Thursday, October 1, 2020
Home Blog Struan Stevenson - Iran's Foreign Minister Should Be Arrested in Europe

Struan Stevenson – Iran’s Foreign Minister Should Be Arrested in Europe

Mr. Stevenson's article on United Press International (UPI) on the necessity of arresting the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, for his involvement in terrorism.
Mr. Stevenson’s article on United Press International (UPI) on the necessity of arresting the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, for his involvement in terrorism.

Mr. Struan Stevenson, the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change and a former president of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, in an article published on United Press International (UPI) on Friday, called for the arrest of the Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who participated at the annual Much Security Conference.

Mr. Stevenson said extending an invitation to Zarif to address the Munich Security Conference on Friday and Saturday was “a grave error.”

While referring to Zarif’s direct involvement in terrorism and his terrorist designation by the United States, Mr. Stevenson wrote: “Zarif has been listed as a terrorist by the U.S. State Department. In January, he was banned from entering the United States to attend a United Nations Security Council meeting. Why then, is the European Union still willing to extend the hand of friendship to this listed terrorist?”

“As foreign minister, Zarif is in charge of Iran’s army of ambassadors and diplomatic staff. In June 2018, he was therefore responsible for the orders given to Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna. Assadi was allegedly instructed to hand over 500 grams of high explosives and a detonator to an Iranian couple from Antwerp, Belgium,” wrote Mr. Stevenson, referring to the regime’s foiled plot of bombing the annual “Free Iran” gathering held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris, in June 2018.

“He allegedly ordered them to drive to Paris and detonate the bomb at a major rally organized by the National Council for Resistance in Iran and attended by over 100,000 people. A combined operation by the German, French and Belgian intelligence services led to the arrest of Assadi and the other conspirators, all of whom are now in prison in Belgium, awaiting trial on charges of terrorism,” he added.

“It was well known that Rudy Giuliani and other high-ranking international political leaders would be attending and speaking at this rally. So Zarif must clearly have planned the terrorist attack with Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s minister of intelligence, and Reza Amiri Moghaddam, head of the Ministry of Intelligence & Security’s Foreign Intelligence and Movements Organization,” wrote Mr. Stevenson, referring to Zarif’s direct involvement in the 2018 thwarted terrorist plot.

“Zarif had even arranged to fly to Vienna the day following the proposed bombing outrage, presumably to congratulate Assadi personally and to spread the usual lies and propaganda, no doubt blaming the Mojahedin e-Khalq/People’s Mojahedin of Iran, the main opposition to the mullahs, for planning the attack on their own supporters so that they could point the finger of blame at the Iranian regime,” said Mr. Stevenson.

Referring to the Zarif’s lies about this terrorist plot and his disgusting campaign of whitewashing regime’s terrorism and brutality, Mr. Stevenson wrote: “But Zarif’s plan backfired horribly, leaving him lamely trying to claim that the arrest of his diplomat and other trained Iranian agents was a ’false flag operation’ designed to deceive, by enemies of Iran. It will be interesting to see what the Belgian courts make of this ludicrous claim.

In his article on Friday, Mr. Stevenson revealed that “Zarif had clearly instructed his new team of ‘diplomats’ in Albania that their main mandate was to track down and eliminate the MEK/PMOI, who had created a new compound in the country housing over 2,500 of their members.”

Referring to the regime’s diplomat terrorist in Albania who was in charge of regime’s terrorist plots against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), Mustafa Roodaki, Mr. Stevenson wrote that Roodaki “had previously been the head of the Iranian regime’s intelligence station in Austria and had been coordinating activities against the MEK/PMOI across the whole of Europe. Roodaki had been redeployed to Albania by Zarif, with the rank of the first secretary in the Iranian Embassy in Tirana. He was joined there by a new ambassador appointed by Zarif, Gholam Hossein Mohammadinia, a former high-ranking Iranian intelligence official who had also been a member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team.”

“But once again Zarif’s plans were thwarted. Albanian intelligence officers uncovered a plot to detonate a bomb at a Nowruz (Iranian New Year) gathering of MEK/PMOI members in Tirana. Two MOIS agents, together with Mohammadinia and his first secretary, Roodaki, were expelled from the country by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama,” wrote Mr. Stevenson, referring to the regime’s foiled plot of bombing the MEK’s gathering in March 2018.

“With this catalog of assassinations and bomb plots involving Iranian diplomatic personnel under the leadership and guidance of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, it is not surprising that the United States has decided to label him as a terrorist. Yet the West continues to believe that his mastery of English and his benign smile mean that he must be a trustworthy moderate with whom we can negotiate. Giving this person a platform in Munich was a big mistake, particularly because Zarif, like Khamenei, is a Holocaust denier,” wrote Mr. Stevenson, highlighting the Iranian regime’s authorities, including Javad Zarif’s denial of the Holocaust.

“In a reference to the West, Iran’s supreme leader said in a speech on Feb. 7, 2006, which was posted on his English language website: ‘The freedom of expression which they claim to advocate does not allow them to raise doubts about the myth of the massacre of the Jews known as the Holocaust.’ When Zarif was asked by ABC News, ‘Do you endorse or reject the ayatollah’s belief that the Holocaust is a myth?’ he replied: “I have spoken to him about this. He was mistranslated. This is the problem when you translate something from Persian to English, it gets lost in translation.’

“Addressing students at Columbia University in 2006, Zarif was asked by a student: ‘Do you personally believe that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust?’ Zarif responded: ‘The question that needs to be asked is what is the crime committed by the Palestinians in these atrocities.’ When the students cried out in anger at his failure to answer, he lamely fell back on the supreme leader’s issue of ‘freedom of expression,’ stating: ‘I’m answering. If you want to cipher the right to freedom of expression, then that’s your problem, not mine,’” read the article.

“Allowing Zarif to address the security conference in Munich, during the year which marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, was a serious error. Zarif, as both a Holocaust denier and a sponsor of state terrorism, should be placed on the EU terrorism blacklist and arrested next time he sets foot in Europe,” Mr. Stevenson concluded.

Struan Stevenson is the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change. He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association.