Iran: American lawmakers send letter to Belgium’s PM condemning Iran- Belgium deal to release terrorists
Recently, it was revealed that the Belgian government had been secretly negotiating a deal with the Iranian regime to free Assadollah Assadi, a convicted and imprisoned terrorist, and three of his accomplices, Iranians and political figures from around the world have expressed outrage, letting Brussels know that such a deal cannot be pursued without careful consideration of the consequences. The Belgian parliament is expected to hold a final vote at the Committee level on Thursday, July 7, allowing Brussels to proceed with the exchange of so-called convicted prisoners with interested parties.
In 2018, Assadollah Assadi and his associates attempted to bomb a 100,000-person Iranian Resistance gathering in France, which included hundreds of lawmakers, current and former officials, and dignitaries from five continents.
An Antwerp court sentenced Assadi to 20 years in prison, while his accomplices Nasimeh Naami, Amir Saadouni, and Mehrdad Arefani received sentences of 18, 18, and 17 years in prison, respectively, as well as the revocation of their Belgian citizenship and passports.
Members of the United States House of Representatives Randy K. Weber, Louie Gohmert, and Brian Fitzpatrick wrote to Belgium’s prime minister, requesting that the agreement be terminated.
“We, the undersigned members of the United States House of Representatives, write to you regarding a matter of the utmost urgency. We urge you to lead the Belgian Parliament in rejecting any deal between your government and the Islamic Republic of Iran that would return the terrorist, Asadollah Assadi or any other convicted Iranian terrorist, for that matter to the homeland.
“Earlier this Congress, 254 Representatives—both Democrat and Republican—co-sponsored House Resolution 118, expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran and condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government. One such example of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism was further highlighted in the text of that resolution: Asadollah Assadi’s plot, at the behest of the terroristic regime in Tehran, to blow up a peaceful gathering of dissidents and democracy advocates in Paris, France on June 30, 2018.
The Belgium court found that the four defendants are part of a larger terrorist group within a specific Iranian intelligence service. This appears from the sums of money paid to the defendants, the way information was gathered, the meetings in Iran, the use of diplomatic status, and the making and testing of the explosive device in Iran itself.
“Mr. Prime Minister, we applaud the heroism and ingenuity of the Belgian government, first, in preventing a heinous tragedy, and subsequently, in holding to account the reprehensible perpetrators of this dastardly plot executed under the cover of diplomatic immunity as a testament to the rule of law and a commitment to ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism. Therefore, we implore you to uphold these precious principles and reject any cynical ploy by Iran’s current “diplomats” to trade terrorists for dubiously detained Belgians,” members of the House of Representatives concluded.
The Iranian Resistance and Iranian expatriates vehemently denounced this despicable agreement, which will only embolden the regime to step up its terrorist activities in Europe and intensify its practice of holding dual national hostages and using them as leverage.