France’s Le Monde reported that the Iranian regime’s intelligence services have fully mobilized to prevent the regime’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi from being convicted in Belgium for his role in a terrorist operation in France.
It was previously announced that on January 22, 2021, the Court of Antwerp in Belgium will announce its verdict against Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat and third secretary of the Iranian regime’s embassy in Austria. Assadollah Assadi is accused of organizing a bombing at the annual meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in June 2018 in Villepinte, France. The gathering was attended by tens of thousands of supporters of the organization and a number of top French, American and other personalities.
Deciding on terrorist operations at the highest levels of the Iranian regime
According to Le Monde, extensive investigations by the Belgian judiciary and intelligence services indicate that the decision to carry out this foiled operation was made at the highest levels of power in Iran. The defendants in this case have been in contact with the Iranian intelligence services for a long time. The head of the Belgian intelligence and security service, Jack Ross, emphasized that the bombing was led by the Iranian government.
Following the failed assassination attempt on the NCRI meeting in France, the assets of the Iranian Deputy Minister of Intelligence (MIOS), as well as the assets of Assadollah Assadi and Iran’s intelligence management, were frozen. An Iranian government spy working as a diplomat was also expelled from France.
In Its report, Le Monde stressed that the trial of Assadi and his three accomplices last November angered Iranian officials. In response, they announced that the Belgian court was incompetent and illegal. They claimed that Assadollah Assadi, as a diplomat, had political immunity and should be released as soon as possible.
Four intelligence officials met with Assadi in prison
Le Monde also referred to new elements in Assadollah Assadi’s case. For example, according to the report, in the summer of 2019, four senior Iranian intelligence officials met with Assadollah Assadi in the Limburg prison in Belgium.
The Belgian intelligence service’s report to the federal court states that these individuals included the ambassador and advisers of the Islamic Republic to Belgium, a doctor and an Iranian lawyer living in France and Belgium, and five elements of the Iranian regime in the country.
According to Le Monde, all of them had told Belgian officials that they were members of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. However, according to Le Monde, the Belgian government has only identified three of them.
Le Monde added that Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in a seven-hour testimony in front of officials investigating Assadollah Assadi’s case, explained the role of a number of such officials, including one of the 14 key officials of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence who is responsible for directing the Iranian regime’s intelligence agents abroad.
A special committee was set up in Tehran for Assadi
Le Monde revealed that a special committee has been set up to follow Assadi’s case in Tehran. The committee, according to Le Monde, threatened the Belgian government with retaliatory action if the country’s judiciary convicts Assadollah Assadi of organizing and carrying out terrorist operations. Belgian prosecutors have called for a 20-year prison sentence for Assadollah Assadi.
Le Monde did not rule out the possibility that Assadollah Assadi’s conviction would provoke a reaction from the Tehran government. Le Monde stated that the issuance of the death sentence for Ahmadreza Djalali was originally a warning to the Belgian authorities. Djalali, an Iranian-Swedish physician and professor at the Free University of Brussels, was arrested in December 2016 on charges of spying for Israel. An Iranian-German citizen named Nahid Taghavi was also arrested last fall.