March 21, 2023

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Belgian court maintains prisoner swap deal with Iran

TEHRAN – A plea for the revocation of a treaty with Iran that permits the exchange of prisoners between Iran and Belgium is rejected by the Constitutional Court of Belgium.

In a news statement on Friday, the court said that it had rejected the annulment request made by the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO).

According to the treaty, Iranians found guilty in Belgium might spend their sentences at home, and vice versa.

The treaty can result in the release of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who has been unjustly detained in the European country. 

A Belgian court convicted Assadi of conspiring to assault an MKO gathering in Paris in February 2021 and sentenced him to 20 years in jail.

Since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, the MKO has carried out terror attacks that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Iranians.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has vehemently denounced the jail sentence against Assadi, calling it wholly illegal, a breach of diplomatic immunity, and a manipulation of Belgium being by the MKO.

“Unfortunately, Belgium and some other European countries have taken such illegal and unjustifiable actions against Assadi under the influence of the atmosphere that has been created by the hostile MKO terrorist group on Europe’s soil,” the ministry said at the time. 

The so-called “National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)” has been attempting to dispute it in court, arguing that Assadi should continue to be imprisoned.

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