Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon, leading member of the British Committee for Iran Freedom addressed an online global conference on the conviction of Iran’s diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi by a Belgian court for attempting to bomb the 2018 Free Iran gathering in Paris.
On February 4, 2021, simultaneous with the court ruling against the Iranian regime’s diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi, and his accomplices in Antwerp, Belgium, a global online conference was held, where Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and dozens of prominent figures from various European countries, the United States and Canada, joined thousands of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) members based in Ashraf-3 (Albania) as well as the supporters of the Iranian Resistance worldwide.
The Belgian court rejected Assadollah Assadi’s claim of diplomatic immunity and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The three intelligence agents, Nasimeh Naami, Mehrdad Arefani, and Amir Saadouni, were sentenced to 18, 17, and 15 years in prison, respectively. Their Belgian citizenships was also revoked.
Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon, leading member of the British Committee for Iran Freedom
Dear colleagues and friends today is an important day, a historic day in the fight against terrorism. N
ow for the first time ever, an accredited diplomat of the regime in Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, is not only caught in the act of terrorism, but also held accountable for his crime intended to bomb the Free Iran gathering of the NCRI in Paris targeting the NCRI president-elect and opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.
I personally attended the annual gathering in Paris in support of a free and democratic Iran in previous years, where tens of thousands of people have also participated including many parliamentarians from Europe, the United States, and across the world. So successful, the attack could have caused major bloodshed and killed many people reminiscent of an ISIS still terrorist bombing.
But luckily, the security agencies and police in France, Germany, and Belgium were able to stop the attack and prevent another terrorist tragedy in Europe. Now, with the Iranian diplomat behind bars, it would be a mistake to believe that this case is over and closed.
No. This case has only just begun because we now know that the main culprits and those ordering and truly responsible for this attack upon Iran’s organized pro-democracy opposition in Europe or in Tehran.
We know after the trial and a two-year investigation that the convicted diplomat was in reality an intelligence officer and that he did not act on his own but rather followed orders from the regime’s most senior authorities including the supreme leader.
According to reports, the decision to launch his terrorist attack was taken by the Supreme National Security Council, headed by the regime’s President Hassan Rouhani. Then it was confirmed by the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, and assigned to the Ministry of Intelligence and Security to implement the decision in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is headed by the proposed moderator, Javad Zarif.
Iran’s state terrorism will never be stopped and defeated if these senior officials and leaders of the regime are allowed to enjoy impunity and escape accountability and justice. So while the small fish was caught, the time has come to go after the bigger fish.
The UK and its European allies has now worked together to hold the regime’s leaders in Tehran to account for their involvement in terrorism and all the other accelerated behaviors.
Also, the UK and the EU must move ahead and prescribe without delay the IRGC and the MOIS in their authority to prevent the regime and its terrorist organizations the resources and money they need to facilitate and carry out terrorist operations and to recruit agents in Europe.
I know that more and more colleagues in the UK Parliament are understanding the importance of prescribed in the IRGC and what a blow this will be for the regime’s efforts to export and support terrorism.
In this regard, I applaud my colleague Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the UK’s Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, in joining with us in this call as suppose his latest policy recommendation to the British government to prescribe the entire IRGC and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to prioritize building watertight cases against human rights abuses based in Iran or acting for abroad and its next round of Magnitsky style sanctions.
I’m ending my remarks today by congratulating Mrs. Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance Movement, those of course in Ashraf 3 in Albania, and the people of Iran on this historic achievement and indeed, victory. It would have been impossible without your work and endeavors for a free and democratic Iran.
I stand with you all today and I will continue to stand with you until the day Iran is free, and I will join you in a celebration in Tehran. As I’ve always said before, and as many of you know, we just say one final word but three times, [foreign 4:37]. Thank you.