A Belgian court is expected to sentence Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi on charges of terrorism on January 22, following a historic trial where he became the first diplomat tried for terrorism in Europe, even though he is far from the first to have undertaken such acts.
The prosecution has laid out that, at the behest of the highest-ranking members of the Iranian regime, Assadi, a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, trafficked explosives into Europe in his diplomatic luggage and hand-delivered them in Luxembourg to two terrorists he hired. The plan is that these two would set off the bomb at an opposition gathering in Paris, attended by 100,000 people, including hundreds of dignitaries.
“The Assadi case is a hopeful sign that Western governments may finally be taking a more serious approach to hold Iranian officials accountable for their malign behavior on the world stage,” The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote.
“This is a litmus test for the EU. After the Belgian court makes its ruling, that hope will be further amplified by the opening of another case in Sweden. And that latter case will have implications not just for potential Western victims of Iranian state terrorism, but also for the domestic victims of Tehran’s political violence,” the NCRI added.
The Swedish case involves the defendant Hamid Noury, a former deputy prosecutor, interrogator, and member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who is said to have participated in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.
The massacre was recently the subject of an open letter by seven UN human rights experts who called for an investigation and the punishment of the perpetrators.
At the time, Noury was working for Evin Prison warden Assadollah Lajevardi and reportedly was increasingly successful in torturing detainees into confessing, which made him a strong candidate for the Death Commission that presided over the five-minute execution trials of political prisoners.
He was not formally on the commission, but eyewitnesses have placed him in interrogation rooms and said that he personally helped execute some people in Gohardasht prison.
Noury is accused of committing crimes against international law, which allows him to be tried outside of the country where those crimes were committed.
The NCRI hopes that this will lead to other countries prosecuting Iranian regime agents on their soil who stand accused of human rights abuses in Iran, as well as an international investigation into the 1988 massacre.