In what might be one of the more anti-climactic findings
revealed yet about the Iranian regime, France
publicly linked Iran’s notorious intelligence services to the failed plot
to bomb a meeting of Iranian dissident groups near Paris last June.
A plot of “such extreme seriousness on French territory
could not be let go without a response,” France’s ministers of foreign affairs,
interior and finance said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
“France has taken preventive, proportionate and targeted
measures,” the ministers said. “In taking this decision France reiterates its
determination to fight terrorism, especially on its own territory.”
France also acted by announcing it would freeze the assets
of the Iranian regime spy ministry, otherwise known as the Ministry of Intelligence
and Security (MOIS), which has been the puppet master in a string of terror
attacks and assassinations spanning decades, and most recently spearheaded
efforts to utilize social media in coordinated cyberattacks against Iranian
According to the New York Times, the decision to freeze the
assets of the spy ministry seemed to be a clear sign France was angry that Iran
appeared to be ignoring international norms and acting with impunity. It also
indicated that, at least indirectly, France endorsed the Trump administration’s
judgment that Iran was a rogue regime.
The French findings certainly didn’t help the Iran lobby’s
ceaseless campaigning to have European nations bail the Iranian regime out of
its financial woes that have only increased since the U.S. withdraw from the
Iran nuclear deal and began levying economic sanctions.
“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.
The source, speaking after the government announced asset
freezes, added that deputy minister and director general of intelligence Saeid
Hashemi Moghadam had ordered the attack and Assadollah Asadi, a Vienna-based
diplomat held by German authorities, had put it into action.
The ministry is under control of top mullah Ali Khamenei,
which makes the decision to bomb the Iranian resistance groups on French soil
even more brazen and a deliberate act of state policy by the regime.
to Reuters, the plot targeted a meeting of the Paris-based National Council
of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) outside the French capital. President Donald
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and several former European and Arab ministers
attended the rally.
It unraveled after Asadi, an accredited diplomat in Austria,
was arrested in Germany, two other individuals were detained in Belgium in
possession of explosives, and one other individual in France.
On Monday, a court in southern Germany ruled the diplomat
could be extradited to Belgium.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke to their Iranian counterparts about the issue at the
U.N. General Assembly after demanding explanations over Iran’s role.
An internal French foreign ministry memo in August told
diplomats not to travel to Iran, Reuters revealed, citing the Villepinte bomb
plot and a toughening of Iran’s position toward the West.
Paris has also suspended nominating a new ambassador to Iran
and not responded to Tehran nominations for diplomatic positions in France.
The plot marked one of the first times that an Iranian
official has been caught allegedly taking part in a covert operation in Europe.
Police in a number of different European countries are investigating alleged
attacks against Iranian opposition figures, including two murders in the
Netherlands since 2015.
In July, Dutch authorities said they had expelled two
Iranian diplomats whom foreign officials say were linked to the assassinations
of at least one Iranian dissident, Ahmad Mola Nissi. He was shot and killed in
November by a masked assassin in The Hague. U.S. officials believe Iran’s MOIS
was involved. Dutch authorities are investigating, according
to the Wall Street Journal.
Predictably the Iranian regime fired back by falling back on
its usual tirade claiming the meeting being targeted was comprised of
terrorists and called the accusations against its diplomat as a “false
Considering the precarious state of the Iranian economy and
near-constant state of demonstrations against the regime, it is mind boggling
the mullahs would order such a reckless act given Iran’s desperate need for an
economic lifeline from Europe.
But past history shows that the mullahs care less about
rationality and more about silencing the perceived threat and free and open
opposition poses to their continued existence.
The pressure being mounted by outside opposition and
dissident groups has helped drive internal protests, as well as ensured a
steady conduit of videos, pictures and eyewitness reports continue to stream
out even as the regime tries to stymie the flow of information with stepped up
arrests and imprisonment.
Also on Tuesday, around 200 French police launched a dawn
anti-terror raid on one of the biggest Shiite Muslim centers in France, the
Zahra Centre France, as well as the homes of its directors.
Eleven people were questioned — three of them arrested,
security sources told AFP, including for the illegal possession of firearms.
The Zahra Center France was founded in 2009 by Yahia
Gouasmi, a pro-regime activist and religious figure who has spoken in support
Gouasmi is also the founder of the Anti-Zionist Party in
France and an associate of controversial comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a
While not specifically linked to the bombing plot, the raid
sent a clear signal by French authorities to Iranian regime officials that the
era of cozy accommodation was at an end.