, along with three lower-level diplomats, was dismissed in Albania in 2018 as a result of a plot that was foiled about three months prior to the failed attack in France. In that instance, at the Persian New Year celebration by members of the Iranian regime opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, Iranian operatives intended to detonate a truck bomb.
The June 2018 march in France was organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the Iranian opposition coalition in which the MEK plays an integral part. The key speaker was NCRI President-Elect Maryam Rajavi.
Evidently, these two events represent rising tension between the Iranian regime and a global community of Iranian people promoting democratic governance as an alternative to the totalitarian state of the Iranian regime.
The statement highlights the evidence of “the mullahs’ complete disregard for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people.” This fact stands alongside the blatant “terrorism directed against dissidents on European soil” and “destabilizing activities in the Middle East,”. This further explains why so many Iranian expatriates believe that Europe has been negligent in its responsibilities to hold the regime accountable.
The statement goes even further to propose that the European Union and its Member States should completely cut diplomatic and trade relations with Iran, close embassies, and make future conditional trade on evidence that they have corrected each of these malignant patterns. The statement also calls on European governments to classify the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. As well as to “prosecute, punish and expel their agents and mercenaries” and especially Iranian officials who are suspected to be directly involved in terrorist activity or violations of human rights.
Moreover, the statement explicitly opposes the legitimacy of the entire regime as a national representative of the Iranian people by involving officials such as Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. It concludes by implying that “the illegitimate and cruel clerical regime” should no longer be recognized in the United Nations or other foreign bodies, but “the NCRI as the democratic alternative to the regime.”
Representatives of the Iranian communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Romania have signed a declaration to that effect.
In addition, NCRI supporters gathered outside the EU headquarters on Monday to reiterate the message of that statement for attendees at the latest meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels.