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US Congressmen Condemn Iran- Belgium Deal to Release Terrorists

The Honorable Alexander De Croo
Prime Minister of Belgium
Palace of the Nation
Rue de la Loi 16
Brussels, Belgium

Via electronic mail

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We, the undersigned members of the United States House of Representatives, write to you regarding a matter of the utmost urgency. We urge you to lead the Belgian Parliament in rejecting any deal between your government and the Islamic Republic of Iran that would return the terrorist, Asadollah Assadi—or any other convicted Iranian terrorist, for that matter—to the homeland.

Earlier this Congress, 254 Representatives—both Democrat and Republican—co-sponsored House Resolution 1 18, expressing support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran and condemning violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government. One such example of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism was further highlighted in the text of that resolution: Asadollah Assadi’s plot, at the behest of the terroristic regime in Tehran, to blow up a peaceful gathering of dissidents and democracy advocates in Paris, France on June 30, 2018.

The resolution (H.Res. 1 18) reads, in part:

Whereas, on June 30, 2018, tens of thousands of people gathered in Paris at the Free Iran gathering where they supported advocates for a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran, and showed support for the opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan for the future of Iran, which calls for the universal right to vote, free elections, and a market economy, and advocates gender, religious, and ethnic equality, a foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence, and a non-nuclear Iran;

Whereas, on July 2, 2018, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced it had foiled a terrorist plot against the “Free Iran 2018—the Alternative” gathering held on June 30, 2018, in support of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom;

Whereas several prominent bipartisan former United States Government officials, several retired United States generals, congressional staff, and thousands of American citizens participated in that gathering;

Whereas Assadollah Assadi, a senior Iranian diplomat based in the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, Austria, was arrested in Germany in connection with the planned terror plot in Paris;

Whereas the Iranian diplomat has been charged in Belgium in connection with the Paris terror plot and in Germany with “activity as a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit murder”;

Whereas, on February 4, 2021, a court in Belgium sentenced Iran’s diplomat Assadollah Assadi to the maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment for his role in planning to plant a bomb at the Free Iran gathering in 2018, and his 3 accomplices were given jail terms of 15 to 18 years and stripped of their Belgian citizenship;

Whereas Assadi took an Iranian-made bomb from Iran to Europe on a commercial flight and delivered it to his accomplices with the aim of causing mass casualties at the Free Iran gathering in Paris in 2018;

Whereas the Belgium court found ‘ ‘that the four defendants are part of a larger terrorist group within a specific Iranian intelligence service. This appears from the sums of money paid to the defendants, the way information was gathered, the meetings in Iran, the use of diplomatic status, and the making and testing of the explosive device in Iran itself. ” ;

Whereas, on July 10, 2018, a senior Department of State official said, “Iran uses embassies as cover to plot terrorist attacks”, and that ‘ ‘The most recent example is the plot that the Belgians foiled, and we had an Iranian diplomat out of the Austrian Embassy as part of the plot to bomb a meeting of Iranian opposition leaders in Paris.”

Whereas, in January 2019, the European Union (EU) included the Internal Security Division of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and two of its officials on the EU terror list in connection with the Paris bomb plot;

… Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives— (1) condemns past and present Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attacks against United States citizens and officials, as well as Iranian dissidents, including the Iranian regime’s tenor plot against the ‘ ‘Free Iran 2018 the Alternative” gathering in Paris;

Mr. Prime Minister, we applaud the heroism and ingenuity of the Belgian government, first, in preventing a heinous tragedy, and subsequently, in holding to account the reprehensible perpetrators of this dastardly plot—executed under the cover of diplomatic immunity—as a testament to the rule of law and a commitment to ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism. Therefore, we implore you to uphold these precious principles and reject any cynical ploy by Iran’s current “diplomats” to trade terrorists for dubiously detained Belgians.

Thank you and your fellow members of the Belgian Parliament for your consideration of our most urgent concerns.

Respectfully,

 

United States Representative RANDY K. WEBER
United States Representative BRIAN FITZPATRICK
United States Representative LOUIE GOHMERT

cc:

The Honorable Antony Blinken
United States Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

The Honorable Stephanie D’Hose
President of the Senate
Federal Parliament of Belgium

The Honorable Eliane Tillieux
President of the Chamber of Representatives
Federal Parliament of Belgium