In June 2018, four people were arrested by European authorities for their roles in an Iranian plot to bomb a gathering held in Paris by the Iranian opposition, which was attended by over 100,000 people. German authorities arrested the mastermind of the bomb plot, a high-ranking Iranian diplomat named Assadollah Assadi, who was stationed in Austria but travelling back through Germany when he was arrested. He was extradited to Belgium to face trial alongside the two operatives that he’s provided with explosives.
In March, Albania arrested two other Iranian operatives for plotting an attack on the home of around 3,000 members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), an opposition group that was blamed by Iranian officials for the anti-regime protests that have shaken Iran since December 2017.
These recent plots, which could have seen a devastating loss of life, as well as assassinations and attempted assassinations, showed Europe that Iran-backed terrorism poses a serious threat, but the political response has been lukewarm at best.
While France imposed sanctions on the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and some of its known operatives shortly after an investigation into the June plot, the rest of the EU only adopted these sanctions in January.
Many critics of the Iranian Regime believe this does not go far enough. Even the expulsion of five Iranian diplomats during 2018, by France, Albania, and the Netherlands does not go far enough because, as the Belgian judiciary stated in summer 2018, nearly all Iranian diplomats are agents of the Iranian secret service.
That’s why the EU should support the February 13-14 Warsaw Summit on Middle Eastern affairs, which focuses on the threat from Iran and listen to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about moving away from the appeasement policy that has only empowered the mullahs to do harm at home and abroad. However, all nations at the summit should coordinate with Iran’s organized domestic opposition.
Tom Ridge, the US’s first Homeland Security Secretary, wrote: “If the European Union has realized the wisdom of reversing the policies of appeasement, which have only exacerbated the threat of Iranian terrorism on European soil, it must take steps to underscore the existing regime’s illegitimacy. There is no better way to do that than standing behind the regime’s most active domestic opponents.”