Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, July 26, 2020—Kayhan daily, the known mouthpiece of Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published a piece on July 25 expressing grave concerns over the trial of the mullahs’ diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi and three other operatives facing bombing/terrorism charges in Belgium.
“Finally, following Mr. Assadi’s illegal detention for the past two years, he and three other defendants in this case, each being ordinary individuals living in Europe and have no legal acquaintance with this diplomat, appeared before court for their supposed arraignment hearing. The court was held behind closed doors in the city of Antwerp of Belgium and several senior [opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)] officials and members separately presented their remarks and claims against Mr. Assadi to the court. It is worth noting that even holding a court trial and prosecuting an Iranian diplomat during his mission abroad is unprecedented in the Foreign Ministry’s history and anywhere in the world. Despite having a diplomatic passport, Mr. Assadi has been illegally detained for over two years, first in Germany and then Belgium. His court hearings have begun in the past few days,” the piece wrote.
“Appointing a lawyer for Mr. Assadi by the Iranian Foreign Ministry is tantamount to acknowledging the illegal due process for a diplomat. The Foreign Ministry should have in July 2018, based on articles of the Vienna Convention, in case Assadi was not handed over to Iran by Germany, acted in eye-to-eye fashion and detained a German diplomat in Iran with a similar ranking of Assadi.
“Now the Foreign Ministry has not only taken no such action, in fact as a next step, which is quite dangerous, they have appointed a lawyer for an individual who enjoys diplomatic immunity.
“Therefore, the main reason this Iranian diplomat has not been released is the fact that the Foreign Ministry has played in the European’s law-breaking puzzle.
“The Foreign Ministry, by acknowledging Assadi’s arrest and appointing a lawyer for him has confirmed that Mr. Assadi no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity and thus allowed the [PMOI/MEK] and European judiciaries to enter this case. This is a violation of [Iran’s] sovereignty, neglecting the diplomatic status quo and the fact that complaints against an Iranian diplomat will become the new norm,” the piece concluded.
The trial of Asadollah Assadi began on Wednesday on charges of his part in a foiled terrorist bombing plot targeting a June 2018 rally held by the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) near Paris. Three of Assadi’s collaborators, Amir Sa’douni, Nasimeh Na'ami and Mehrdad Arefani are also on trial.
This is the first time that a diplomat in Europe is on trial and under prosecution for a direct role in terrorism. This is considered a humiliating embarrassment for Tehran and vividly shows how this regime considers the PMOI/MEK as the main threat to its very existence and will go the distance necessary to carry out whatever crime possible.
The court has officially agreed with the federal prosecutor’s request to accuse Assadi and his collaborators of two charges: terrorism with the intention to kill and participating in a terrorist group. The court hearings will continue according to formal procedures.
Based on orders issued by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and to protect the interests of the regime’s Foreign Ministry to decrease the dire political consequences, only Mehrdad Arefani attended the arraignment hearings. Assadi, Sa’douni and Na'ami did not attend, and were presented by their lawyers.
During the past two years the mullahs’ regime has gone the distance to prevent Assadi’s prosecution and have him released. This includes diplomatic pressures, economic incentives, taking European citizens hostage and terror threats. All these efforts have been futile and added to the regime’s failures.