Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 16, 2020—Wednesday marked the beginning of the trial of four Tehran-linked terrorist, including a senior diplomat of the Iranian regime’s embassy in Vienna. Assadollah Assadi, the diplomat, and two of his cohorts are being tried for a bombing attempt in 2018, targeted at the Free Iran Rally, the annual convention of the Iranian resistance.
Assadi has a long history of terrorist activities against the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). He was arrested in Germany on June 30, 2018, as he was making last-minute coordination on the foiled bombing plot. Two accomplices, Amir Sadouni and Nassimeh Nomani, were citizens of Belgium. Belgian authorities triggered investigations into the terrorist attempt last year.
While the Iranian regime has a long history of carrying out terrorist attacks on foreign soil, this is the first time a diplomat in Europe has been put on trial for direct involvement in terrorism.
“This shows that the regime does not spare any crime and expense to destroy the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/ PMOI) and the Iranian Resistance as the main threat to its existence,” wrote the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a statement.
The preliminary hearing, which was attended by Iranian Resistance lawyers and other private plaintiffs, dealt with the indictment. The court formally agreed with the federal prosecutor’s request to prosecute Assadi and his accomplices on two counts of “attempted terrorist act with the aim of assassination” and “participation in a terrorist group.” Trial proceedings will continue. The regime’s attempts to derail the trial and release the arrested diplomat have so far failed, and has triggered infighting and disputes among regime officials in Tehran.
“The clerical regime, outraged by the relocation of the MEK to Albania, terrified of the December 2017 and January 2018 uprisings, and concerned about the growing international standing of the National Council of Resistance and its President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, attempted to assassinate Mrs. Rajavi and prominent American and European speakers attending the event,” the NCRI said, reminding that the clerical regime had planned another terrorist attack on the March 2018 Nowruz celebrations in Albania, in which Mrs. Rajavi and a group of foreign guests had attended. That attack too was foiled, and led to the expulsion of the regime’s ambassador and three other diplomats from Albania.
“The attempt could have resulted in dozens of deaths,” Belgium’s La Libre wrote in its coverage of the trial.
“The goal of the operation was to neutralize the 2018 gathering in Paris,” Belgium’s VRT News reported. “Germany extradited Assadi to our country despite objections by the Iranian regime. The fact that these four people have been in custody for more than two years shows that Belgian justice is taking this sensitive diplomatic issue seriously. An informed lawyer said, ‘The defendants can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.’
“If these four people are sentenced, it will be a big disaster for the Iranian regime and will indicate that the regime wanted to carry out a serious operation against the rally of the Iranian opposition in Paris.
“Spies using diplomatic cover isn’t new. But the fact that the Iranian regime is using diplomats for terrorist operations has no precedent in Europe.”