They all claimed they were living in peace in Western democracies, but they were Tehran’s terror sleeper cells, threatening peace and security in Europe.
On November 17 and 18, a court in Belgium heard the appeal cases of three Iranian operatives who had attempted to bomb the Iranian opposition’s rally in 2018 in France. Nasimeh Naami, Amir Saadouni, and Mehrdad Arefani were all part of a terrorist cell led by the Iranian high-ranking diplomat terrorist, Assadollah Assadi.
Naami and Saadouni became Belgian citizens in the early 2000s, after years of enjoying their political refugee status. Their status as political refugees did not prevent them from secretly traveling back to Iran. Once in Iran, they received orders from their handlers in the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
Naami and Saadouni were arrested while possessing over 500 grams of the TATP explosives en route to the “Free Iran” gathering. During their trial on November 30 and December 3, 2020, it was revealed they had over 240,000 euros in their bank accounts and cash at their home.
Documents obtained by authorities from 2010 to 2018 showed that Naami had made at least 12 trips to Iran. In 2010, she made two trips, in 2011, one trip, in 2013, she paid a total of four visits for 132 days in 2014, one trip, in 2015 two trips, in 2017 two visits, and one trip in 2018 to Iran. Saadouni also made numerous trips to Iran, with and without Naami.
Mehrdad Arefani, the other convicted terrorist, also claimed that he is an “atheist poet” and denied being part of Assadi’s team. While his bogus claim was interrupted by Saadouni’s shouts that “he is lying,” Arefani and his lawyer used the same alibi during their appeal case on November 18.
Saadouni had confessed that Arefani was Assadi’s eyes and ears. “Every time I lied to Assadi about the facts of the MEK events, somehow Assadi knew I was lying. Mehrdad was always present; no matter what. Therefore, I’m sure he was in contact with Assadi,” Saadouni said.
Court hears appeal in the case of three convicted accomplices of Assadollah Assadi, Iran regime’s terrorist diplomat
Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison after the regime withdrew its appeal#Iran #EUTime4FirmIranPolicy pic.twitter.com/fEc5n6GL59
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) November 17, 2021
While the court in Belgium was hearing the appeal cases of Iran’s terrorist sleeper cells, Swedish authorities arrested another Iranian spy. The suspect, not yet identified, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of aggravated espionage. According to Swedish authorities, he was linked to Peyman Kia, another Iranian operative arrested in September.
According to Swedish press such as Aftonbladet and Expressen, Kia was a former Swedish security police chief who had been arrested for spying on behalf of the Iranian regime between 2011 and 2015. He had obtained Swedish citizenship and worked as a director in the Swedish Security Police (SPO) and an analyst in a Swedish military organization while he was the Iranian regime’s spy.
Similarly, in August 2021, an Iranian couple who had obtained refugee status posing as Afghani citizens were arrested on charges of espionage.
But Tehran’s operatives were not always arrested before causing too much damage to Europe’s security. Besides the Iranian regime’s successful assassination attempts in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi in Geneva or Shapour Bakhtiar in Paris, the mullahs’ operatives have breached security at higher levels.
The case of Per Sandberg, Norway’s former Minister for Fisheries, is an example of how Tehran’s operatives have infiltrated higher echelons of power in European countries. The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries was hooked on Tehran’s honey trap by Bahareh Letnes.
The arrest and conviction of the Iranian regime’s terrorists and spies is good news indeed. But it is naïve to assume that these arrests and convictions could end the Iranian regime’s rampant terrorism in Europe.
During Assadi’s trial, it was revealed that he headed a large network of terrorism and espionage across Europe, with many dual nationals and refugees on his payroll. These sleeper cells are under the skin of European cities, waiting for Tehran’s green light to act. Assadi’s network has sadly remained intact, and this is very much worrying, not just for the Iranian dissidents but also for European citizens. One has to keep in mind that hundreds of renowned Western politicians were among the 100,000 participants of the “Free Iran” gathering.
Sadly, European leaders have cherry-picked their parochial interests by negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program. But they should know that these actions would only embolden the world’s top state-sponsor of terrorism to wreak havoc. If the European leaders refuse to punish Tehran for its terrorist activities, more innocent lives will perish in the conflagration of Iran’s rampant terrorism.
Western leaders should act now. They must close the Iranian regime’s embassies, which are nests of spies and terrorists. All the Iranian regime’s operatives, who work under different pretexts, should be expelled from European soil. This would certainly curb Tehran’s rampant terrorism as the mullahs understand that their malign activities come with a heavy price.