This article is part of our series that explores Tehran’s terror activities and Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi‘s role in a bombing plot against the opposition rally in Paris in June 2018.
Assadi had been arrested previously on July 1st, for a European arrest warrant.
Assadi is accused of commissioning a married Belgian couple of Iranian origin who reside in Antwerp in March of 2018, according to the statement. He planned for them to carry out an assault using explosives on the Iranian’s annual Grand Gathering in France on June 30th. He allegedly gave them 500 grams of the explosive TATP in Luxemburg in late June.
The statement added that Assadi was a member of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, whose tasks “primarily include the intensive observation and combatting of opposition groups inside and outside of Iran.” The statement also said that the German judiciary warrant would not hinder Belgium’s extradition request for the suspect.
The couple arrested in Belgium has been described by Belgian security and prosecutors as one of the regime’s sleeper cells, and according to an article in De Standaard on July 4th, and that they had been directed by Assadi for many years. A Belgian judicial spokesman said, “Practically all employees of Iranian embassies are part of the Iranian Secret Service,” according to NBCnews.com on July 6th.
Intelligence from inside the regime suggests that “this terrorist act was decided months ago by Iran’s supreme leader, the president, foreign and intelligence ministers, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, the Revolutionary Guards, the Quds Force, the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization, and the deputy for political-security affairs of Khamenei’s office,” according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the opposition group who hosted the targeted event.
They also accuse Assadollah Assadi of being the MOIS station chief in Austria and say that he and The Ministry of Intelligence were assigned to carry out the operation, adding that the MOIS station in Vienna had become the coordinator of the MOIS stations in Europe for the last few years.
According to the NCRI, “Assadi is one of the MOIS’s veteran agents who was stationed in Vienna since 2014 under the guise of a Third Counselor. His office was room No. 200 on the third floor of the embassy. His main task was espionage and conspiracy against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and he has been traveling to various European countries in this regard.”
The Iranian regime wants Assadi to be extradited to Austria, and subsequently be transferred to Iran. It is believed that during their visit to Austria last week, Iran’s President Rouhani and Foreign Affairs Minister Zarif met with Austria’s former minister of defense, in an attempt to have him take the lead to try to free Assadi. It has been alleged that the regime’s foreign ministry has claimed in its internal reports that the Austrian government is willing to close the case quickly and will utilize its resources for this purpose.
The Security and Anti-terrorism Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran has published a warning against the regime’s attempts to divert the investigations and to help its terrorist diplomats in general, and Assadi in particular, escape justice. It has called for the closure of the regime’s embassies and representative offices, and the expulsion of terrorist diplomats and the MOIS and Quds Force agents. This action is in accordance with the decision of the Council of Europe on April 29, 1997, which stipulated that the regime’s mercenaries and intelligence and security agents should be expelled from European Union Member States and not allowed to enter the EU Member States.
The NCRI also reiterates the need for full disclosure, and that all details of the terrorist attack against the grand gathering of Iranians in France must be published. They write, “Public awareness of these details is essential for securing the security of the Iranian dissidents and refugees in particular, and the security of Europe in general.”