A French diplomatic source said: “Behind all this was a long, meticulous and detailed investigation by our (intelligence) services that enabled us to reach the conclusion, without any doubt, that responsibility fell on the Iranian intelligence ministry.”
They revealed that Saeid Hashemi Moghadam, Iran’s director general of intelligence, had ordered the attack and Assadollah Asadi, a Vienna-based diplomat, had arranged it. The Iranian intelligence ministry answers directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Asadi was arrested in Germany on the day of the attempted attack, while the Iranian operatives that he had recruited were arrested in Belgium and France. The two arrested in Belgium were charged with possessing explosives.
The diplomatic source said: “We cannot accept any terrorist threat on our national territory and this plot needed a firm response.”
This announcement from France came just one day after Germany agreed to extradite Asadi to Belgium for trial.
The rally that the Iranian Regime was attacking was attended by hundreds of prominent politicians from around the world and 100,000 supporters of the Iranian Resistance.
The freezes mentioned by the French government affect Asadi, Moghadam, and a unit within the Iranian intelligence services, but France gave no details of the assets; merely describing its measures as “targeted and proportionate”.
This is in line with the robust response promised by France and the previous diplomatic actions they have already taken against Iran.
In September, French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian demanded explanations over Iran’s role in the bombing, whilst at the UN General Assembly. While in August, France told diplomats not to travel to Iran, refused to nominate a new ambassador to Iran, and have not responded to Iran’s nominations for diplomatic positions in France.
This news could have wide-ranging, long-term effects on Iran, as France is one of the states that remained a party to the 2015 nuclear deal, following US withdrawal in May, and is working towards efforts that would help to subvert US sanctions on Iran.
These sanctions have already been hitting the Iranian economy hard and if France withdraws from the deal too, citing understandable concerns about its failure to address terrorism, then the Regime will find itself in an unwinnable position.