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.
On Thursday, May 5, Belgian lawyer Dimitri de Beco, representing Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, announced that his client has dropped an appeal to his jail sentence, meaning the ‘diplomat’ would spend the next 20 years of his life behind bars.
In June 2018, Assadi was arrested by German law enforcement in Bayern following a joint counter-terrorism operation by Belgian, French, and German prosecutors.
According to evidence and obtained documents from his car, the ‘diplomat’ had orchestrated a foiled bomb plot against the annual gathering of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran in Villepinte, a suburb of Paris.
Assadi had personally smuggled 1lb of explosive material TATP on a commercial flight to Vienna, where he had directing Tehran’s intelligence station on European soil as the third counselor of the Iranian embassy.
Assadi had recruited three Iranian-Belgian individuals to perform the attack, including, Nasimeh Na’ami, Mehrdad Arefani, and Amir Sa’douni. The ‘diplomat’ had trained these people for espionage and terrorist missions.
Furthermore, according to his green booklet, Assadi had overseen an expanded network of Iran’s spies in Europe, which contained his appointments and payment receipts.
Following two years of investigation, the proceedings began in November 2019. However, the ‘diplomat’ refused to participate in hearings and court sessions based on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s orders.
The Iranian government had insisted on Assadi’s diplomatic immunity to elude the bomber diplomat from justice. In response, NCRI attorneys argued that diplomatic immunity should never allow an individual to walk on the streets and kill people.
Eventually, the judges ruled in favor of the NCRI, stressing, “Diplomatic immunity as the third counselor at Iran’s embassy in Vienna did not protect Assadi from charges of using the post for state-sponsored terrorism.”
On February 4, a court in Antwerp issued its ruling about the case announcing Assadi and his three accomplices guilty. The ‘diplomat’ was sentenced to 20 years in prison and other terrorists were convicted to 18 to 15 years in prison. The court also annulled the citizenship of Na’ami, Arefani, and Sa’douni, meaning they have to depart Belgium territory after the end of their prison terms.
The conviction of an Iranian senior diplomat highlighted the role of the entire Iranian foreign ministry in terrorism. In this respect, a panel of renowned American politicians attended a virtual briefing hosted by the NCRI on the same day, discussing the responsibility of Zarif and his department in state-backed terrorism.
They also highlighted the foreign ministry’s brokering for hostage-taking operations, forging travel documents for terror squads, funding sleeper cells, and spies, and providing diplomatic coverage for assassins affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
Recently, in a leaked audiotape, Zarif openly admitted that the foreign ministry was fulfilling former IRGC-QF commander Qassem Soleimani’s plans. “I had spent diplomacy on the field,” said Zarif.
“The information about the regime’s terrorist and intelligence network, the names, and particulars of hundreds of its agents used against the Iranian Resistance must be made available to the public,” stated NCRI.
Also, NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi called on the European Union to blacklist the clerical regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards.
I warn against any backdoor deals with the clerical regime. The regime’s leaders, all who have been implicated in its terrorist crimes over the past four decades, must face justice and be prosecuted. #NoImpunity4Mullahshttps://t.co/v6KC5BGSxy
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) May 5, 2021
“The terrorist conspiracy at the Villepinte, France and the Antwerp court’s verdict showed that we are facing a case of state-organized terrorism emboldened by four decades of appeasement vis-a-vis the clerical regime,” she emphasized, adding, “The regime’s so-called cultural and religious, which are in reality the centers of coordination of terrorism and espionage, must be closed.”