U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is not impressed with European governments' reactions to violence coordinated by Iran, and says Western countries need to make it clear that they stand united against Tehran and its attacks.
What are the details?
"When the West stands together and the West says very clearly that terrorism is wrong and terrorism should not be used, then that message is heard by the Iranians and they see a collective force of the West," Ambassador Grenell told Der Podcast on Monday, according to Politico.
He added, "We have seen the Iranians escalate over the last several months. And there has been no, or I should say little response from the European governments."
Following the United States' targeted killing of top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week, America's European allies called for de-escalation, The Washington Post reported.
In response to that, Grenell said, "If you want to de-escalate, and you think that it's really important to de-escalate, I would say then you must condemn all the way up the ladder of escalation, and that was not done."
The U.S. Embassy in Germany noted on its Twitter account the day after Soleimani's death, "The Council of the European Union just two months ago reaffirmed its sanctions against Qasem #Soleimani for his involvement in terrorist acts."
The Council of the European Union just two months ago reaffirmed its sanctions against Qasem #Soleimani for his inv… https://t.co/38xmYCSFHK— US-Botschaft Berlin (@US-Botschaft Berlin)1578056119.0
The Jerusalem Post reported that during a separate interview with German publication Bild on Monday, Grenell said Soleimani was a "cheerleader of the genocide in Syria."
NATO met Monday afternoon to discuss Iran and Iraq, and Reuters reported that "all members of the Atlantic alliance stood behind the United States in the Middle East after it briefed NATO on its drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters afterward, "We are united in condemning Iran's support of a variety of different terrorist groups. At the meeting today, allies called for restraint and de-escalation. A new conflict would be in no one's interest. So Iran must refrain from further violence and provocations."