On December 3, the historical trial of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi in Belgium attracted international media attention. Assadi is the first diplomat to ever be tried in Europe due to involvement in a terror attempt.
Despite the Iranian government’s best efforts, which included bribery, falsely claiming diplomatic immunity, and threatening more acts of terror, the trial of Assadi and his three accomplices for attempting to blow up the 2018 Free Iran rally began on Friday in Belgium.
Iranian officials’ efforts to get Assadi released, rather than write him off as a rogue agent, has caused a scandal. However, the ayatollahs clearly considered the damage to be worth it for the chance of stopping the trial. It also goes some way to back up the Belgian prosecutor’s assertion that Assadi was not acting of his own volition but on the orders of his government.
Not only will this case see Assadi behind bars for 20 years, if the prosecutor’s recommendation is taken into account, but it will also be a condemnation of the Iranian government and provide the perfect catalyst for all Western nations to re-evaluate their policy on Iran.
The world, especially Europe, will see that the appeasement policy has only emboldened the Iranian government to commit heinous acts of violence in foreign countries, even those who have been over backward to accommodate the ayatollahs.
“So many years of turning a blind eye on the regime’s terrorism have prompted the regime’s diplomat-terrorist to carry out a terrorist operation on European soil, yet claim he claims he has diplomatic immunity and should not go on trial,” the Iranian coalition opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote.
As noted in a Politico article on the subject on November 27, “the case will likely have grave ramifications for EU-Iran relations”. The world will be watching the trial and the EU’s reaction intently, waiting for a signal about how to treat Iran now. They must now choose between justice or trade and they are very unlikely to side with the mullahs after this.
The NCRI recommended that European Countries immediately:
- designate as terrorist organizations Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)
- shut down the regime’s embassies and cultural and religious centers because they are hubs for terrorism and espionage
- make diplomatic relations contingent with the regime ending their terrorism on European soil
The trial is expected to conclude this month and all four are expected to be given long prison sentences.