A new treaty between Iran and Belgium will allow the repatriation of captured terrorists, whom Tehran will then almost certainly release.
Belgium is waving the white flag over terrorism. Last week, the Belgian parliament voted to ratify a treaty with Tehran that will allow Iranians convicted of crimes in Belgium to serve their sentences in Iran and vice versa. However, the treaty also allows amnesty. There is little doubt that Tehran will release its terrorists, who are now held in Belgian prisons.
One of them is Asadollah Asadi. He was a diplomat in Vienna and the mastermind behind a brutal terrorist plot. In 2018, Authorities in Belgium, France and Germany arrested Iranian intelligence ministry agents – including Assad – who were planning to bomb a political rally in Paris.
An attack against Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran’s National Council of resistance, could have meant the death of countless innocent civilians. Among those present were high-ranking Westerners who were on the program to speak there. Among others, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Bill Richardson, the former governor of the US state of New Mexico.
Assad used his diplomatic cover to carry half a kilo of explosives and a detonator from Iran in his luggage. He drove to Luxembourg, where he handed it over to an Iranian-Belgian couple in a Pizza Hut establishment. They took the bomb to Belgium, where they were arrested. On his way back to Austria, Assad was arrested at a gas station in Germany, where he did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.
The head of Belgian state security Jaak Raes said in a letter to prosecutors that intelligence services had determined that the planned bombing was a state-backed operation, approved by Tehran. A Belgian court sentenced Assad to 20 years in prison.
Iran has retaliated by arbitrarily taking Europeans hostage. The regime has detained a Belgian aid worker in solitary confinement for five months on charges of espionage. Tehran has detained other Western citizens on false charges and used them as a means of pressure to release frozen funds or Iranian citizens imprisoned in other countries. The treaty between Brussels and Tehran will oblige the Belgian government to extradite such Iranians.
Other European countries are also facing this threat. On July 14, a Swedish court sentenced former Iranian prison official Hamid Nouri to life imprisonment for murder and ” serious crimes against international law.” Nouri was arrested and tried in Stockholm, having been lured there with the promise of a luxury cruise. In May, following the indictment of the Nouri, Tehran said it would execute Ahmadreza Djalali, the Iranian-Swedish scientist and visiting professor at the VUB who was accused of spying for Israel.
Let us hope that Sweden and other countries do not follow the example of Belgium, and do not give Iranian criminals a free pass to ‘leave prison’.