Home News Terrorism Iranian Diplomat and His Terror Squad Sentenced to Prison

Iranian Diplomat and His Terror Squad Sentenced to Prison

In a unique event, a Belgian court sentenced Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi and his sleeper cell for a bombing plot at the NCRI rally.

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.

A top Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi on Thursday, February 4, was convicted of orchestrating a thwarted bomb attack against the Free Iran 2018 rally hosted by the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

A Belgian court rejected Assadi’s diplomatic immunity, sentencing him to 20 years in prison. Judges also convicted Assadi’s accomplices, including Nasimeh Na’ami to 18 years, Mehrdad Arefani to 17 years, and Amir Sadouni to 15 years in prison. Furthermore, the court annulled terrorists’ citizenship, meaning they have to depart Belgian territory after the end of their prison terms.

As the keynote speaker, NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi described the conviction of the regime’s diplomat and his three intelligence agents in a Belgian Court as the conviction of the entire clerical regime in Iran. “This is a momentous triumph for the Iranian people and Resistance.”

“This is a heavy political and diplomatic blow to the clerical regime in Iran.
It marks an end to deceptions by both factions of the regime to cover up their roles in terrorist crimes. It revealed the scandalous bankrolling of their agents to sustain the demonization campaign against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the Iranian Resistance,” Maryam Rajavi said, adding, “It is an irreparable blow to the clerical regime’s strategy of exporting and spreading terrorism.”

“Yes, the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime will be the definite result of the Iranian people’s determination and desire,” the NCRI President-elect stressed.

Maryam Rajavi continued, “As prominent European parliamentarians and dignitaries have declared, the Iranian Resistance once again calls on governments of Europe to change their approaches and policies:
• Shut down the regime’s embassies and other centers in Europe, all of which are hubs for terrorism.
• Hold the regime’s Foreign Minister accountable. It was proven that his ministry, and the embassy and diplomat under his control, were involved in planning and preparing for the potential mass slaughter.
• Designate the entire Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as terrorist entities.
• Prosecute the regime’s leaders who are in charge and are the masterminds of its terrorism infrastructure. They must face justice.
• The mullahs’ intelligence agents and mercenaries under any cover must be prosecuted and expelled. Granting them refugee status or citizenship must be considered a red line.
• Any form of renormalization of diplomatic relations with the regime must be made contingent on dismantling its terrorism infrastructure and on the observance of the human rights of the people of Iran.”

Following Maryam Rajavi’s remarks, distinguished guests attended the conference from different countries across five continents, delivering their speeches. Most speakers were potential victims of the Iranian regime’s terror attempt against the Free Iran 2018 rally.

They insisted on the role of the whole regime in the terror plot and described the Belgian court’s rule as a historic moment. They highlighted the role of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as Assadi’s boss, calling on the international community for a firm approach against the world’s number one state-sponsor of terrorism.

Guests’ Remarks

Ingrid Betancourt

“This is a victory for all the victims of terrorism around the world. Had the plot been successful, it would have had hundreds of casualties. It is our victory because for the first time in history a diplomat from a terrorist state has been convicted,” said Ingrid Betancourt, former Presidential Candidate of Columbia.

“This is a turning point in history because justice prevailed in spite of the regime’s criminal attempts to avoid justice. This condemnation puts an end to the false narrative that the Iranian regime of the mullahs is a democracy. This judgment has shown that Iran is governed and in the hands of a terrorist organization. It has demonstrated that those who planned to kill us were not isolated lunatics but loyal servants of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif,” she added.

Giulio Terzi

“This is a moment when we have to believe that justice must be rendered for other instances of the crimes committed by the heinous regime of the mullahs. Justice must be rendered for the execution of political prisoners in 1988 and the killing of political refugees in other countries,” said Giulio Terzi, former Italian Foreign Minister.

“Those who appease the mullahs’ regime must be aware that the mask is finally off. The regime is certified as a terrorist state by the court,” he noted, adding, “The judges have established that Assadi was acting on behalf of the leaders of the Iranian regime. This shows the unity between the so-called hardline and reformist factions in the regime. The regime, particularly Zarif, used dual nationals, innocent civilians, as hostages to influence Assadi’s case and secure his release.”

Pandeli Majko

“Today, the trial in Belgium has placed the regime in Iran under a serious charge. This clarifies Iran’s official status. Iran’s leaders have imprisoned their country. They are now faced with international law and public opinion at home,” Pandeli Majko, Minister of State and former Prime Minister of Albania.
“We must support the democratic alternative and the platform and plan of Madam Maryam Rajavi,” he added.

Tom Ridge

“The NCRI is an immediate threat to the repressive Iranian regime. It is the largest, best organized, and most popular democratic alternative to the regime,” said Tom Ridge, first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

“The European Union, the United States, nations around the world must applaud the courage and the diligence of the Belgian government, its judicial system, and their citizens, and loudly resoundingly condemn the action of the Iranian government. But rhetorical condemnation without further action will be of little impact on this rogue regime, which heretofore has been totally unwilling to change its behavior,” he added.

Patrick Kennedy

“Today is a historic day. Today is a day that there’s no turning back from. It’s a turning point for the European community and the rest of the world, not only with the regime in Iran but particularly with their representative, Foreign Minister Zarif,” said Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Congressman.

“It’s time we face the facts. Either call them out on cleaning the house or shut those embassies down. Make it very clear to the mullahs in Iran that we know that their existential threat is Madam Rajavi and PMOI and the NCRI because that’s who they were targeting. It’s not anyone’s claim that the NCRI and Madam Rajavi are existential threats to Iran. The proof is in this trial,” he added.

Michèle de Vaucouleurs

“There should be a complete turnaround in the relationships between France and Iran. Diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime should be suspended and only restored after a democratic transition takes place,” Michèle de Vaucouleurs, Member of the French National Assembly.

Alejo Vidal-Quadras

“We suffered together and today, are happy together. This is a moment for the PMOI/MEK and the Iranian Resistance in Ashraf, and also the Resistance Units in Iran,” said Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former First Vice-President of the European Parliament, adding, “Justice has prevailed! The brutal regime was told it cannot use diplomats for terrorism.”

“We urge for complete sanctioning of the Iranian regime at the highest level. The intelligence ministry and the foreign ministry, as well as [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, are as guilty as Assadi,” he added, affirming, “The NCRI showed its role to overthrow the regime.”

Steve McCabe

“Assadi’s masters in Tehran must also be held accountable. This trial has exposed for all to see how the Iranian authorities show contempt for diplomatic conventions by using their embassies to carry out terrorist operations. That’s not how a normal government operates. These are the actions of a pariah state,” said British MP Steve McCabe.

“Assadi did not deny the charges, instead, he asserted that the diplomatic status meant he was above the law and should go free. He and his co-conspirators have received the sentence justice demands. There should be no backdoor deals, no swaps for innocent hostages,” he added.

Wesley Martin

“Whenever the ayatollahs’ power is threatened the regime resorts to repression inside the country and terrorist attacks against the regime’s enemies,” said Retired U.S. Army Colonel Wesley Martin.
“The day of justice has come for Assadi and his accomplices. Also indirectly on trial were Khamenei and Rouhani. Unfortunately, their day of justice will have to be delayed until the day of the collapse of their regime,” he added.

Riad Yassin Abdallah

“We should all come together and work together on the unwanted terrorism of the Iranian regime which is causing a lot of dying and suffering. We will continue our struggle and fight against terrorism and I think the decision today by the court is worth celebrating,” said Dr. Riad Yassin Abdallah, former Foreign Minister of Yemen.

Jean Michele Clement

“It was essential that justice was served and diplomacy was kept out of this decision. This is not the end of a fight, it’s the first page of a new book. It should send a strong signal to European diplomacy, especially French diplomacy. The Iranian regime is a criminal system, not a political system,” said Jean Michele Clement, Member of the National Assembly of France.

Stephen Harper

“In 2018, I attended the NCRI’s Free Iran rally for the first time. It was in Paris, and it was one of the largest and most impressive events I’ve ever participated in. We did not know then, that Iranian government agents were planning to disrupt that event through terrorism and murder. Those individuals have been put on trial, where they have faced undeniable evidence of their intent to commit those crimes. We did not know that then. But we would not have been surprised,” said Stephen Harper, former Canadian Prime Minister.
“This is what the Islamic Republic in Tehran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism does. And it is no surprise that such actions would be directed against you, the NCRI, which is the regime’s largest opposition, and which works relentlessly to expose its malevolence, its brutality, and its crimes. Whatever the outcome in the court today, I’m here to say, continue your work. Continue the fight for freedom, democracy, human dignity, and peaceful change in Iran,” he added.

James Jones

“The regime took the risk because it was vital for it to strike at the NCRI and MEK as the main threat to its rule. They got Assadi involved because they did not trust intermediaries,” said Gen. James Jones, 22nd U.S. National Security Advisor, adding, “In the past few years, there has been a new surge of support for the MEK and NCRI inside Iran, especially among youth. The NCRI is a force for democratic change in Iran.”

Europe and the U.S. must condemn the regime for this act. We should downgrade diplomatic relations, close regime embassies, and centers. Hold Zarif accountable for the terrorism of his ministry. Refrain from inviting them to Europe for talks. Anything less will be a sign of weakness that will embolden the regime. Designate the MOIS and IRGC as terrorist entities and arrest and expel their agents,” Gen. Jones continued.

Lars Rise

“How come every European leader wants to shake Zarif’s hand? After receiving today’s verdict, all European leaders have to add an arrest warrant for Zarif to their to-do list. How is it possible for anyone to continue to work with the regime as if nothing happened?” said Lars Rise, former Norwegian MP.

Tahar Boumedra

“Today, the truth, the rule of law, justice, have prevailed over impunity. Impunity has failed. Through this verdict, it’s not only Assadi who has been convicted. It’s the whole regime. The whole regime has been behind crimes against humanity,” said Dr. Tahar Boumedra, former chief of the Human Rights Office of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Kimmo Sasi

“It has been proven that this was state terrorism. This is a great shame for the Iranian government. I urge the European Union foreign ministers to condemn the Iranian regime for this terrorist plot and go through all embassies of Iran to make sure there are no people who can cause harm,” said Finnish MP Kimmo Sasi, adding, “They have to study the role of the IRGC in this case. The EU must levy sanctions on all the people involved in this case.”

Paulo Casaca

“This is a moment to strengthen our efforts and seek justice for the countless victims of the mullahs’ crimes. How can European diplomacy pretend they are facing anything other than the representatives of a terrorist state?” said former MEP Paulo Casaca.

Prof. Eric David

“Today was a great day for the law because it is not only a conviction for terrorism and for these people but today is a great day for the international law and penal code. The law always prevails,” said Prof. Eric David, renowned Belgian legal expert, adding, “I would like that the mullahs realize, especially for them to be aware of not making wrong decisions.”

Michele Alliot-Marie

“Today, the trial in Belgium includes a diplomat from Iran’s embassy in Austria. He represents the Iranian state in a terrorist act that could have led to many victims. It is thanks to exemplary cooperation between European authorities that we avoided a catastrophe,” said Michele Alliot-Marie, French politician and Member of the European Parliament from France, adding, “International relations cannot be based on terrorism and blackmail. It is time to stop these terrorist activities.”

Gianna Gancia

“We need a stronger policy against the threatening activities of the Iranian regime in Europe. We in Europe need to be firm against the actions of the Iranian regime. The time has come to downgrade diplomatic relations with Iran. We should withdraw our ambassadors from Iran,” said Italian MEP Gianna Gancia.

John Baird

“For more than 40 years, the regime in Tehran has been sponsoring terrorism around the world. The Iranian regime, including its president Hassan Rouhani, targeted the Iranian opposition and Madam Maryam Rajavi at the Paris rally,” said former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

“The evidence is undeniable. There needs to be justice for the NCRI and Madam Rajavi. I personally was at the event which the regime tried to bomb. For me, it’s personal,” he added.

Linda Chavez

“There was an effort on the part of the Iranian regime, not just to quash dissent by offering words of criticism, but by sending bombs, and using their diplomats in Europe, too, in fact, involve themselves in the plot, and to hire those who would take those weapons and bring them to the gathering outside Paris in order to seek maximum damage,” said Linda Chavez, former White House Director of Public Liaison.

Robert Torricelli

“These four individuals posing as Iranian diplomats, agents of the regime, have been found in a court of law, and a free, open, and fair process, guilty of acts of terrorism. Any debate about the Iranian regime’s involvement and acts of terror, murder is now over,” said former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli.

“It’s established as a matter of law, a matter of fact, that it was the intention of the mullahs in Tehran, to murder Madame Rajavi, and all of us, who were there doing nothing more than in free expression in France, the heart of Western democracy, petitioning the Iranian government to let its people live free lives. Now the verdict is in,” he added.

Struan Stevenson

“What should the West do? We have just heard the sentence by a Belgian court against Assadollah Assadi who tried to bomb the Iranian Resistance rally. I was a plaintiff at the trial. Today’s court ruling is a great victory for the NCRI and its charismatic leader Madam Maryam Rajavi,” said former MEP Struan Stevenson, adding, “It will be a huge morale booster to the courageous members of the MEK’s Resistance Units in Iran.”

Robert Joseph

Now that the verdict has been handed down by the court, the judiciary has finished its work. It’s now time for the governments to act decisively. Knowing that further concessions to the regime will only bring more injustice to the Iranian people, and more criminal and terrorist acts, for the EU, this should mean the adoption of a firm policy, including designating the MOIS and the IRGC as terrorist entities, withdrawing the legal status of all other regimes agents in Europe, and reducing the level of diplomatic relations until the regime has demonstrated its commitment to end its terrorist activities,” said Amb. Robert Joseph, former Undersecretary of State.

“For the Biden administration, the guilty verdict of Assadi and his accomplices should weigh heavily in his review of Iran policy. This active state terrorism should have a sobering effect. It should end any move to resurrect the appeasement policies of the past and dispel any false nostalgia about working with ministers or Zarif as a moderate influence in the regime, as he, with no doubt, was aware of the attempted attack by MOIS operatives working under his auspices, the new administration must uphold the values that it espouses,” he added.

Matthew Offord

“I personally attended the annual gathering in Paris for a free and democratic Iran in previous years. The regime’s attempted attack was similar to the ISIS attacks. Following today’s verdict, it would be a mistake to think this case is now over and closed,” said British MP Matthew Offord, head of the British Committee for Iran Freedom.

“The case is now open because the real perpetrators are free among the Iranian leaders in Tehran,” Dr. Offord highlighted, adding, “The decision to launch this terrorist attack was taken by the regime’s Supreme National Security Council headed by President Hassan Rouhani and approved by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.”

David Jones

“Today’s verdict puts an end to the false narrative that the terrorist actions of the regime are the work of hardliners or rogue elements within the regime. Assadi was an accredited diplomat working for Zarif,” said British MP David Jones.

“The UK’s Home Secretary should consider urgently proscribing the IRGC. The EU’s conciliatory policy towards the regime has emboldened the regime to believe it can get away with terrorist acts against its opponents on European soil,” he added.

Martin Patzelt

“The court in Belgium has handed down its verdict. The whole regime of the mullahs has been convicted. This is a victory for the Iranian Resistance. The EU has some responsibility. For too long Europe has tolerated the abuse of diplomatic status in Europe promoted by the Iranian regime,” said Martin Patzelt, Member of the German Bundestag.

“Germany seems to be at the center of the Iranian regime’s terrorist actions. So-called Iranian diplomats have been guiding the terrorist apparatus of the regime in Germany,” he added.

Exit mobile version