Three men involved in a bomb plot targeted at the Iranian Resistance rally outside Paris in 2018 recently appealed their convictions at a Belgian court, claiming to have been unaware of what they were carrying when they passed through a Belgian security checkpoint near the French border.
Iranian/Belgian dual citizenship holders, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami, and Mehrdad Arefani are desperate to escape accountability for their involvement in the plot, having been sentenced to lengthy prison terms earlier this year.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said, “Failing to remember the adage of “telling the truth only requires the remembering of one story,” the failed plotters then created the excuse that they thought the package they received from their MOIS [Ministry of Intelligence and Security] handler only contained fireworks. Even that lame excuse falls flat as a packed rally with tens of thousands of people inside a building is not the place to detonate fireworks.”
There is one absent figure from the appeal process, the chief of the failed terrorist operation, Assadollah Assadi. At the time, Assadi was working in the Iranian Embassy in Austria and used his diplomatic status to bring the explosive device to Europe from Tehran.
Later investigations into the whole case revealed that Assadi frequently traveled across Europe to coordinate with a number of sleeper cells. As he failed to practice effective operations security and electronic communications security, European law enforcement agencies and anti-terrorism agencies became concerned about his activities.
The NCRI said, “Assadi’s suspicious physical activities and computer network communications provided indications and warnings to European law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Through INTERPOL and joint European Union counter-terrorism operations, a very effective system of law enforcement cooperation has developed.”
This particular sleeper cell involved in the bomb plot was stopped attempting to cross into France by Belgian police, while Assadi was caught by German police while he was attempting to get back to Austria to the immunity of the embassy. In a search of his vehicle, authorities found a green notebook identifying a number of Iranian sleeper cells across Europe. The fact that he had this information on him is a severe breach of the rules of terrorist operations.
The NCRI said, “Assadi’s own sloppy work compromised the mission before he even provided the explosive device to the sleeper cell. Having that green book with him when he was arrested by German authorities provided law enforcement with sleeper cell identifications and locations throughout Europe.”
If Assadi is soon returned to Iran, he knows that his actions will mean he will be finding himself either in an Iranian prison or sent straight to the gallows.
At this stage, the only person who can save him from the likely revenge that the Iranian regime will subject him to is ironically the exact person he was targeting through the bomb plot, the NCRI’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi. Through the ten-point plan for a free Iran that she has established, the elimination of the death penalty is in the manifesto.
The NCRI said, “The capture and subsequent trial of this cell confirm European law enforcement and its judicial system know how to effectively deal with terrorism. The conviction also serves as a reminder that Iran is determined to remain the number-one nation-state exporter of international terrorism.”
On the other hand, both the European Union and the United States have both failed to deal with the regime in the same way. Both powers have continuously given the regime concessions to appease them in an effort to maintain the nuclear deal.
The convictions of these men in Belgium should be a wake-up call for all Western powers and urge them to disable the terrorist network in Europe once and for all. They should be declaring the MOIS as a terrorist organization like the U.S. did with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in 2019.
The NCRI said, “Hopefully, Belgium’s judicial system will maintain its course and deny the appeals from Saadouni, Naami, and Arefani. A reversal of decisions will be a slap in the face of the European police officers and intelligence operatives who prevented this cell from executing its mission.”