Europeans Fed Up with Iran’s Bad Behavior

Jim Hanson

7 months ago

January 21, 2019

Iran suffered some major blows recently as it appears many of the European countries that have been willing to support them have had their fill of bad behavior. One of the difficulties that was anticipated when President Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran Deal was how to gain help from the Europeans who opposed that decision. That has proven challenging, but the Iranians have actually been very helpful in showing that they are a threat and will continue their malign activities.

This has led to a decision by Germany to ban Mahan Air one of the Iranian state airlines from their country.

A spokesman for the German foreign ministry said on Monday that Mahan was engaged in transporting Iranian equipment and personnel to Middle East conflict zones such as Syria.

Mahan Air does serve as a commercial airline but also functions as a carrier for many of Iran’s destabilizing operations and military and terrorist activity.

Berlin said it could not exclude the possibility that Mahan Air was using its flights to Germany to support the activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, saying that the guards were “frequently involved in acts of state terrorism”. Such flights could “impact the security situation in Germany”, the foreign ministry said.

This is a strong signal that even Germany, which has often been the most supportive of Iran, is not willing to put up with their intransigence. The other European countries most directly involved in negotiations to work on reining in Iran show similar signs of frustration with them and a recent ballistic missile test has been a tipping point.

The French, British, German, Danish, Dutch, and Belgian diplomats in the Iranian foreign ministry room had incensed the officials with a message that Europe could no longer tolerate ballistic missile tests in Iran and assassination plots on European soil, according to four EU diplomats.

Missile testing was purposely left out of the Iran Deal as the Mullahs highly value having the ability to project danger into Europe and eventually across the ocean to the United States. They were warned repeatedly that missile testing was not acceptable and would cause them consequences. Those are now coming to bear.

The next day, the European Union imposed its first sanctions on Iran since world powers agreed to the 2015 Vienna nuclear arms control deal with Tehran.

The Iranian regime seems to have thought the Europeans would stay in their corner, but that was a miscalculation. In a recent interview, Secretary of State Pompeo reiterated the US policy toward Iran.

SECRETARY POMPEO: No. What there needs to be is behavior that is like a normal country. The religious revolution there is out actively engaged in suicide campaigns in – assassination campaigns, rather, in Europe. They are conducting terror campaigns throughout the region, whether they’re supporting the Shia militias in Iraq, or the Houthi forces in Yemen, or Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria. These are real threats, and what we’re demanding from the Islamic Republic of Iran is very simple: Don’t build nuclear weapons, don’t continue your nuclear program, cease the terror campaigns, stop assassination efforts, behave like a normal country, and then you can live in your country in the way that the people of Iran, the people of Iran who are smart and capable and want something different from this, will get us all to the right place.

The patience of the world with the danger opposed by the regime in Tehran has worn thin. They must change now or face a sustained campaign against them by a united Western world.

About the Author

Jim Hanson

Jim served in US Army Special Forces and conducted Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency as well as Diplomatic, Intelligence and Humanitarian operations in more than a dozen countries. He is the author of Cut Down the Black Flag – A Plan to Defeat the Islamic State, and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, C-Span, and numerous national radio shows.