Iranian opposition welcomes guilty verdict for diplomat bomber

Iranian opposition welcomes guilty verdict for diplomat bomber
Heavily armed policemen patroll outside the courthouse during the trial of four persons including an Iranian diplomate and Belgian-Iranian couple before the Antwerp criminal court in Antwerp, on February 4, 2021. (File/AFP)
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Updated 05 February 2021

Iranian opposition welcomes guilty verdict for diplomat bomber

Iranian opposition welcomes guilty verdict for diplomat bomber
  • Belgian court sentences Assadollah Assadi to 20 years in jail for Paris bomb plot
  • NCRI: ‘Historic verdict’ is ‘a conviction of the entire regime of the Islamic Republic’

LONDON: The head of the most prominent Iranian opposition group has welcomed the guilty verdict against an Iranian diplomat and terrorist who had planned to bomb a rally it had organized in Paris in 2018.

Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — speaking at an online event attended by Arab News on Thursday to mark the Belgian court’s ruling — said the guilty verdict is a “watershed moment” in relations between Europe and Iran.

“The conviction of (Assadollah) Assadi is a conviction of the entire regime of the Islamic Republic,” she said.

“After today’s historic verdict, the Iranian people and resistance expect the EU and other European countries to take steps to dismantle the regime’s terrorist network in Europe.”

Rajavi urged European countries to recall their ambassadors from Iran and shut down its diplomatic missions. The verdict, she said, proves that those missions are used for terrorism.

Rajavi also implored the EU and its member states to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Ministry of Intelligence as terrorist entities.

“Any negotiation with the regime or return to normal diplomatic status must be conditional on dismantling the mullahs’ terrorist network in Europe — firmness is the correct answer to the mullahs’ blackmailing and hostage taking,” she said.

Rajavi added that it is fitting to congratulate the Iranian people on Thursday’s ruling as “they’re the main victims of the regime’s terrorism and suppression.”

The court found that Assadi had abused his diplomatic protection in order to smuggle a bomb manufactured in Tehran into Europe.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chair of the NCRI’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said this highlights the very real security threat posed by Iran’s embassies and the diplomats working in them.

“The verdict clearly shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their missions abroad are a part of the terror machine of the regime,” he added.

“They’re exporting terrorism and they must be shut down. If they aren’t closed or shut down, they’ll continue to operate as they did before. They have no credibility left, especially in the EU, and they must be expelled.”

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