In a matter of weeks, a Belgian federal court will announce its decision over an appeal filed by three Iranian terrorist operatives, who were convicted in February for the attempted bombing of a large political rally outside of Paris in 2018. The three men were sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in prison for their roles in the plot and have filed an appeal to fight their sentences.
The mastermind behind the plot, a high-ranking Iranian diplomat, who was based at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, received a 20-year sentence but he neglected to appeal alongside his operatives after the court dismissed his argument that due to diplomatic immunity, he should be exempt from prosecution.
Bob Blackman, a Member of the British House of Commons from the Conservative Party for Harrow East said, “That defense strategy was a notable reflection of the Iranian regime’s tendency to insist upon its impunity in dealings with the foreign adversaries. That phenomenon is currently on display in the context of nuclear negotiations which resumed last week in Vienna following a delay of more than five months.”
During the 2015 Iran nuclear deal talks, the Iranian regime’s spokesperson, Ali Bagheri Kani suggested that previous points that were assumed to have been resolved during earlier negotiations could be revisited and revised, and he put forward new demands on behalf of the mullahs.
While the Western signatories are desperately working to restore the nuclear deal, the regime is doing all they can to delay and interfere with the proceedings. Since the agreement was made in 2015, the regime has consistently violated its terms, notably with its uranium enrichment program. Their stockpiles of enriched uranium far exceed the amount that they were permitted under the terms of the agreement, and the purity of that enriched uranium is fast approaching weapons-grade level.
Blackman said, “Unfortunately, Western policymakers have on various occasions turned a blind eye to each of these issues. Since 1988, for instance, Britain, Europe, and the US have continually failed to demand accountability for one of the worst crimes against humanity since the Second World War.”
In the summer of 1988, over 30,000 political prisoners were executed by the regime following minutes-long ‘trials’ under orders from then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini’s main target of the massacre was the Iranian Resistance group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and not content with brutally massacring its supporters, he led some nations around the world to believe that they were a terrorist group, and many listed them as such.
In recent years, these designations were finally removed after much campaigning and the MEK continues to acquire support from lawmakers across the West to this day. Bob Blackman is among those who have come to support and respect the Resistance group and attended the rally in 2018 that was the target of the bomb plot.
Blackman said, “Total participation in that event was estimated at around 100,000, mostly consisting of Iranian expatriates but supported by political dignitaries from across the globe. The rally was organized by the PMOI’s parent coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, and the bomb was reportedly intended to kill NCRI President Maryam Rajavi.”
If the bomb, which was a parcel containing 500 grams of the high explosive TATP, had been delivered to the rally and detonated, it has been suggested that the death toll would have been in the hundreds or even thousands.
The operatives detained in Belgium had their initial convictions secured by Belgian prosecutors who made it clear that the orders for the bomb plot had originated among top officials within the regime.
Blackman said, “Other nations must now reinforce that message by opening broader inquiries into the politically motivated killings. At the same time, they must avoid undermining it by reducing the sentences for participants in the 2018 terror plot, or by refusing to follow up with political consequences for those terrorists’ handlers in Tehran.”