March 8, 2021

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Tehran Slams Belgian Court for Jailing Iranian Diplomat for 20 Years

Earlier in the day, media reported that a court in the Belgian city of Antwerp convicted Assadi and three others of attempted terrorism, charging them for attempting to kill top leaders of the National Council of Resistance of Iran during a rally near Paris. The three accomplices were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 to 18 years and lost their Belgian citizenship.

“Iran decisively denounces the verdict of the court that sentenced Assadolah Assadi, a diplomat of our country, to twenty years in prison,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

The spokesman added that the entire process related to the diplomat, including his detention and trial, were illegal and violated international norms and the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Thus, Iran does not recognize the decision, he said.
In July 2018, Belgian law enforcement authorities said that they had thwarted a terrorist attack that two citizens of Iranian origin were planning to carry out on June 30 in France. According to Brussels, the suspects planned to carry out an explosion near Paris at a conference organized by the France-based opposition political organization banned in the Middle Eastern country. In total, four people were suspected of preparing the terrorist attack.

The prosecution believes that the failed bomb attack was masterminded by Assadi, who was attached to the Iranian mission in Vienna back in 2018. He was detained in Germany and extradited to Belgium in October. The diplomat refuses to leave his detention cell to attend court hearings, citing diplomatic immunity.

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