AJC Calls on the EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors

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AJC Calls on the EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors

Brussels - 17 January 2018 – Following yesterday’s Germany-wide police raids on 10 suspected Iranian agents believed to have spied on potential Israeli and Jewish terror targets – including kindergartens — the AJC Transatlantic Institute called today on the EU to respond to this aggression with serious consequences, foremost by sanctioning the Revolutionary Guards and expelling Iran’s ambassadors. In addition, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee ought to disinvite Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi scheduled to speak at the EU legislature next week.

"Only last week, High Representative Federica Mogherini together with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain lunched with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while at the very same time his agents may have been plotting the murder of Jewish children and Israeli diplomats in Germany,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC's EU office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “This is nothing short of a hostile act against an EU member state by the world’s foremost state-sponsor of terrorism. There can be no more business as usual for the EU with Iran,” Schwammenthal added. “Our colleagues in Berlin have rightly called for the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador to Germany and all other EU countries ought to do the same.”

Amid thawing relations between Europe and the Islamic Republic, the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee had invited for next week Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chair of the Iranian Parliament’s Foreign Policy and National Security Committee. “The European Parliament ought to reconsider whether it should go ahead with its plans to host Boroujerdi. At the very least, Europe’s lawmakers ought to use this occasion to publicly condemn the regime’s shameful acts and demand answers on Iran’s plots in Germany and possibly other EU countries,” Schwammenthal said.

“Despite the EU’s policy of engagement vis-à-vis Iran, the regime has not only intensified its internal suppression and regional aggression but seems to have been emboldened to resume its terror activities in Europe. The EU ought to therefore follow the U.S. example and blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), who seem to have dispatched the suspected agents, as well as the entire Hezbollah organization, which the regime controls and funds and often uses as its preferred terror executioners.”

Germany’s Federal Prosecutors Office ordered yesterday’s searches after receiving a tip from Germany's domestic intelligence agency, which had reportedly been informed by Israeli intelligence services. The suspects are believed to have spied "on behalf of an intelligence entity associated with Iran," the prosecutor's office said.

The German weekly Focus, which first reported the raids, said the 10 individuals were suspected members of the al-Quds Brigade, the external operations arm of the IRGC, the same unit that is assisting Assad in his brutal war against his own people. According to Focus, the suspects are believed to have spied on Jewish and Israeli targets.

Earlier this month, Germany summoned Iran's ambassador in Berlin after a 31-year-old Pakistani was convicted of spying for Iran on Social Democratic Party politician Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society. Robbe told German radio Deutschlandfunk this morning that this was an attempt on his life.