News ID: 277419
Published: 0355 GMT November 28, 2020

Iranian diplomat refuses to attend 'political trial' in Belgium

Iranian diplomat refuses to attend 'political trial' in Belgium
Police officers stand guard before a trial of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi at the entrance to the court building in Antwerp, Belgium, on November 27, 2020.

An Iranian diplomat, who was arrested back in 2018 on the false charges of being linked to a bomb attack plot in the French capital of Paris, has refused to turn up for trial in Belgium.

In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi had been arrested in Germany over suspicions of plotting a bomb attack on a meeting of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in Paris attended by US President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and several former European and Arab ministers, Press TV reported.

The authorities added that Belgian police had intercepted the suspect, along with a 38-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, in Belgium with 500 grams of the homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device found in their car.

Germany extradited to Belgium the 46-year-old diplomat in defiance of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.

Dimitri de Beco, the Iranian diplomats defense lawyer, said he would be representing his client and that Assadi did not attend the court on Friday as he was seeking diplomatic immunity.

De Beco also added that the plaintiffs were turning the case into a “political trial” on behalf of the MKO.

The next session of the trial is scheduled to take place on Thursday and the court is then expected to adjourn its verdict before ruling early next year.

Following Assadis apprehension in Berlin, the director general for Europe affairs at Iran's Foreign Ministry met German Ambassador Michael Klor-Berchtold to convey the Islamic Republics strong opposition to the arrest, detention and extradition of the Iranian diplomat and said the move was part of a manufactured plot by those opposing Iran-Europe relations and was planned by the MKO itself.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said that the claims about Assadi constituted a "sinister false flag ploy."

The MKO has conducted many assassinations and bombings against Iranian officials and civilians since the 1979 victory of Irans Islamic Revolution. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980-88 war on Iran.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 fell victim to the MKOs acts of terror.

The terrorist outfit was on the US list of terrorist organizations until 2012. Major European countries, including France, have also removed it from their blacklists. The anti-Iran terrorists enjoy freedom of activity in the US and Europe, and even hold meetings with American and EU officials.       


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