Iran faces new sanctions put in place by the European Union, at a result of the EU holding Tehran responsible for the political assassination of two of the opponents of Iran’s regime, which took place in the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017, and is also accused by its exiled political opponents of exporting terror to carry out killings.
The general intelligence and security services of the Netherlands revealed in a report issued Tuesday, 8th of January, evidence of the involvement of Iran in the assassination of opponents to the regime.
The man killed in December 2015, was named as Mohammed Samadi, a member of the Iranian opposition organization, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, who was sentenced to death in absentia after being accused of planting a bomb at the Islamic Republic’s headquarters in 1981, killing 73 people. He was assassinated in Almere, a city east of Amsterdam in 2015. The second man, Ahmed Mola, the founder of the Arab Struggle Movement of the Liberation of Ahvaz, a movement seeking an independent state inside Iran, was killed in front of his house in The Hague in November 2017.
The Amsterdam authorities confirmed that both men were killed in similar ways, and were shot by masked individuals who drove stolen BMW’s.
According to the Netherlands media, the authorities captured two defendants in June 2018 who were suspects in the case of the two assassinations.
Also, the Netherlands intelligence announced the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats last year, however, it did not mention whether they were linked to the assassinations.
The Iranian regime has carried out criminal operations in cooperation with Lebanese and Iraqi militias
Youssef Azizi, an expert on Iranian affairs, said in an interview with 7Dnews, that in his view, the Iranian intelligence services had used external help to carry out bombings and killings of opponents outside Iran. “The Iranian regime, after the religious individuals came into power in February 1979, performed multiple organized assassinations that targeted the opposition of the regime inside and outside of Iran, not to add that many organizations that support the regime performed assassinations and bombing against various organizations in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.”
Azizi said that according to the statistics of the Iranian opposition, 307 opponents of the regime were assassinated in Europe and the US until the mid-90s, drawn from every coalition and political side. But, under Mohammed Khatami, who led the Iranian reformist movement, the Iranian government then stopped their policy of assassinations.
However, he said the Iranian security services had since resumed assassinations of the opposition in recent years in which a number of political activists had fallen victim to in Europe, including Ahmed Mola, who was assassinated in The Hague in November 2017 by drug mercenaries who were hired by the Iranian security services, according to the Netherlands government. This announcement was made after the repeated requests and demands of his family, friends and political supporters.
He added: “there is a statistic that shows that Iranian security devices, including the Ministry of Intelligence, Quds Force and the intelligence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard assassinated around 370 activists and leaderships of the organizations and the Kurdish opposition of the Iranian regime in Iraq, especially Kurdistan.”
He said that a plan to assassinate regime opponents based in Denmark was prevented by the Danish authorities last October.
He noted that: “the Iranian regime operates in cooperation with Lebanese and Iraqi militias that follow it in Europe and the US, and it was just a matter of time before it began hiring drug mercenaries.” Azizi gave a list of some of the regime’s opponents who he says were assassinated during the previous four decades, who include Shapour Bakhitar, the last Prime Minister of Iran under the Shah, Shariar Shafiq, the son of Ashraf Pahlavi, Gholam Ali Oveissi, one of the leaders of the army in the Shah’s reign, Abdulrahman Qasimlo, the former secretary general for the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Sadiq Sharafkindy, former secretary general of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, and Iranian singer and poet, Fereydoun Farrokhzad.
The Netherlands Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, said in a report that the EU had implemented sanctions on the Iranian intelligence service, and some of its officials, according to Amsterdam’s recommendations.
He indicated that the sanctions consist of freezing targeted official’s accounts in European banks and declining their access. Blok demanded Tehran’s cooperation with the investigations, warning of additional sanctions in case it did not respond.
And Denmark’s foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, announced that the EU had implemented sanctions on Iranian intelligence for planning assassinations on European soil.
Reuters reported that Samuelsen said: “The EU agreed on implementing sanctions on the Iranian intelligence services for planning to perform assassinations on European soil”.
He also tweeted: “Important day for European Foreign Policy! EU just agreed to enact sanctions against an Iranian intelligence service for its assassination plots on European soil. Strong signal from EU that we will not accept such behaviour in Europe.”
The spokesman of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, Yaqoub Al Tostari, said he had survived an assassination attempt that was planned by the Iranian intelligence in Denmark, said in a statement to 7Dnews that: “Denmark’s reaction since revealing the plots for the assassination of Habib Jabir, the leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz in September 2018, was a decisive move to make a European decision of implementing sanctions on Iran, and if not for the opposition of some European countries, the sanctions would have been wider and far more harsh,” He added.
Al Tostari said that: “these sanctions are an important step but not enough to stop Iranian terrorism and the activity of its intelligence groups in the European countries, especially since Iran pushed these groups to assassinate the leaders of non-Persian organizations, after the increase of their activities and their impact on these countries.”
Denmark security services announced last October foiling the ability of Iranian intelligence to carry out an assassination on Danish soil, that had targeted the leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, Habib Jabir. And Danish police arrested as a suspect a Norwegian citizen with Iranian origins.
As well as the intelligence services in Sweden and Norway who cooperated with Denmark in the case, they were also acting together in concert with Norwegian police, where an investigation linked to the Iranian intelligence assassination plots was also discovered.
In addition to the sanctions of the EU on the Iranian intelligence services, two Iranian diplomats, Saeed Hashimi, and Asadallah Asdi, are also accused of plotting the bombing attempt on the conference of the people’s mujahedin of Iran, based in France.
Albania has dismissed the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat with the accusations that they were plotting attacks against anti-Iranian regime groups based in Albania.
The Albanian Foreign Ministry further reported that the country dismissed the ambassador of Iran and another diplomat for being a threat to its national security.