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First Session of Belgian Appeal Court Over Iran Government’s Terror Plot Against Its Main Opposition

Assadollah Assadi looked like a perfectly normal Iranian regime diplomat. But in fact, he as all the regime’s diplomats are so-called terror-diplomats, and many of them are past or present members of the IRGC’s Qods Force branch.

On Wednesday, November 17, the first hearing of the appeals court will be held at the Antwerp tribunal in Belgium about the bombing plot by the Iranian regime against the Grand Gathering of the Iranian Resistance in 2018.

Assadollah Assadi, the bombing terrorist diplomat, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the first court, but did not request any appeal and accepted the final decision of the court, because any rejection would only lead to a further scandal for the regime during the appeal.

An Antwerp court is hearing the appeals of three accomplices of the diplomat-bomber on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18.

Nasimeh Naami, a female intelligence officer, was sentenced in the first court to 18 years in prison, Mehrdad Arefani to 17 years in prison, and Amir Saadouni to 15 years in prison, and their citizenships were revoked.

Mehrdad Arefani, who had served the regime in prison since the early 1980s and was then sent to Europe, used his cover of being a poet opposed to God and religion to hide his role as a regime agent.

The terrorist diplomat had told these three actors of the terror attack to plant the bomb he had brought from Tehran as close as possible to Ms. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the NCRI, who was participating with many prominent political and social figures at this gathering.

The German police confiscated several notebooks from the car of Assadollah Assadi the diplomat-terrorist, in only one of which 289 names and traces of the regime’s mercenaries were registered, who were paid in various European countries to plot against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI) and to spy on them and execute terror and hostage-taking attacks. The Iranian Resistance has demanded that all the names of these people should be made public. That would put pressure on the regime and would prevent any further threats against Iranian dissidents who live outside Iran, especially supporters of the MEK and the NCRI.

Background of the story

The Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi was arrested on a Bavarian motorway in the summer of 2018. The man from the embassy in Vienna was a secret service employee and mastermind of a planned bomb attack against opposition members in Paris, namely at the annual conference of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), with thousands of participants and high-ranking international guests.

The foiled attack plans give an insight into the work of the Iranian secret service. Specifically, the former Counselor Assadi is accused of having transported around a pound of TATP explosives plus detonators in his diplomatic baggage on a scheduled flight to Vienna. He is said to have given the bomb construction material to two Iranians in a pizza restaurant in Luxembourg who lived in Belgium as political refugees (Nasimeh Naami and Amir Saadouni).

They in turn were arrested on the day of the Iranian opposition meeting on the way to Villepinte near Paris.

The group of three was on trial in Antwerp together with another Iranian living in Belgium named Mehrdad Arefani, who was Assadi’s helper. The public prosecutor accused them at that time of terrorism and requested a maximum sentence of 20 years for Assadi, which was finally fulfilled.

The regime’s ex-diplomat invoked its diplomatic immunity, but Austria has withdrawn his accreditation and said that this only relates to the country to which he was in, while he was arrested outside the borders of Austria.

But Assadi was seldom in Austria, instead, he was constantly traveling across Europe. After the arrest, investigators found notebooks in his car containing coded instructions for the bombers as well as receipts from money transfers and trips to France, Belgium, Germany – from a total of eleven European countries.

Overall, the failed attack illustrates Iran’s strategy of eliminating opposition members through murders. These types of attacks have existed since the early 1980s and there seems to be a broad consensus in different parts of the Iranian leadership that opponents such as the People’s Mojahedin must be eliminated. These attacks are a constant in Iranian politics.

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