WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ENHANCED U.S. COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY?

By Hamid Bahrami | Human right and political activist

Trump administration unveiled a new counter-terrorism strategy last week to enhance American National Security and guide its efforts to defeat terrorists and terrorist organizations.

The strategy concentrates on Iran regime’s mischiefs and brands the nuclear deal, known as JCPOA as “horrible” because it “had provided a windfall for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its proxies activities.”

The fundamental pillars upon which the theocracy in Iran is established are domestic repression and export of terrorism. Sadly, neither President Trump’s predecessors nor America’s European allies wanted to account Iran regime’s malign activities across the world which explains the absence of a firm and long-term policy.

President Obama’s administration not only disregarded IRGC’s support for terrorism but also allowed its commanders to develop their realm of influence in the region, particularly in Syria and Iraq, with catastrophic consequences, apart from giving them cash.

Likewise, the EU still insists to save the JCPOA by setting up a financial system to bypass imposed U.S. sanctions on Iran.

After President Trump called on countries to join his administration’s efforts to isolate the Islamic regime in Tehran, two key EU states, Germany and France, signaled to hold Iran to account for its recent terrorist operations in Europe.

A German court said that an Iranian diplomat linked to a bomb plot against an Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), rally in Paris, can be extradited to Belgium for prosecution. The plot was foiled by Belgian authorities who arrested an Iranian-Belgian citizen with half a kilogram (1.1lb) of homemade explosives along with a detonator. The Iranian diplomat was arrested in Germany in early July for handing over the bomb to the arrested terrorists.

On the other hand, at a joint press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had spoken to the Russian President Vladimir Putin about reducing Iran’s presence in Syria as much as possible.

Notwithstanding its contradictory policies over the JCPOA and Iran regime’s destructive behavior and ballistic missile threats, the EU is unable to disregard realities.

Last week, France seized assets belonging to Tehran’s intelligence services after accusing the regime for being behind the plot to bomb the NCRI’s rally in Paris.

“Behind all this was a long, meticulous and detailed investigation by our (intelligence) services that enabled us to reach the conclusion, without any doubt, that responsibility fell on the Iranian intelligence ministry,” a French diplomatic source said to Reuters.

The NCRI had previously revealed that “the attack was ordered by the regime’s high ranking officials including the President and Supreme Leader.”

In a significant move, on October 2, 2018, French police also raided the pro-Iran, pro-Hizbullah center, “Centre Zahra France” located in a suburb of the port city of Dunkerque.

Now one may ask why this was a significant move.

Indeed, during the peak of western appeasement policy, on June 17, 2003, the NCRI in France was used as a bargaining chip in a deal between Iran regime and the French government at the time.

At that time, the French police raided the headquarters of the dissident group, which has consistently been blamed by Iran’s Supreme Leader for organizing nationwide protests across the country. But after years, the courts in France rejected all allegations against the group.

Many Iran and Middle East pundits argue that the NCRI is a criterion for any successful policy towards Iran. Consequently, any hostilities or attack against the opposition coalition means getting closer to the theocracy and vice versa.

The United States announced its counter-terrorism strategy focusing on Iran but this new strategy would fail absent crucial practical steps.

President Trump and his U.S. National Security Adviser are determined to account, and eventually end, Iran regime’s mischiefs. Still, the Trump administration has yet to designate the IRGC as Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Ironically, the EU still refuses to list Tehran regime’s proxy Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

The US officials should know that their words and actions will not work until some of Iran’s lobbyists, like the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), continue to pave the regime’s ways on the American territory.

Hamid Bahrami is a former political prisoner from Iran who now resides in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a human right and political activist and works as a freelance journalist. He tweets at @HaBahram and blogs at analyzecom.

This article was first published by dailycaller

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