Iran set up terrorist infrastructure in Europe

Iran has set up terrorist and intelligence ‎infrastructure across Europe with aim of ‎assassinating exiled Iranian dissidents and moderate ‎Arab leaders, particularly those whose countries ‎rival Iran in the Persian Gulf, intelligence experts ‎told Israel Hayom Tuesday.‎

According to both Israeli and foreign intelligence ‎experts, the vast Iranian infrastructure was set up ‎to serve the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite black-‎ops arm, the Quds Force. ‎

One foreign intelligence official said that a prominent Arab ‎leader had recently canceled a visit to Europe ‎following solid information suggesting that an ‎Iranian terrorist cell was planning to assassinate ‎him.‎

Belgian authorities announced Monday that they have ‎exposed extensive infrastructure deployed by the ‎Quds Force and Iranian intelligence. Three people ‎were arrested, including an Iranian diplomat, on ‎suspicion of plotting to bomb a meeting of an exiled ‎‎Iranian opposition group in France.‎

The IntelliTimes intelligence blog said Tuesday that ‎former Prime Minister Ehud Barak was also in Paris ‎during that time. ‎

Shin Bet security agency Director Nadav Argaman met ‎with Barak last week to discuss what was described ‎as “urgent” concerns for his safety, over an alleged ‎Iranian plot to attack Barak during one of his ‎visits abroad.‎

The blog also reported that an Israeli diplomatic ‎vehicle was recently stolen in one of Europe’s ‎capitals, only to be abandoned in its Muslim ‎quarter, suggesting that the thieves may have ‎planned to use it to stage a terrorist attack ‎against the Israeli mission in that city. ‎

The blog further claimed that the Iranian terrorist ‎infrastructure was headed by Asadullah Asadi, stationed ‎as an attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna. ‎Belgium was selected to be the logistical base of ‎operations for Iranian terrorist cells, which ‎comprised Iranians who had migrated to Brussels, ‎Antwerp and Mons.‎

Belgian intelligent officials said Asadi was ‎arrested on German soil as he made his way from ‎Vienna to Brussels as part of the final preparations ‎for the attacks. Raids in the homes ‎of the other suspects yielded various weapons.‎

U.S. mulls designating IRGC a terrorist group

CNN reported Tuesday that the Trump administration ‎was weighing whether to designate the Islamic ‎Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group as part ‎of its efforts to pressure Tehran.‎

The designation decision, formally under the State ‎Department’s purview, is particularly important ‎given the White House’s increasingly aggressive ‎strategy toward Iran. ‎

Officials have been debating it for several months ‎and have yet to reach a consensus.‎

While some warn a designation could pose risks to ‎U.S. personnel and overseas assets, it would allow ‎the White House to freeze IRGC assets, impose travel ‎bans and levy criminal penalties on top of pre-‎existing economic sanctions imposed by President ‎Donald Trump.‎

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is said to be in ‎favor of the designation.‎

‎”There’s lots of things that are being discussed, ‎things that will prove, we believe, very effective ‎at the end goal-which is, at the end of the day, ‎what matters, right?” Pompeo told CNN in a recent ‎interview. “The end goal is to convince the Islamic ‎Republic of Iran to be a normal country.” ‎

Still, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats ‎has cautioned the administration that designating a ‎state’s military as a terror group, particularly one ‎with the reach of the IRGC, would be unprecedented ‎and could expose U.S. diplomatic and military ‎officials to additional hazards.‎

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for the Iranian ‎Mission to the United Nations, told CNN that the ‎possible terrorist designation was in keeping with ‎an American tendency to use terrorism for political ‎objectives.‎

“The U.S. has a long history of politicizing the ‎term ‘terrorism’ for its own political ends, which ‎undermines others fighting terrorism,” Miryousefi ‎said. “To associate the term with the IRGC is ‎categorically preposterous, especially considering ‎their central role in fighting terrorism in the ‎Middle East, including ISIS and al-Qaida.”‎

Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‎‎‎attended an event marking the United States’ ‎‎‎Independence Day. The event was hosted by U.S. ‎‎‎Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.‎

He criticized European leaders for meeting with ‎Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while his country ‎was plotting against the continent. ‎

‎”President Trump decided to leave this bad deal ‎and ‎he did the greatest thing for the security of ‎the ‎world and for the security of Israel. Now, you ‎‎should know that this is not yet universally ‎‎accepted. And I can tell you that this week there’s ‎‎going to be a meeting and the meeting is going to be ‎‎in Europe.

“There is a meeting this week ‎by the P4 ‎‎[Germany, France, Britain and China] without the ‎United States. They are going ‎to discuss how to go ‎around the decision that ‎President Trump and the ‎United Stated made to leave ‎this bad deal, which is ‎funding Iran’s terrorism and ‎its aggression with ‎billions of dollars,” he said.‎

‎”There is in the same week something extraordinary. ‎‎The P4 invited Iran’s President Rouhani to attend ‎‎that meeting. But at the same time, in recent days, ‎‎this same regime dispatched a terrorist cell to ‎‎carry out a major terrorist attack in France.‎

‎”The ‎commander of this terrorist cell was an Iranian ‎‎diplomat in Austria. Fortunately, the plot was ‎‎exposed. The cell’s Iranian members were arrested in ‎‎France, Belgium and Germany. France and Germany are ‎‎part of the P4. At the time of their capture, the ‎‎cell members had explosives, detonators and more. ‎‎European authorities are now completing their ‎‎investigation and are expected to charge the Iranian ‎‎agents and cell members behind the plot. ‎‎ ‎

‎”This Iranian terror plot was planned on the soil of ‎‎Europe on the same week that the European leaders ‎‎are supposed to meet the President of Iran about ‎‎circumventing the sanctions on Iran. Here’s my ‎‎message to the European leaders: Stop funding the ‎‎very regime that is sponsoring terrorism against you ‎‎and against so many others. Stop appeasing Iran,” ‎Netanyahu said.

Source » israelhayom

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