This morning, July 15, the trial of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat, who conducted and carried out the plan to bomb a massive Iranian opposition gathering on June 30, 2018, in Villepinte, Paris, began in the court of the city of Antwerp in Belgium. Along with Assadi, three of his accomplices, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami, and Mehrdad Arefani, will also be tried.
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.
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.
Over the past two years, the clerical regime has made every effort to prevent Assadi’s trial and to secure his release. Measures such as diplomatic pressure, economic incentives, taking European nationals’ hostage, and terrorist threats proved futile and backfired.
By order of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, only Mehrdad Arefani appeared in court today. This was an attempt to reduce the political fall-out of this trial for the regime. Assadi, Saadouni, and Naami were not present, but their lawyers attended the proceedings
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. Earlier, the clerical regime planned a terrorist attack on the March 2018 Nowruz celebrations in Albania, accompanied by Mrs. Rajavi and a group of foreign guests, which was foiled and led to the expulsion of the regime’s ambassador and three other diplomats from Albania.
Assadi is a senior official of the MOIS and the station chief in Austria. Working on the cover of the third consul, he handed over a powerful TATP explosive to Amir Saadouni and Nasimeh Naami in Luxembourg on June 28, 2018, to bomb the gathering in Villepinte. This major terrorist plot, which would have left hundreds of victims, was uncovered and thwarted in its final stages. Amir Saadouni and Nasimeh Naami were arrested in Belgium on June 30 while transporting the bomb to Villepinte. Mehrdad Arefani was arrested in Villepinte, Paris, and Assadi was arrested in Germany the next day and handed over to the Belgian authorities.
In connection with this case, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, testified for seven hours while presenting documents stating that this major terrorist operation was decided by regime’s Supreme National Security Council headed by Rouhani and approved with the direct order of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Mrs. Rajavi stressed that in addition to Assadi and other terrorists arrested as perpetrators of this crime, the actual masterminds, namely Khamenei, Rouhani, Zarif, and Mahmoud Alavi, the Minister of Intelligence, must be prosecuted. This was necessary to stop the unbridled terrorism of the mullah, she said.
Several officials, members, and supporters of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance have also testified before the Belgian judiciary.
Besides, several prominent dignitaries present at the Villepinte gathering have filed as party civils in this case. Former Algerian Prime Minister Syed Ahmad Ghozali, US Senator Robert Torricelli, former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, former head of France’s domestic Intelligence Agency, Mr. Yves Bonnet, and British MPs Bob Blackman and Roger Godsiff, former UNAMI Human Rights office chief in Iraq, Mr. Tahar Boumedra, and former Italian lawmaker Elisabetta Zamparutti have joined them.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
July 15, 2020