TIME FOR EUROPE TO ALIGN ITSELF WITH THE US

Fox News on June 18, 2017, published a commentary by former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on the need for the West to unite to stop Iranian missile tests. Excerpts below:

Since the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany concluded their nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, several Iranian ballistic missile tests have been carried out.

Even though such tests are plain violations of a UN Security Council resolution that accompanied implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the global media and the nations of Europe have given unfortunately little attention to the issue. Under the previous administration, the White House downplayed such activities, which are obvious violations of the spirit of the closely-guarded JCPOA.

President Donald Trump is, rightly, developing an assertive policy toward the Islamic Republic…the White House has moved to new sanctions on the ballistic missile program. The U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously [on June 16] to impose new sanctions on Iran (and Russia) for its missile program among other activities.

…The European governments must quickly follow suit. The EU and the global media have been slow to adapt to the new geopolitical reality, and Tehran remains barely deterred from its brazenness.

…Iran’s illicit tests demonstrate the capability of hitting Israel and Western assets throughout the Arab world. It is little wonder, then, that Israel, Saudi Arabia and others expressed mutual anxiety about the growth of Iranian power and influence on the occasion of President Trump’s recent visit to the region.

The EU has remained reluctant and hesitant about standing up to Iran’s destabilizing behavior and disregard for international rules. This has much to do with a false narrative and the political environment encouraged by the JCPOA.

The multiple functions of the IRGC also call attention to the fact that Iranian missile development does not exist in isolation. It has an impact on the types of capabilities that Iran is able to share with other entities which pose significant threats on their own. It is thanks to Iranian missiles that the Houthi rebels in Yemen have been able to penetrate deep into Saudi Arabian territory and target Western vessels around the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic Republic also has a record of arming Lebanese Hezbollah, their proxies in Iraq and Syria, and Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad which Tehran directly controls.

The White House is engaging in a more assertive policy vis-a-vis Iran. European policymakers and public opinion must do their part. They should exert pressure on the EU and its national governments before their laxity leads to Iran taking a central role in a much larger crisis.

This message will be emphasized on July 1 when the National Council of Resistance of Iran holds its Iran Freedom rally [in Europe]…As on previous occasions – and even more now in an increasingly unstable Iranian environment – millions of Iranians will follow the event via satellite, taking personal risks, as a clear indication that the Iranian people support the NCRI and the measures the Council suggests.

“The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people,” President Trump said during his May visit to Saudi Arabia. “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism.” But terrorism is not the only issue. The regime’s weapons development must be severely constrained. And European nations need to get on board.

Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy, is a member of United Against Nuclear Iran’s Advisory board.

Comment: Mr. Terzi believes in the importance of placing radicalization and violent extremism at the center of the political debate in the West. It should create a shared political framework for the military engagement against ISIS and effective programs to counter radicalization in Muslim communities inside Europe and the U.S.

He has furthermore compared the current situation to the “war of moral and ideals” that the West faced before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In speeches Terzi has emphasized the magnitude of the threat that Iran and its militias represent to the West. ISIS is distracting the West from the robust and extensive network that Iran has developed to promote extremism and anti-Western sentiment. A number, he said, of Muslim institutions in Europe are associated with Iran and promote anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiments. Terzio has also warned against doing business with Tehran as the regime is funding terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and others.

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