Tuesday, May 10, 2022: The Antwerp Court in Belgium announced the verdict of three accomplices of the Iranian regime’s terrorist-diplomat Asadollah Assadi. An international conference held in this regard by the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI).
A group of prominent dignitaries from the U.S. and Europe attended and spoke at the conference online.
It is worth mentioning the Antwerp appeal court sentenced the Iranian regime terrorists to 53 years in prison:
—Nasimeh Naami, 18 years
—Amir Sadouni, 18 years
—Mehrdad Arefani, 17 years
The Regime terrorist-diplomat Assadollah Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in February 2021. Asadi, a terrorist diplomat responsible for the bombing, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the first instance but did not appeal and refused to do so, which would not lead to further scandal for the regime during the appeal.
The court added two more years of imprisonment for Amir Saadouni. The court also confirmed its decision to strip the defenders from their European citizenship and ordered them to pay 60,000 Euros each to the court.
The conference began with remarks by Mr. Hossein Abedini, Deputy Representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in the United Kingdom, congratulating the great victory of the Iranian Resistance in the Antwerp Court.
Then, the Iranian resistance lawyer, Mr. Rik Vanreusel, spoke about the court ruling.
Rik Vanreusel, NCRI lawyer
This is truly a strong condemnation of this heinous crime that was perpetrated by the Iranian regime. Today marks the end of the legal procedure.
We have been rewarded with a year of symbolic damages. This gives hope in these difficult times in Western Europe that the rule of law is still very high here in Belgium.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI)
The ruling today by the Court of Appeals in Antwerp is the decisive defeat of the clerical regime.
The Iranian regime failed in its 46-month attempt to escape a heavy judicial sentence for its terrorist plot against the Iranian people’s Resistance.
It is also the failure of Khamenei, Rouhani, and Raisi, who wanted to turn terrorist operations into their absolute right by manipulating diplomatic immunity. The Belgian Judiciary, however, said no to such unbelievable impudence.
Now is the time for Western governments and the world to say no to the regime in its entirety. And they must recognize the Iranian people’s right to freedom and overthrow the clerical regime.
The prosecution and punishment of the operatives are necessary but not enough. The masterminds and main culprits, namely Ali Khamenei, his president, incumbent ministers of intelligence and foreign affairs, and other leaders of the ruling fascism sitting in the Supreme Security Council, must face justice without any exceptions. Otherwise, they will become emboldened.
Over the past four decades, they have committed countless terrorist crimes. They massacred 1,500 youths during the November 2019 uprising, carried out the political executions of 120,000, including the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, and looted the Iranian people’s wealth and property. Today, as usual, they are trying to take hostages and make deals, but they must receive a decisive response: they must be referred to the UN Security Council, the International Court, and the Iranian people’s court in a free Iran.
The court’s ruling and the several years of investigations do not leave any doubts that the bombing plot could become the deadliest terrorist incident in Europe.
By carrying out this plan, the highest level of the regime’s leadership, namely Ali Khamenei, wanted to compel the world to let him continue his rotten rule.
The question is, why did the regime hatch a plot that carried such high political risks? What exactly was the regime’s political calculation?
The answer is:
First, the mullahs see themselves in a position of being overthrown. Therefore, they are embarking on insane ventures. Khamenei knows better than anyone how rotten his regime is. So, he fears the regime’s democratic alternative –the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)—more than ever.
Second, the mullahs are encouraged by Western governments’ policy of appeasement.
For more than three decades, the appeasement policy has served as a political refuge for the Iranian regime’s terrorism.
Therefore, one should not ask the bloodthirsty tyranny in Iran what the red lines are for its terrorist operations outside Iran! Instead, one should ask those who have remained silent and passive in the face of this regime what their red lines are?
The regime’s foreign policy serves its terrorism, and the regime’s terrorism is a tool for advancing its foreign policy. Moreover, no one can argue that there is still hope for the regime to change its policy or behavior.
Appeasing the clerical regime has lost its justifications more than ever before.
Do not look at Iran through the prism of a handful of mullahs and criminal thieves who are members of the IRGC, sitting in their ivory towers. The Iranian people’s uprising and growing resistance are waiting in the wings.
Investments in the clerical regime are against the interests of peace and tranquility in the Middle East and the world. They are against the interests of the Iranian people.
Do not tie Europe’s fate to the terrorist mullahs. Instead, stand beside the Iranian people and their struggle to overthrow the regime and establish peace and freedom.
Abandon politics that ignores human rights and leave complacency to the shameful section of the Museum of History. The future generations will learn from it as a path never to be followed.
Do not let Khamenei and the IRGC have access to any money. Every barrel of oil bought from this regime and every dollar given to the mullahs turns into a bullet fired at defenseless and unarmed protesters.
The ruling by the Court of Antwerp must be a breakthrough and a stepping stone to starting a full-fledged policy of firmness and decisiveness against the clerical regime’s unbridled terrorism. Authorities in Europe know this but do nothing about it.
Now that the verdict condemning the regime’s terrorist diplomat and his three accomplices is finalized, any delay in adopting a decisive policy will encourage Iran’s ruling religious fascism to continue and escalate its terrorist activities. It is a grave mistake to justify inaction and passivity regarding the human rights abuses and crimes the regime commits in Iran and abroad with the excuse of ongoing nuclear talks. It will send a message of weakness and encourage the regime to acquire the atomic bomb.
The time has come for various countries, particularly in Europe and the U.S., to end their silence and inaction over dozens of terrorist operations carried out by the clerical regime.
They must launch legal investigations into every single one of them.
They must disclose all the information and documents of the case and all the names contained in Assadollah Assadi’s notebooks.
European intelligence services must uncover other dormant cells of the mullahs’ MOIS and the terrorist Quds Force.
They must close down the regime’s embassies, which are its centers of espionage and terrorism.
They should make their political and economic relations with the regime conditional on stopping executions and exporting terrorism.
They should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) in their entirety as terrorist entities. And they should prosecute their agents, revoke their citizenship, and deport them.
Repression, killing, and terrorism have never been, nor will they ever be able to destroy a nation determined to liberate itself. The Iranian people and their Resistance are resolved to overthrow religious fascism, and they will undoubtedly do so.
The mullahs will not find a way out through repression, terrorism, and conspiracies. The uprisings in Iran, the courageous Resistance Units, and the Army of Freedom hold the key to victory and freedom. No doubt, they will end the clerical regime’s rule.
Robert Toricelli, U.S. Senator (1997-2003)
The following is an excerpt from Senator Toricelli’s speech at the conference:
The int’l community needs to take note that justice is incomplete. The same diplomatic core that planned to plant a bomb in Paris exists. They still sit at the negotiating table with the United States and other powers. There is no justice without holding accountable the very regime that would’ve taken our lives. We call on Europe to reconsider. Do they want embassies in their countries that would have taken the lives of their citizens and exploded a bomb in Europe?
Even if you reach an accord, what credibility could it have? I recognize that there is a limited capacity in the world with the number of crises that can happen simultaneously. But the problems with the regime in Tehran are rising. A terrorist government abusing people in Asia is just as important as one in European.
The terrorist elements of that regime must remain on the terrorist list. Europe must take note of what happened here today. The integrity of the court and prosecutors needs to be matched by governments. For all of us, it’s important to realize that something else could have happened here. The Iranian government could have chosen many targets. But it chose one. The MEK and Mrs. Rajavi.
They struck at us and her for a reason. We are the threat. She is the future. All of us will redouble our efforts and our commitment, and call on our governments to take a stand.
Robert Joseph, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2007)
Why did the regime risk the consequences of killing dignitaries? Why did it risk alienating its commercial relations with those governments? It is desperation. The principal source of desperation is the Iranian people’s demands for democracy and human rights.
Through four decades, the regime has made an enemy of its own people. The people’s demand for change is the number one threat to the regime. This regime will do anything to stay in power. The prime target was Mrs. Rajavi, leader of the democratic and secular alternative inside and outside Iran. She is the symbol of hope for the future of Iran.
The NCRI and MEK provide the viable alternative to the religious dictatorship of the mullahs. The aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom cannot be denied.
What should be the response to this blatant act of terrorism? The EU should have adopted a firm policy of designating the MOIS and IRGC as terrorist entities, closing embassies that conduct terrorist activities. This did not happen. Instead, European capitals continue the appeasement policy toward Iran’s regime. In the US, the guilty verdict should have dismissed any hope of reform. The administration replaced maximum pressure with maximum appeasement. The Iranians kept coming back for more and more concessions. Iran demands that the US removes IRGC from the list of terrorist organizations.
The US would delist a terrorist organization with the blood of hundreds of Americans on its hands to provide the regime with billions of dollars to fund terrorism. We must support the resistance of Iran.
Giulio Terzi, Foreign minister of Italy (2011-2013)
While the Iranian people have suffered because of the regime’s torture and aggression, the terrible acts of violence against political opponents, today we finally have a moment of satisfaction because we see that great principles and values can be successfully achieved.
The sentence in Belgium shows that justice will prevail. It is important that we can loudly affirm that justice is winning against the regime in Tehran.
Tens of thousands of people were present at the Villepinte conference, and it could have been a genocidal attack. The sentence passed today is a pivotal moment. For the first time in Europe, a national court rules that a terrorist attack has been ordered by the leadership in Tehran. This case has brought to light what will emerge in other countries of Europe about the destabilizing role of Iran’s regime.
It is a duty of all European citizens to demand their governments to have a strong response toward Iran’s dual use of its diplomatic network for terrorism. These outposts of terror must be closed and removed. There must no longer be appeasement for this regime of terror, especially after the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president.
No more excuses and exceptions for this regime and its leaders.
We cannot be blackmailed by this criminal regime.
It is now time more than ever to stand up firmly and united to support the ten-point plan of President Rajavi.
Lincoln Bloomfield, Assistant Secretary of State for political military affairs (2001-2005)
When the Belgian court first issued the verdict, they put out a lot of facts. The bomb was made from TATP. It was made in Iran, tested several times. It had communications capabilities. It could be a much larger explosion than bombings by ISIS. The report mentions Section 312 of the MOIS, which follows resistance members abroad. Why don’t we ever hear about the MOIS in Washington? When we see people from Iran sitting in think tanks and universities and go to Iran and talk to its leaders, do we investigate them? This is a new conversation that we need to have.
Iran abused its diplomatic privilege. It had terrorists pose as diplomats. Why don’t we talk about the foreign ministry? This is a regime that has several branches conducting acts of violence and terror. We need a new conversation in Washington.
Yes, we are concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. We are providing billions of dollars to Ukraine, our allies, to fight Russia.
The NCRI is the opposition to this regime. They are a political organization and Iran is trying to kill them and us. We need to have a new conversation. We must understand that for 43 years, this regime has only conducted terrorism, violated the rule of law, violated international norms.
Roger Godsiff MP, Member of the UK Parliament (1992-2019)
This is a regime that wants to eliminate its alternative but also all supporters of a free and democratic Iran. This is the regime that massacred political prisoners in 1988.
We would never think this regime would rely on an act of terrorism that could have killed thousands of people.
I remain concerned that the masterminds who gave the green light to this act of terrorism have not been brought to account. They have been left free to carry out terrorist activities throughout the world.
Recently the regime announced its plans to execute a Swedish citizen. We shouldn’t be surprised because intimidation is part of the regime’s DNA.
The EU and European leaders have sent the wrong message to this religious dictatorship, giving it a free hand to spread terrorism. Europe must take action proportionate to the massacre that was planned. The EU cannot sit at the same table as the regime that planned to carry out a crime against humanity in Europe.
By adopting a policy of inaction and silence, European governments have allowed Tehran’s acts of terrorism to continue and flourish.
I call on all European leaders to recognize that the mullahs’ regime is a terrorist organization that we can’t negotiate with. We should be closing the regime’s embassies throughout Europe. The regime doesn’t use them for diplomatic purposes. It uses them as hubs of terrorist activity. We should not allow this.
Georges-Henri Beauthier, NCRI lawyer
The terrorist state has been condemned in today’s court. It’s a great victory. Victory is not fully achieved yet.
There are still spies and terrorists ready to kill regime opponents around the world. My thoughts go to the daily victims of the dictatorship.
Colonel Wesley Martin, Former senior anti-terrorism officer for coalition forces in Iraq
All of us were targets. The NCRI and MEK are two of the three greatest threats to the Iranian regime. The third threat is truth itself. That’s what we came together for at that rally. The people of Iran don’t have freedom. Terrorism inside Iran is far more hideous than what is exported outside.
Appeasement and concessions are not the answer to deal with the regime in Iran. It requires firmness, strength, and resolve. Our government knows the truth about Iran, yet they are still trying to appease the regime. 2018 proved the MOIS is a terrorist organization. I call on our government to follow the example of Europe.
Linda Chavez, Chairman of the center for Equal opportunity, former assistant to the U.S. president for public Liaisons
Today we celebrate that the Iranian regime did not succeed in its attack. The four persons who were sentenced were just the trigger men. They did not originate the plot. They were not the only perpetrators. This plot was hatched in Tehran and the regime’s leaders.
It involved members of the diplomatic community. The people who assembled the bombs and directed the building of the bomb, who gave the order of assassinating Madam Rajavi and the killing of thousands of people remain free. We should see a reaction in the various governments across Europe and in the United States.
There should be some attempt to hold those responsible for this attack to account. Until it’s done, justice is not served.
Madam Rajavi has stood for freedom for decades. I call upon my government and the governments who are devoted to freedom to stand with the people of Iran and bring those responsible for this plot to justice.
Tahar Boumedra, Legal expert and former chief of Human Rights Office of the UNAMI
The following is an excerpt from Mr. Boumedra’s speech at the conference:
This is the outcome of a truly independent and impartial judiciary system. It is now the governments’ turn to follow that path and take appropriate measures to put an end to the regime’s terrorism.
The regime’s leaders must be prosecuted and its spies in disguise must be expelled.
Roberto Rampi, Italian Senator
Now that the judgement has come to pass, the EU will have to take action. Will they remain silent? Will they say we are in the middle of nuclear talks and if we condemn this crime, we will jeopardize the talks? Have we forgotten about the rule of law and democracy? It is clear that the nuclear talks are dead. It is clear that the regime is blackmailing Belgian authorities.
I ask our governments to stand firm and let the mullahs know that they can’t have a network of terror in our countries. If the regime sees a strong reaction by EU and European leaders, they will conclude that there is no way they can have a nuclear bomb.
First, in response to the regime’s terrorism, all its agents must be brought to justice. Second, the MOIS must be designated as a terrorist organization. Granting asylum to the regime’s agents should be a red line. Third, we need a firm approach toward any attempt at blackmailing and extortion.
Martin Patzelt, Member of the German Bundestag (2013–2021), Mayor of Frankfurt (2002–2010)
This is a historic day. The regime and its leader are at the dock in the Belgian court. This is a small victory for justice. Appeasement with totalitarian regimes makes them more aggressive in their war and terrorism. We must learn from this and pursue a firm policy against the mullahs in Tehran.
We must support the opposition to this regime, the NCRI and MEK. They constantly expose the regime’s crimes. They are a voice for a free Iran. They warn the international community with documents and analyses about the regime’s fundamentalism and terrorism, and its efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb.
I believe this democratic opposition is the best partner for achieving lasting peace. It is time for Europe to put an end to its self-deception. The mullahs are the cause of instability and insecurity around the world. Europe must not become a hub for Iran’s state terrorism. The MOIS and IRGC must be designated as terrorist organizations.
The Iranian regime has a large network of terrorists and spies and sleeper cells in Europe. You can’t trust someone who constantly lies and deceives us. There has to be zero tolerance here. The regime’s network of agents must be dismantled.
Mario Galea, Member of the House of Representatives of Malta (1998–2022)
We have an important obligation to not forget what happened in Villepinte in 2018, a terrorist plot that was ordered and planned by the tyrants in Tehran. We do not have the luxury to forget. Today’s verdict is important but a partial judgement. Complete justice requires Iranian tyrants to be held to account. Appeasement of the Iranian regime does not work.
While many world leaders were busy toward peace in 2018, the Iranian regime was busy transporting bombs to detonate in the sovereign territory of their appeasers. We must acknowledge that the appeasement of Tehran is nothing less than treason.
The Iranian mullahs are evil. In my opinion, this verdict is important but not a turning point. The real turning point is when this evil regime is overthrown, and I am sure that it will be overthrown. Only then will the world be a safer place.
Struan Stevenson, Former President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq
The following is an excerpt from Mr. Stevenson’s speech at the conference:
Diplomats enjoy special privileges. Assadi violated each of the core principles of diplomacy. He was the key operative in the attempted bombing of the NCRI rally in Villepinte. Assadi was acting under orders. It could only have been validated by Khamenei and Rouhani. The foreign minister was Javad Zarif. He must have been a key player, as was then-MOIS minister Mahmood Alavi. All should be indicted for acts of terror. The terrorists faced European justice.
But their trial cannot simply draw a line under this heinous offense. The regime’s leaders must also be indicted and held to account. The operatives had registered as political refugees in Europe and applied for citizenship in Belgium. This is how the regime hides its agents in plain sight. The list of the MOIS’s spies and terrorists must be exposed. The regime’s spies and agents and so-called diplomats must be expelled.
Today’s judgment in Antwerp shows the regime has failed. The regime will face justice. Appeasement has no place when dealing with dictators. Send a message to Khamenei and Raisi that your days are numbered, and you too will face Western justice.