Thursday, 20 Jun 2019 - 17 of Sivan, 5779

EU imposes sanctions on Iran over a string of assassination plots in Europe

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The EU has agreed to enact sanctions against Iran’s intelligence agency “for its assassination plots on European soil,” said Tuesday Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, who had pushed for such sanctions after Danish ntelligence agencies, allegedly informed by Israel’s Mossad, blamed Tehran for a foiled plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil.

BRUSSELS—-The European Union on has imposed sanctions on Iran over a string of assassination plots in Denmark and France.

The EU froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil and joined France and Denmark in alleging Tehran plotted other attacks in Europe.

The EU has agreed to enact sanctions against Iran’s intelligence agency “for its assassination plots on European soil,” said Tuesday Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, who had pushed for such sanctions after Danish ntelligence agencies, allegedly informed by Israel’s Mossad, blamed Tehran for a foiled plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil.

The plot was already uncovered in September and triggered a massive police operation, in which Denmark shut down streets and bridges nationwide.

France has also accused Iran of a plot to carry out a bomb attack at a rally near Paris organized by the Iranian opposition with thousands of participants, including U.S. and European politicians.  Moreover, the Netherlands said it had “strong indications” that Iran was behind the assassinations of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin, in 2015 and in 2017.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen called the EU’s decision “a huge victory.” “No other country’s intelligence services are on the terror list,” he said in a statement. “So it’s a very clear signal we send to Iran today.”

In addition, last year, Iranian agents have spied on Israeli and Jewish organizations (including Jewish kindergartens) in Germany as potential terror targets, and planned the assassination of former German parliamentarian Reinhold Robbe.

According to the Danish foreign ministry, both Iran’s intelligence agency and its director general of intelligence, Saeid Hashemi Moghadam, and a Vienna-based diplomat, Assadollah Asadi, were now on the EU’s terror list.

Their names are to appear in the EU’s Official Journal on Wednesday.

Samuelsen called the EU’s decision “a huge victory.” “No other country’s intelligence services are on the terror list,” he said in a statement. “So it’s a very clear signal we send to Iran today.”

He added that he believed the signal showed that the EU would “not accept such behaviour in Europe.”

The EU move to sanction Iran represents a shift as it has been straining to uphold the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of in May.

‘European governments finally broke the deafening diplomatic silence’

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Transatlantic Institute welcomed the EU decision. “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 t Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of the  Brussels-based organization.

He added: “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.”

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