Iran condemns imprisonment of an Iranian diplomat in Belgium on false terror-related charges, calling for his immediate release.
In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that the Belgian police had intercepted a car carrying homemade explosives and a detonation device, claiming that Assadollah Assadi had handed the materials to two people in Belgium earlier. Assadi, himself, was apprehended in Germany the next day and told that he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.
A Belgian court then sentenced the diplomat, who serves as the third counselor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna, to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) cult.
On Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the process of detention and trial of Assadi has been flawed and in violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“The European parties involved in the case of Assadollah Assadi have been called to account,” Khatibzadeh said.
His remarks came after an appellate court rejected appeal requests submitted by three people, whom are said, in line with “unfounded and baseless accusations,” to have been “connected” to Assadi.
“Unfortunately, today, under the pretext of holding appeals court for the three foregoing people, we are once again witnessing fabricated lies by Western media about Mr. Assadi, a diplomat of the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
“As said in the past, the entire procedures of detention, trial, and issuance of legal verdict against Assadi have taken place in complete violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” he noted.
The Islamic Republic has officially communicated its protest over the matter to Austria, Germany, and Belgium, repeatedly rejecting the accusations that have been leveled against the diplomat, and insisting that he should be “immediately released,” Khatibzadeh stated.
He called the whole issue a preplanned scenario which has been acted by the MKO with the goal of Iranophobia.
The terror group has conducted numerous assassinations and bombings against Iranian officials and civilians since the victory of 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 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.