Two years ago, on June 30, 2018, European law enforcement managed to foil a terror attack in Villepinte, suburb of Paris. In a joint operation, Belgian, German, and French authorities disbanded a terror squad commanded by a senior Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi.
Belgian prosecutors called the group a “sleeper cell,” which provided details and prepared a bomb attack against the Iranian opposition gathering. At the time, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a grand meeting with 100,000 supporters and hundreds of distinguished politicians, MPs, human rights defenders, and former officials from around the world.
They had attended the event to declare their support for the NCRI and its President-elect Maryam Rajavi for replacing the religious fascism ruling Iran with a democratic government, which is intolerable for the ayatollahs.
Following the attack’s failure, Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, tried to evade responsibility. Zarif described it as a “false-flag operation” on the eve of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Austria while the foreign minister’s agent had been arrested with sufficient evidence.
The arrest of a diplomat on duty sounded alarms about the Iranian government’s exploitation of diplomatic privileges to target dissidents. In December 2018, the Albanian government expelled the Iranian ambassador and his deputy from its territory for involvement in a bomb plot against members of the main Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
Several of Tehran’s lobbies attempted to attribute the attack to rogue elements. However, in November 2019, Zarif rejected this theory at a Parliament (Majlis) public session. “We are not an institution to act by ourselves. Is it possible to do something in this country without reporting?” he said.
“Assadollah Assadi is not an exemption. He is the normality,” said former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, who was a potential victim of the plot.
These malign behaviors prompted many prominent figures, particularly potential victims of Assadi’s plot in France to file a complaint against Tehran’s terrorist agent and his co-conspirators.
On October 22, several of them attended an online conference hosted by the NCRI and discussed the Iranian government’s terror activities on European soil. They demanded EU leaders shut down Iranian embassies as centers of coordination and logistic providers for terror attacks.
Potential Victims’ Remarks at the NCRI Webinar
“This terrorist plot was ordered and blueprinted in Tehran at the highest level of Iranian regime leadership, including the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS),” said Farzin Hashemi, a potential victim, and member of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee.
“In my seven-hour testimony during the investigation, I provided details of the decision-making and the enabling process of this operation… I stressed again that the decision for this operation had been made by Khamenei, Rouhani, Zarif, Alavi, the regime’s intelligence minister, and implemented only afterwards,” said Maryam Rajavi, the terrorists’ primary target.
“We are sure that it is indispensable that this diplomat represented a state,” said prominent human rights and international criminal law lawyer William Bourdon.
“It is a bit surprising that the secret agent is trying to invoke the Geneva Conventions. You cannot pretend to be a diplomat when you are caught trying to bomb a civilian population,” said criminal law lawyer Rik Vanreusel.
“This is one of the most important terrorism cases in the 21st century… The victims attacked in this case, the NCRI, has been the target of systematic attacks by the regime,” said international criminal law lawyer Christophe Marchand.
“I hope that the courage and skills of our lawyers are matched by those of the governments that are involved. The burden is now on all of us if we want to assure that no one else is a victim of state-sponsored terrorism,” said former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli as a complainant and potential victim.
“The decision to resort to terrorism is carried out by the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, where there are key centers of power, including the supreme leader, the president, the speaker of parliament, and the IRGC commander,” said former French intelligence officer Claude Moniquet.
“This is a historical test or challenge for the EU, whether they want to stand on their democratic standards or alongside a terrorist regime. This regime will fall,” said chair of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee and potential victim Mohammad Mohaddessin.
“I was the event’s moderator… Assadi violated each of the core principles of diplomacy,” said former MEP from Scotland Struan Stevenson.