For the last few decades, the approach to the regime from the international community has been sanctions but little else. The recent Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fell short because it did not address the human rights violations and abuses in Iran, as well as the increasing influence of the regime throughout the region. Its support of terrorist activities only increased as sanctions were lifted.
With the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, there is a change in the approach to Iran. The Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA in May 2018, but more than that, they have also started to call Iran to account for its actions against the Iranian people.
In response, the regime’s terrorist activities, particularly against the MEK/PMOI and the Iranian resistance coalition known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), have only increased. In the last 18 months, multiple arrests have been made of Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
The Iranian resistance continues to call for Iranian diplomats that are MOIS agents to be expelled from countries throughout Europe in response to their terrorist activities. “Gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, violations of human rights, export of fundamentalism, and terrorism are the four pillars holding up the theocratic regime ruling Iran,” said Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI.
An international conference in Poland was announced by the U.S. State Department, which will be held from February 13 to 14.
“We have a strong and shared interest in creating a more peaceful and stable Middle East. The ministerial will be a forum for countries concerned about instability in the region to share their assessments and offer ideas on a better way forward,” said the statement from the U.S. State Department that announced the conference.
A range of critical issues will be discussed at the conference, but it is telling that terrorism and extremism are high on the list. There is a hope that the international community will be open to following the eight steps that Rajavi laid out regarding the regime, including designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and MOIS as terrorists, not just parts of the groups as has been done previously.
Another Iranian spy was arrested in Germany on Tuesday, which is another example of how the Iranian regime is extending its reach throughout Europe.
There is a need for the conference to step beyond trying to create change in the regime’s behavior and recognize that it is time to recognize the Iranian opposition and the will of the Iranian people to overthrow the regime. It is also critical that the international community recognize that the regime is using terrorism to attempt to keep their hold on the Iranian people. Instead of allowing them to continue their human rights abuses and repressive measures, the international community needs to support the Iranian people and hold the regime accountable.