The reaction from Iranian state-run media over the recent conviction and imprisonment of their diplomat Assadollah Assadi on terrorism charges in Belgium highlights how the regime is actually responsible for state-sponsored terrorism.
The state-run Mizan news agency accused Europe of “politicizing” the case and called for the regime to retaliate. The outlet, associated with the Judiciary, then admitted that retaliation was in fact the reason that they stopped the South Korean ship last month, even though they promised at the time that this was not true.
The outlet wrote: “After [South Korea] refused our demand to pay its debt, we stopped the Korean ship under the pretext of polluting the Persian Gulf and the environment.”
This debt is actually being held because of international sanctions on Iran that bar other countries from providing it with assets held in other countries.
The terror plot
In June 2018, Assadi smuggled 500 grams of explosives into Europe in his diplomatic luggage. He drove to Luxembourg where he handed the bomb and detailed instructions to a Belgian-Iranian couple, telling them to bomb the Resistance’s “Free Iran” rally in Paris on June 30.
The plot was foiled by European police and countless lives were saved. Assadi’s three accomplices – another was waiting at the rally to report on the explosion – were arrested hours before the bomb was due to go off and he was arrested the next day.
The regime has always claimed that Assadi had diplomatic immunity and that he was being framed, which are contradictory statements, but they never disavowed him. Belgian prosecutors have consistently said that Assadi was working at the behest of the regime, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
(Also, he didn’t have diplomatic immunity because he was arrested in Germany and not Austria, where he was stationed, and Austria could have rescinded the immunity based on the crime he was accused of.)
The Resistance wrote: “Due to the Iranian regime’s 40 years of state-sponsored terrorism, Assadi’s conviction and his case, although very important, is not shocking. The surprising and rather appalling fact is that European leaders continue having a dialogue with the regime.”
For example, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell intends to continue the “maximum diplomacy” strategy and take part in the “Europe-Iran Business Forum” with Zarif next month. (The event was postponed in December after Iran executed a French resident.)
How can this be right following Assadi’s conviction and given that European prosecutors hold the regime responsible? Given that the UN recently condemned the Iranian regime for human rights violations for the 67th time?
The Resistance wrote: “They should hold the regime accountable for its terrorism and human rights violations, not providing it with more incentive packages. Any financial help to the regime will result in more terrorism and human rights violations. The European Union should make all relations with the regime contingent on its absolute halt of terrorism and human rights violations.”