Brussels: – The Iranian diplomat from Austria, who plotted a terror attack on a rally organised in Paris by planting explosives, has been punished with 20 years of imprisonment. On Wednesday, the Belgian court pronounced the verdict. But Iran has criticised Belgium that the country has no right to institute criminal proceedings against the Iranian diplomat. Iran has also demanded that the diplomat be handed over to Iran.
National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), bitter opponents of the Iranian regime, who have taken shelter in Europe, hold a massive annual rally in Paris. NCRI leader, Maryam Rajavi, targets the Iranian supremo Ayatollah Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards from the platform of these rallies. Leaders from Europe and the United States also participate in the protest. Therefore, these rallies hold significant importance.
In 2018, diplomat Assadollah Assadi, from the Iranian embassy in Austria, plotted a terror attack on the rally to be held in Paris. Assadi had arranged half a Kilogram of explosives and detonators for the blast. Assadi had devised those attacks with the help of Belgian Citizens Nasimeh Nami, Amir Sadouni and Meherdad Arefani.
Many European agencies tipped off the Belgian security agencies. The Belgian security agencies ceased the explosives from a car and picked up Assadi from Germany. Assadi had appealed for asylum in Germany, using the diplomatic card. But Germany had dismissed the plea. The three accomplices of Assadi were also arrested. The interrogation by the Belgian security agencies revealed that Assadi was an operative of the Iranian intelligence agency.
Meanwhile, Assadi has refused to accept the punishment handed out to him by the Belgian court. But the Iranian embassy in Brussels has criticised the arrest and conviction of Assadi. As per Iran, under the Vienna agreement, criminal proceedings cannot be instituted against a diplomat.