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Iran court hears evidence of terror ringleader’s ties to Saudi Arabia, Israel

Farajollah Chaab, the ringleader of the SMLA terrorist group, appears in his third court session in Tehran, Iran, on February 2, 2022. (Photo by Mizan Online news agency)

A third trial session has been held against the ringleader of a group behind terrorist attacks in Iran, with the prosecution presenting evidence showing the Saudi and Israeli sponsorship for the separatist outfit.

Habib Farajollah Chaab, also known as Habib Asyud, the ringleader of the so-called Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz terrorist group (SMLA), appeared in court on Wednesday.

At the hearing, Amin Vaziri, the prosecutor’s representative, said Chaab is accused of corruption on earth through forming, managing and heading the SMLA, as well as planning and carrying out terrorist operations, and destroying public property.

“Members of this terrorist group visited Saudi Arabia annually under the guise of Hajj to carry out the plans dictated by the Saudi intelligence agency. These plans included actions against innocent citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.

Vaziri also displayed the picture of a meeting between the Saudi culture minister and an SMLA member, who was arrested in the Netherlands for terrorist acts and sentenced to four years in prison. He further showed the photo of an invitation sent to the militant by the Saudi king.

Another picture showed a meeting between the SMLA spokesman and the Saudi king.

Additionally, the prosecutor’s representative pointed to the ties between the SMLA and Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

He also presented written documents that showed Chaab had dealings with former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The defendant, Vaziri said, has over the past years infiltrated into non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and even charities to attract and organize SMLA members.

As the trial continued, images were displayed of intelligence and military elements of the terrorist group, who freely engage in terrorist acts against innocent Iranians in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The SMLA has been pushing to separate the southwestern province of Khuzestan — home to the country’s Arab population — from the rest of Iran through engaging in an armed conflict against the Iranian government.

In September 2018, it claimed responsibility for an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Khuzestan’s provincial capital, which killed 25 people, including members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and civilian bystanders, and injured 70 others.

Chaab was arrested in November 2020 on the back of a set of “specialized and combined measures” by Iranian intelligence forces.

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