They should have known all along. Iran has been a rogue state since 1979. So what changed when Donald Trump became President that made European leaders think that they had to maintain ties with the bloodthirsty Iranian Islamic regime at all costs? The Europeans were suicidally short-sighted in this, just as they were when they began pursuing policies of mass Muslim migration.
“Terrorism is making Europe think again about appeasing Iran,” by Benny Avni, New York Post, January 22, 2019 (thanks to Christian):
Et tu, Angela? Tehran must be quite confused this week, as Germany, until now the most enthusiastic Iran enabler among the Western powers, hopped on the sanctions wagon. So, is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government adopting President Trump’s sensibilities? Sort of.
On Monday, Berlin announced a complete ban against Mahan Air, a “civilian” airline that doubles as an adjunct to the Iranian regime’s nefarious activities across the Middle East. The decision came, reportedly, after months of US efforts to persuade the Germans that Mahan is no ordinary carrier.
As the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, told me in an email, “Mahan Air has flown terrorists, weapons, equipment and funds to international locations to support Iranian terrorist proxy groups,” including Syria’s murderous Assad regime. He thanked Germany for imposing the ban.
Denying American pressure, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told Reuters: “It cannot be ruled out that this airline could also transport cargo to Germany that threatens our security. This is based on knowledge of past terrorist activities by Iran in Europe.”
Germany’s move may signal a wider souring of Europe’s love affair with Iran, which culminated in the 2015 nuclear deal. The European Union also recently imposed sanctions on Iran, which, however symbolic, were a first since the deal.
Why? Terrorism. Copenhagen recently stopped a planned attack on Iranian dissidents in Denmark, and last summer European authorities unraveled a major bombing plot in Paris that targeted Iranian regime opponents.
So the march to normalize Europe’s relations with Tehran is slowing down. In addition to detecting a new uptick in Iranian terror plots on the continent, Europe is frustrated as Iran experiments with ballistic missiles of ever-longer range. Last week saw the launch of a satellite on an ICBM-like platform that could reach over the Atlantic.
Europe has long advocated engagement with Tehran in the hope of strengthening regime “moderates.” Now Iran seems increasingly intent on not letting the Europeans help it. As Reuters put it in a recent headline, “Europe’s patience with Iran wears thin, tiptoes toward Trump.”
The German about-face is especially remarkable. Berlin has been among the most adamant European advocates of ending Iran sanctions. Closely working with EU foreign policy czar Federica Mogherini, Merkel has even sought to create a banking mechanism for the sole purpose of helping the mullahs thwart the US-imposed sanctions.
Germany would help run the proposed European “special-purpose vehicle” to preserve the mullahs’ access to financial markets. While Iranian officials recently boasted that the SPV is already up and running, EU officials keep saying it will be ready, well, very soon.
Problem is, even top Iran apologists and European industrialists eager to make deals with the mullahs can’t turn a blind eye to Tehran’s misbehavior. And while Ambassador Grenell is hotly criticized in Germany for pressuring Merkel, facts are on his side.
Grenell, incidentally, has pushed Germany on other issues beyond Iran. He has been a withering critic of Nord Stream 2, a proposed pipeline that would bring Russian natural gas directly into Germany, isolating the Kremlin-endangered states of Central and Eastern Europe.
“More Russian gas in Europe only increases Putin’s leverage at a time when the international community is concerned about the growing Russian offense,” Grenell tells me….
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