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Belgian court has no jurisdiction over Iran diplomat: Embassy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of Belgian security forces in Brussels

Iran’s Embassy in Brussels discredits the self-proclaimed jurisdiction of a Belgian court that has sentenced an Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) anti-Iran terrorist cult.

The embassy released the statement on Wednesday, reiterating the country’s position concerning the February 4 sentence against Assadollah Assadi, the third counsellor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna.

In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that the Belgian police had intercepted a car carrying homemade explosives and a detonation device, claiming that Assadi had handed the materials to two people in Belgium earlier.

Assadi, himself, was apprehended in Germany the next day and told he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.

Repeating Iran’s previous statements on the matter, the Brussels-based mission expressed “strong protest” at Belgium and Germany’s violation of the common international law and the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that grants immunity to diplomatic staffers, in their treatment of Mr. Assadi.

The court ruling, the embassy added, showed that the Belgian legal system did not recognize the binding nature of the Vienna convention’s provisions.

“The Islamic Republic reserves its right to resort to all legal mechanisms, including the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes,” the embassy statement noted.

Assadi drops appeal: Lawyer 

Also on Wednesday, Reuters cited Assadi’s lawyer as saying that he had decided not to appeal the conviction given the political nature of the trial.

"This has been a political trial since the beginning, and he does not want to participate any longer," said the lawyer Dimitri de Beco.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has, on separate occasions, summoned the Belgian and German ambassadors to Tehran, to convoy the Islamic Republic’s indignation at the issue.

Following Assadi’s so-called conviction, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called the sentence completely unlawful and a result of the European country's falling under the MKO cult’s influence.

“Unfortunately, Belgium and some [other] European countries have taken such illegal and unjustifiable actions [against Assadi] under the influence of the atmosphere that has been created by the hostile MKO terrorist group on Europe’s soil,” he noted back then.

The MKO has conducted numerous assassinations and bombings against Iranian officials and civilians since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 war that Saddam had imposed on Iran.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians, who have been killed in terrorist assaults since the Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have died in the MKO’s acts of terror.

The terrorist outfit was on the United States’ list of terrorist organizations until 2012.

Ever since, though, it has been heavily propagandized as an “Iranian opposition group” by the West and received strong favorable Western lobbying.

The MKO throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American, Western, and Saudi Arabian officials in attendance as guests of honor. These include former US national security advisor John Bolton, former US president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.


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