The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) the Iranian opposition to the mullahs’ regime are calling for Europe to be more assertive in its policies towards Iran. Most of this is based on Iran’s human rights violations, its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and its blatant terrorist activity on European soil.
However, nothing has really changed and European countries are still dealing with Iran while ignoring its malign behavior. This is the wrong message to send because it essentially gives the Iranian regime the green light to continue on the same belligerent path.
One major turning point for the Iranian regime was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as it is known. It provided the regime with significant economic relief with only a few minor concessions for Iran to adhere to. However, the regime could not even comply with these and it resulted in the then US President Donald Trump pulling out of the deal.
Now the current US President Joe Biden is calling on Iran to reverse its violations of the agreement so that the US can re-join the deal. But the regime refuses to. And to make matters worse, the EU is failing to help the US put pressure on the regime, taking Iran’s side.
By failing to react to the regime’s installation of advanced centrifuges, Europe is giving Iran reason to believe that there will be no consequences for its provocations. It is the same with Europe’s failure to address the issue of the terror plot involving a regime diplomat for which the conviction was announced at the beginning of last month.
This terror plot on French soil, against the regime’s political opposition, could have killed hundreds of thousands of people, including prominent political figures and diplomats from around the world. Failing to acknowledge the regime’s role in this is not going to stop Iran from planning future plots.
In a statement to European Council President Charles Michel last week, hundreds of Iranian organizations from Europe, Australia, Canada, and the US called for the regime to be held accountable and for Foreign Minister Zarif to be brought to justice for facilitating the regime’s terrorist crimes.
They also called for the regime to be held accountable for its four decades of crimes against humanity. The signatories recommended that the IRGC and the MOIS are designated as terrorist entities and that the regime’s embassies and cultural centers in Europe are shut. Trade should be conditional upon commitments to reform, they also suggested.
Yet it seems that EU policy is taking the opposite approach. For example, today the Europe-Iran Business Forum starts, with the participation of Iran’s Foreign Minister. This is simply an invitation for Iran to continue its terrorist activity on European soil and shows that European leaders prefer to promote trade with Iran rather than end the regime’s state terrorism.
Lord Alton from the UK calls on the Foreign Office to downgrade relations with Iran until it puts an end to its state terrorism, and if it refuses to do so, “then a more firm response” is required.