Lord Alton of Liverpool has written to the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urging the UK government to hold the Iranian mullahs to account for state-sponsored terrorism, given the recent terrorism conviction of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi.
Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to blow up the 2018 Free Iran rally in France. His three accomplices were sentenced to between 15- and 18-years imprisonment each and stripped of their Belgian citizenship.
Assadi had smuggled the bomb into Europe in his diplomat luggage, personally delivered it to two of his accomplices in Luxembourg, and told them to place it as close as possible to opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, who was surrounded by foreign dignitaries.
Luckily, the plot was foiled and all four were arrested but the police who arrested Assadi found a notebook that appeared to show a terror network across Europe, headed by Assadi.
Alton wrote: “The court ruling and the pre-trial investigation show beyond any doubt that this was an act of state terrorism by the regime in Iran against the country’s organised pro-democracy opposition, the National Council Of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), by targeting their conference, leader and supporters on European soil… A Global Britain must have the courage to take the lead in Europe to address the serious threats of Iran’s state terrorism.”
Alton noted that the court had said that Assadi was acting on behalf of the regime, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Supreme Leader Khamenei, and President Hassan Rouhani, when he conducted these terrorist actions.
He advised that the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF), of which he is a member, is concerned over the UK government’s silence over the conviction and the threat posed by Iran to the UK and Europe.
Alton wrote: “You surely agree that this behaviour and conduct by the regime is totally unacceptable and deserves a firm and immediate response in order to discourage any such future attacks… Given the serious threats that Iran’s state terrorism represents to the UK’s economic and security interests and the direct involvement of Iranian diplomats and embassies in these attacks, we call on you and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to downgrade diplomatic relations with Iran until such time that Tehran provides verifiable proof that it has stopped its state terrorism and terrorist activities.”
He said that if Iran doesn’t end its malign actions at this point then a firmer response may be needed, including marking the IRGC as terrorists, sanctioning regime leaders, closing the Iranian Embassy, and expelling Iranian diplomats.