Iran General NewsEU Facing Backlash Over Iran Policy

EU Facing Backlash Over Iran Policy


European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday for extensive policy discussions, drawing commentary from various lawmakers about existing policies, most notably their policy on Iran.

The appeasement policy on Iran was already pretty contentious but has recently been put in sharper focus, following the conviction of an Iranian diplomat for terrorism in Europe earlier this month.

In 2018, Assadollah Assadi, who was then-stationed at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, smuggled 500g of the TATP explosive into Europe in his diplomatic luggage before driving to Luxembourg to personally hand it over to the Belgian couple he’d hired, along with specific instructions to place it as close to opposition leader Maryam Rajavi as possible at the Free Iran rally in France. A third accomplice was waiting at the rally to watch the explosion and report back.

Thankfully, the plot was thwarted by European police. Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison. All three accomplices were sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in jail, as well as losing their Belgian citizenship.

Prosecutors said that Assadi was not acting on his own volition, but on behalf of Iran’s highest-ranking members, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iran critics say that this is a pattern of the Tehran’s  behaviour, but the EU has failed to act accordingly.

This led Iranian expats to gather outside the EU headquarters in Schuman Square, Brussels, on Monday, to call direct attention to the case and demand that the EU acknowledge it and condemn Iranian state-backed terrorism.

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However, this was far from the only push back that the EU has seen in recent days over its treatment of the Iranian government following Assadi’s trial.

Over 200 Iranian communities from a dozen EU countries, Britain, the US, Canada, and Australia have composed a statement to European Council President Charles Michel and EU head of foreign policy Josep Borrell, to notify them that Iran’s foreign terrorism is twinned with domestic human rights abuses, while also citing Iran’s ballistic missile development, nuclear weapons’ programmes, and regional warfare as issues of concern.

While British MPs, on behalf of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran, called on the UK and EU to take action against Iran’s terrorism and take steps to end it, rather than maintain ordinary diplomatic relations.

While Lord Alton of Liverpool, who was one of the signatories to that statement, also wrote to UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab, to advise that Britain must take a leading role in addressing Iran’s state terrorism. He further advised that the UK must take a tougher role on Iran, which means not attending the Europe-Iran Business Forum next week.

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