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Iran’s other willing accomplice: The European Union

The Europeans' continuing business with Iran repeats the same mistake they made with Nazi Germany: feeding a war machine that will ultimately turn on them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Nov. 23, 2015. Credit: english.khamenei.ir via Wikimedia Commons.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Nov. 23, 2015. Credit: english.khamenei.ir via Wikimedia Commons.
Majid Rafizadeh
Majid Rafizadeh

In spite of Iran’s increasing involvement in the wars against Ukraine, Israel and Jews, the European Union, as well as the United States, appear more than happy to continue appeasing Iran’s ruling mullahs. Shouldn’t this make accomplices?

Iran and Russia are fast making headway on construction of a plant based in Russia that will mass-produce Iranian-designed kamikaze drones, presumably to help Moscow attack Ukrainian targets.

Yet, no sanctions or pressure have been imposed either by the United States or the European Union just on this project, let alone Iran’s lethal nuclear program or as a result of the 60-plus attacks on U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq since Oct. 17.

According to a recent report by the Institute for Science and International Security:

“Now, not later, is the time for the U.S. government to take the lead, work with partner governments and industry, and use leverage against those less inclined to cooperate, to hinder Alabuga from succeeding in providing the Russian military with thousands of Shahed-136 drones. With winter fast approaching, and Alabuga’s Shahed output increasing, Russia can be expected to accelerate its Shahed-136 attacks against Ukraine’s vital energy infrastructure, causing brutal living conditions for the civilian population. A key, overdue first step is for the United States and its allies to sanction JSC Alabuga and its associated companies.”

The European Union continues to trade with Iran—a move also in violation of the U.S. sanctions. Germany is the top European buyer of oil and non-oil commodities from Iran. Tehran Times recently wrote:

“Germany was Iran’s fourth source of import during the five-month period…. Iran’s import of goods in the five months of this year reached 14.4 million tons worth $24.2 billion, indicating a 7.49 percent growth in value and a 2.17 percent increase in weight, year on year…. The average customs value of each ton of imported goods was 1,677 dollars in the mentioned five months.”

Hundreds of European companies are, in fact, doing business with the Iranian regime. According to The National:

“A pressure group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), has embarked on a campaign to persuade hundreds of businesses to sever links with Iran and will hold events in European capitals to publicly name companies that do business in the country.

“UANI said that research had led to the identification of 2,500 businesses around the world suspected of having involvement with Iran, with hundreds in Europe. They will publish their names if they do not receive satisfactory answers.

“The companies have been contacted to seek ‘clarification’ about their dealings in the country.

“The pressure group has chosen Sweden, which has at least two citizens being held by Iran, to launch its campaign.”

The beneficiaries of the E.U.’s increased trade with Iran are most likely the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The E.U.’s trade with Iran, increasing the Iranian regime’s revenue, is doubtless making it easier for the theocratic establishment to provide weapons to Russia, repress its own people even further, strengthen its military presence in Venezuela and Cuba, help its proxies escalate their goals of trying to annihilate Israel and the Jews, and above all, top off its nuclear weapons program, with which it intends to blackmail everyone.

If this is the damage the Iranian is doing without nuclear weapons, just think what it will do with them.

The Iranian regime, probably knowing that the European Union will not take any action against it—a sad example of greed trumping not only moral clarity but also national security—is ratcheting up its construction of a drone factory in Russia, and exporting weapons to Russia. As Sky News reported in March 2023:

“Iran has secretly supplied large quantities of bullets, rockets and mortar shells to Russia for the war in Ukraine and plans to send more, a security source has told Sky News. The source claimed that two Russian-flagged cargo ships departed an Iranian port in January bound for Russia via the Caspian Sea, carrying approximately 100 million bullets and around 300,000 shells. Ammunition for rocket launchers, mortars and machine guns was allegedly included in the shipments. The source said Moscow paid for the ammunition in cash.”

The Europeans’ continuing business with Iran repeats the same mistake they made with Nazi Germany: feeding a war machine that will ultimately turn on them. Appeasement will only result in an increased threat. Although Europe and the United States most probably will not do it, the time has come to stop.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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