Brussels – 8 January 2018 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomed the EU decision to impose sanctions on a unit of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security and two Iranian nationals after a string of terror plots in Europe.
“For far too long, the Iranian regime has gotten away with its criminal and terrorist activities on European soil. Today’s move by the EU Council to impose sanctions on the responsible unit at the intelligence ministry in Tehran and two individuals is a promising signal,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute. “European governments finally broke the deafening diplomatic silence that had been festering ever since the regime began its campaign of assassinations and terror plots in Europe.”
With the help of its diplomats accredited in European capitals, the Iranian regime directed murder plots in the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017. Last year alone, Iranian agents have spied on Israeli and Jewish organizations (including Jewish kindergartens) in Germany as potential terror targets, planned the assassination of former German parliamentarian Reinhold Robbe, tried to assassinate Iranian dissidents in Denmark, and orchestrated a narrowly thwarted bomb attack on an Iranian opposition rally in France with thousands of participants, including U.S. and European politicians. In addition, Tehran’s fully owned terror proxy Hezbollah is responsible for the 2012 Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people.
“Due to the seriousness of Iran’s crimes, the newest round of EU sanctions can only be the first step toward a comprehensive review of the bloc’s relationship with the Islamic Republic,” Schwammenthal added. “In particular, European governments ought to join forces with the U.S. in confronting Iran’s expanding ballistic missile program and urgently do away with its artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s so-called ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings to finally list the entire organization and ban its activities in Europe,” Schwammenthal said.