By Jubin Katiraie
When it comes to dealing with Iran, the West should always think where the money is going. One of the significant expressions heard a lot this week in the media was “oil for terror”, referring to the ship network that is supporting financially Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) like the oil tanker ‘Adrian Darya 1’.
Now think about it, what’s the result of the embrace of Iran’s Foreign Minister and negotiations?
As former US Deputy State Department Spokesperson Ambassador Adam Ereli wrote in an opinion piece on Townhall 6 September 2019:
“The Iranian regime was a major topic of discussion during the G-7 Summit in Biarritz last month. But neither France nor any other European country should be helping the murderous regime to acquire a larger presence on the international stage. Tehran's support for terrorism goes beyond the Middle East and threatens both Europe and the U.S.
Both French and American citizens were among the hundreds of victims of Hezbollah attacks in the 1980s and 90s. But France was also the site of one of the most ambitious Iranian terror plots to be thwarted in recent years.
In the summer of 2018, two Iranian operatives were stopped in Belgium, as they attempted to carry high-explosives to a rally that had been organized outside Paris. Tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates from throughout the world had gathered there for a conference. Many of the hundreds of international dignitaries were prominent figures in politics, security, and academia from France, the US, and dozens of other countries…..”
Or as Claude Moniquet of the Brussels-based think-tank European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC) pointed in his opinion piece in Issues & Insight on 5 September 2019:
“Those used to dealing with Iranian affairs, especially when it comes to intelligence and security, know that truth in the mullahs’ regime is often wrapped in the sails of mystery. As Winston Churchill said once (evoking Russia): “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma…”
I know this first-hand since I have dealt with Iranian drama for more than three decades, both inside and outside government, as a French intelligence agent first and then as a terrorism expert.
But what is more confounding is the attitude of the Western powers in dealing with Iranian state terror, and the fact that they keep repeating, again and again, the same mistakes based on illusions.
I am referring specifically to the handling of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism that has directly reached European territory. According to well-placed friends in France and Belgium, some sinister realities might be brewing behind the scenes when it comes to dealing with Iranian terror.
A step back is necessary to fully understand what is at stake. By March 2018, Iranian operatives had already been arrested in Albania for plotting an attack on a compound belonging to Iran’s leading democratic opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). Had the plan not been uncovered, there is no telling how many of the 3,000 residents might have been killed. Other Iranian terrorist plots were uncovered in 2018, in Germany, Netherlands and Denmark……”
Europe should end the mirage of finding moderates in Iran:
As Ambassador Ereli continued:
“Foreign Minister Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani have long been touted as "moderates" by Tehran's apologists. But in reality, there are no moderate mullahs in Tehran, and reform of that regime is fundamentally impossible.
This has always been the position of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which explains why the Iranian regime is determined to eliminate this group and its members. In addition to the attempt to blow up the NCRI’s rally outside Paris and attacks against the MEK’s headquarters in Albania last year, the government of Iran executed an estimated 30,000 MEK political prisoners in the summer of 1988.
The fact that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publicly acknowledged the role of the MEK in organizing the anti-regime protests that rocked all parts of Iran in 2018 is a telling admission of the group’s ability to rattle the regime….”