MEK Iran: Assadi Trial Calls Mullahs Regime to Account
On July 15, 2020, the Antwerp Court in Belgium upheld the indictment against Assadollah Assadi and his three accomplices for their roles in the thwarted terrorist attack during an Iranian resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), rally on June 30, 2018. Assadi was arrested on July 1st in Germany. Two of his accomplices were arrested in Belgium.
“During the search of the terrorists’ vehicle, approximately 500 grams of TATP and an ignition mechanism were found in a small toiletry bag,” said the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office in a statement released in 2018. If this plot had not been foiled by the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies across Europe, then it could have been one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on European soil.
Information from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI Iran) showed that Assadi had a history of working with explosives and that he had been based at the Iranian embassy in Baghdad after the invasion of Iraq during the height of the attacks on coalition forces. Therefore, it is not out of reach to see his role in providing explosives for the attack in 2018.
The Belgian courts will commence the trial of Assadi on November 27. Despite the mountains of evidence demonstrating how this Iranian diplomat played a part in potentially killing thousands of the rally attendees and its keynote speaker, Maryam Rajavi, Assadi still feels confident that he will be returned to Iran with a not guilty verdict.
During his questioning with Belgium authorities in the spring, he indicated that if he was found guilty, there would be repercussions from the Iranian regime. Based on the past responses of the European Union and the United States, the Iranian regime might feel comfortable in the knowledge that they can attack at will with no consequences.
In his speech titled “Supporting Iranian Voices” on July 22, 2018, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Just earlier this month, an Iranian ‘diplomat’ based in Vienna was arrested and charged with supplying explosives for a terrorist bomb scheduled to bomb a political rally in France. This tells you everything you need to know about the regime.”
After major anti-regime uprisings in 2017 and 2018, the regime looked to cut off the head of the Iranian resistance, thus eliminating what they perceive as a threat to their continued existence. After all, if the Iranian people had a democratic alternative to the oppressive regime, why would they not take it?
“The hypocrites [the pejorative term the Iranian regime uses on the MEK] will receive an appropriate response from Iran from where they do not expect,” said Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Admiral Ali Shamkhani in January 2018. The response was meant to end the resistance and the threat they posed to the leaders of the regime.
The plan was to attack the resistance by removing the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, who is one of the leaders of this resistance. As part of the legal proceeding against Assadi, Rajavi testified for seven hours, presenting documentation that made it clear the Iranian regime’s top leaders, including the Supreme Leader and the Iranian President, knew and approved the 2018 attempted terrorist attack.
Yet, after this thwarted attack, the French Interior, Foreign, and Economy Ministers said in a joint statement that because of “this extremely serious act on our territory,” they froze the assets of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and two of its officials. Investigations by the French authorities reached the conclusion that the responsibility for planning and executing that thwarted attack in 2018 was MOIS and that it was ordered by its deputy minister.
However, most European countries have declined to eject Iranian diplomats, despite the fact that this example is just one of many where Iranian diplomats were involved in plots on European soil.
The Belgium courts have upheld the charges against Assadi and his accomplices. Those include two charges of the attempted terrorist acts with the intention of murder and participation in a terrorist group. These charges were based on approximately two years of extensive investigations and input from several countries throughout Europe.
Based on the remarks of a well-placed western official, The Independent reported on February 5, 2019, that European security officials have intercepted communications that suggest Assadi “was not only involved in an alleged plot last year to bomb a meeting of Tehran opponents outside Paris but coordinated efforts with colleagues back in Iran.”
With all this evidence, it is time for the international community to hold Iran to account for their foreign policy terrorist actions. Using their diplomats, the Iranian regime has instigated multiple plots, including another attempted terrorist attack in Albania during the spring of 2018. The event in Albania was also a rally and celebration for the Iranian resistance (MEK) and Rajavi was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at that event.
The Albanian government, however, did not give Iran a slap on the wrist. Instead, they expelled the Iranian Ambassador and the MOIS station chief in Tirana in December 2018. Other countries need to follow the lead of Albania and lop off these arms of the MOIS and its terrorist network.
For the security of the international community, it is time to hold the Iranian regime responsible for its actions on the soil of other countries. That means their diplomats cannot be part of MOIS but need to respect the rules of the diplomatic community. The Belgium government and court system have the opportunity to also show the Iranian regime that they are not fearful of retaliation but believe that justice needs to be served for the actions and choices of these members of the Iranian terrorist organization.
Tags: #FreeIran2018, Disinformation by MOIS, Iran human rights, Iran Opposition, Iran Terrorism, Iran Uprising, Maryam Rajavi, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), NCRI, People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI