Saturday, December 9, 2023
HomeIran News NowIran Opposition & ResistanceSecret Deals and Hostage Games: Leaked Documents Unveil Iran’s Attempts to Free...

Secret Deals and Hostage Games: Leaked Documents Unveil Iran’s Attempts to Free Assadi 


Iranian dissidents launched an audacious assault, wresting control of 210 websites, software apps, servers, and data banks from the oppressive Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).  

The group, Ghiam ta Sarnegouni (uprising until regime overthrow), published thousands of documents, including those related to Assadollah Assadi, one of the regime’s diplomat terrorists who is serving prison time in Belgium. 

Arrested for masterminding a foiled plot to bomb the Iranian opposition’s “Free Iran Summit” in 2018 in Paris, Assadi and his three accomplices have been sentenced to heavy prison sentences. The documents revealed during the recent takedown of the MFA’s website show that Assadi’s release has been one of Tehran’s top diplomatic issues.  

A top Diplomatic Priority 

According to one of these documents, “The subject of the arrest and cruel trial of our country’s diplomat, Mr. Assadi, has been a very high priority in the follow-up agenda of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and regional offices from the beginning.”  

The document reads that “the matter of Mr. Assadi is within the scope of the duties and responsibilities of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and all the related movements and activities after the arrest of Mr. Assadi were managed and directed by that Ministry, and the record of all actions taken is also there.”  

But due to Assadi’s ties with the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the record of the MFA’s all actions “is at the disposal of the Ministry of Intelligence, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with the Ministry of Intelligence, has used all its capacities to consult and help manage the issue of Mr. Assadi.”  

The MFA’s leaked documents show that the dilemma was a high-stakes concern at the highest echelons of power within the regime. The classified papers speak of the creation of a “special working group in the General Directorate of Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” This working group presents its solutions and reports to the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and his office. “This working group has so far produced several reports and sent them to the office of the Supreme Leader, the heads of the three branches, and the Supreme National Security Council,” the report states.  

As the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) President-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, testified during the regime’s diplomat-terrorist trial as the primary target of his foiled attempts, Assadi was acting on the order issued by the regime’s top officials. This fact was later confirmed by the court, describing the 2018 terrorist attempt as an act of “state terrorism.”  

A terrorist state seeking the comfort of its agent 

The documents obtained by the Iranian dissidents also indicate how Tehran put an extraordinary effort to ensure Assadi’s welfare in Belgium prison. Were these measures intended to help him not to lose morale in an already lost case since he was caught red-handed? No matter what the answer, the terrorist regime ruling Iran was very much worried about Assadi’s demands, squandering thousands of euros. This is while at the same time, millions of Iranians were desperate to make a living.  

The documents suggest that MFA ordered “regular weekly consular meetings in Germany and Belgium with Mr. Assadi, ambassadors, mission advisers, security experts of our country’s representation.”  

The top priority of the regime’s Foreign Ministry was to ensure “Assadi ‘s phone call with his family, as well as solving the heating problem of disconnecting the heating system of his cell.”  

On September 11, 2020, the regime’s counselor and his deputy met with Assadi’s lawyer, giving him “15,000 euros and receiving a receipt.”  

Meanwhile, the regime knew that “There is no way to reopen Mr. Assadi’s case. Maybe he can be released after serving half of his sentence.” The document also adds that “The finalization of Mr. Assadi’s 20-year sentence does not legally affect his condition and detention regime, but practically, changes may be made.” 

A dirty deal  

The possible release of Assadi in the framework of a prisoners-swap deal between Belgium and Iran’s ruling theocracy has made headlines in recent months.  

The documents reveal that Tehran was zealously pursuing to conclude an “agreement on the transfer of prisoners between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Belgium.”  

The MFA outlines several steps, including “Sending the draft of the Belgian side (the subject of the note dated October 22, 2020, from the Belgian Embassy in Tehran to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of our country) to the domestic legal authorities in November 2020 – Presenting the final version proposed by our country to the Belgian side on 31.05.2021 and finally the Belgian side agreed with the final text.” 

The Iranian regime has coerced the Belgian government to accept this deal by resorting to its hostage-taking method. Tehran now offers to exchange Assadi with an innocent Belgian aid worker, Olivier Vandecasteele 

Yet, the leaked documents reveal that the regime used Vandecasteele’s arrest as a tool to strengthen its hand in negotiations. According to a report by the Belgian DeMorgen news website based on the released documents, the cabinet of Vincent Van Quickenborne was originally focusing its negotiations with Iran’s regime on the release of Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian dual national who teaches in Belgium. Djalali was arrested in Iran and was sentenced to death under bogus charges. After the initial agreement in 2021 and before the deal was finalized on March 11, 2022, the regime arrested Vandecasteele. A sham trial ensued, culminating in an egregious sentence of 40 years imprisonment, 74 lashes, and an exorbitant $1 million fine.  

The leaked documents lay bare the regime’s calculated ploy, holding Vandecasteele hostage as a pawn in their malevolent game, specifically crafted for Assadi’s benefit. 

The regime’s demonization campaign revealed 

The documents obtained by Ghyiam ta Sarnegouni indicate how Iran’s ruling theocracy tried to systematically demonize the NCRI and its main constituent group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), or as the regime calls it, using a derogatory term, the Monafeqin (hypocrites.)  One of the MFA’s documents speaks of a “Meeting of the deputy and counselor of the representation with the reporter of the widely published newspaper ‘La Libre’ on 07/23/2020, in order to conduct a media briefing on emphasizing Mr. Assadi’s political immunity and highlighting the terrorist nature of the Monafeqin group.”   

Tehran desperately tried to demonize the MEK using its contacts at a well-known Belgian media outlet as a part of its smoke and mirror plan to cover up Assadi’s intention to carry out the largest would-be terrorist plot in Europe and the regime’s decades of crimes and terrorism.  

For the past four decades, the clerical regime has tried to demonize its main opposition group using various methods. Tehran has been using a network of so-called “friendly journalists” abroad to parrot its talking points against the MEK. Repeating those worn-out allegations allows the regime to freely oppress Iranians affiliated with the MEK and justify its terrorist activities against Iranian dissidents abroad.   

Exposed in a shocking revelation during an interview with a television station funded by the Iranian regime, Ali Fallahian, the former intelligence minister involved in the heinous AMIA bombing that claimed 85 lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 18, 1994, brazenly unveiled the presence of covert Iranian intelligence agents operating clandestinely across various nations. 

“The ministry needs cover for its works to collect information both inside the country and outside. It is obvious that we don’t send an agent to Germany or America and, for example, say, ok, I am an agent of the information ministry, and I am here to collect information; please give that to me. Obviously, he would work under the cover of business or other jobs, including reporters. You know many of our reporters are actually ministry agents,” Falahian said.  

It is noteworthy to underscore the significant focus exerted by the regime on “emphasizing the terrorist nature of the Monafeqin group,” as revealed in the leaked documents. The purpose behind this emphasis is to strategically harness public opinion and exploit the media to validate the purported prisoner swap.  

Paradoxically, this approach employed by the regime stands in stark contrast to the legitimization of its own crimes and serves as a catalyst for perpetuating the Western appeasement policy towards Tehran. The regime’s endeavor to tarnish the reputation of the MEK through a campaign of slander epitomizes a strategy employed to shape public perception and manipulate international dynamics, thereby perpetuating its own hold on power.