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A First by a European Court: Conviction of Iran Regime Diplomat-Terrorist, And 3 Intelligence Agents

A court in Antwerp, Belgium announced its verdict in the case of Iran’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi and his three accomplices, who attempted to bomb the Iranian Resistance’s rally in France in 2018.

“Conviction of the regime’s terrorist diplomat in the Belgian court represents the conviction of the entire clerical regime,” said NCRI President Maryam Rajavi in a tweet prior to Thursday’s ruling.

Simultaneously, there was an online event by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which was attended by numerous distinguished politicians from both sides of the Atlantic.

Assadi’s trial marks the first time that an Iranian so-called “diplomat” goes on trial for terrorism.

Assadi used his diplomatic passport to transfer 500 grams of the TATP explosives to Europe using a commercial airliner. He handed the bomb to a terrorist couple, Amir Saadouni and Nasimeh Naami, in Luxembourg. Assadi’s third operative, Mehrdad Arefani participated in the “Free Iran” gathering in Villepinte, north of Paris, as Assadi’s man at the scene.

All four were arrested as they tried to carry out their plot. Assadi was arrested before entering Austria, where he worked under the pretext of the third secretary of Iran’s embassy in Vienna.

The 2018 bomb plot once again highlighted the destructive role of the regime’s embassies and so-called diplomats in spreading terrorism across Europe.

As 40 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe highlighted recently, “agents and mercenaries of Iran’s intelligence services with diplomatic, journalistic, and economic cover should be tried, punished, and expelled, and centers with a religious or cultural cover promoting terrorism and fundamentalism should be closed.”

“Granting asylum and citizenship to MOIS agents and mercenaries should be a red line.”

 

The lawyers inform the participants in front of the court
The lawyers inform the participants in front of the court

The court sentenced Assadollah Assadi to 20 years in prison for his leading role in plotting a bombing attack against a rally of the Iranian Resistance in 2018. Nasimeh Naami, one of the key operatives of the plot, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Mehrdad Arefani, a second agent, was sentenced to 17 years, and Amir Saadouni, a third agent of Assadi, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Naami, Saadouni, and Arefani, who were Belgian citizens, were stripped of their citizenship status due to their involvement in the plot. The court recognized all defendants as criminals and rejected Assadi’s claim to diplomatic immunity.

Remarks by the NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi after the ruling by the court of Belgium, convicting the Iranian regime’s diplomat-terrorist

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Today’s conviction of the Iranian regime’s diplomat-terrorist confirms the Iranian regime’s state terrorism by a European judicial authority.

Iran and the rest of the world have been suffering from this terrorism in the past four decades. The intelligence and foreign ministries and the regime’s embassies were directly involved in this plot.

As I said during my seven-hour testimony, the decision for this plot was taken by the highest regime body, namely the Supreme National Security Council and approved by the mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the mullahs’ president Hassan Rouhani. The Ministry of Intelligence was given the task to execute the decision in close cooperation with the Foreign Ministry.

The person in charge of the plot was a sitting diplomat who had used his diplomatic status to transfer the bomb from Iran to Austria. He was abusing his diplomatic cover in Europe to control parts of the regime’s espionage and terrorism network.

The publication of the new evidence and details of the dossier on the diplomat-terrorist last week confirmed the regime’s widespread planning for espionage and terrorism in Europe.

The time has come for the European Union to take action. Silence and inaction under whatever pretext will only embolden the mullahs’ regime to continue its crimes and terrorism.

The Iranian people expect that the EU revises its Iran policy and hold the ruling theocracy accountable for terrorism, the flagrant violations of human rights, the massacre of political prisoners, and the mass killing of defenseless protesters.

After today’s historic verdict the Iranian people and Resistance expect the EU and other European countries to undertake the following steps, which are vital to dismantling the regime’s terrorism network in Europe:

  1. Recall their ambassadors from Tehran, and shut down the regime’s embassies and centers in Europe which are used for terrorism. The mullahs’ foreign minister must be held accountable for the confirmed role his ministry/embassies and diplomats played in a major terrorist crime.
  2. The entirety of the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC must be designated as terrorist entities. All their agents must be prosecuted and expelled from Europe.
    Europe must not grant refugee-status or nationality to these agents because they use them for terrorism and espionage.
  3. Prosecute the Iranian regime’s leaders, who are responsible for these terrorist activities. They must face justice.

Any negotiations with the regime and the return to normal diplomatic-status must be conditional on dismantling the mullahs’ terrorist network in Europe.

Firmness is the correct answer to the mullahs’ blackmail and hostage-taking, otherwise they will continue this sinister policy.

The mullahs’ regime is under the mistaken impression that the era of international accountability has ended.

The Iranian people and Resistance will not rest.

They will never forget the terrorist plot, the crimes against humanity, and the execution and mass killing of prisoners and protesters.

Ingrid Betancourt, former Presidential Candidate of Columbia

Ingrid Betancourt speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Ingrid Betancourt speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

This is a victory for all the victims of terrorism around the world. Had the plot been successful, it would have had hundreds of casualties. It is our victory, because for the first time in history a diplomat from a terrorist state has been convicted.

This is a turning point in history because justice prevailed in spite of the regime’s criminal attempts to avoid justice. This condemnation puts an end to the false narrative that the Iranian regime of the mullahs is a democracy. This judgement has shown that Iran is governed and in the hands of a terrorist organization. It has demonstrated that those who planned to kill us were not isolated lunatics but loyal servants of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The sheer madness to kill thousands of civilians shows the fear of the regime of being overthrown by its own people. The regime took this insane risk of operating on European soil to destroy the opposition. It was vital for it to strike at the MEK to ensure the survival of the regime.

The proof of the Iranian regime’s terrorist attempts against European citizens is now a recorded fact, an undeniable fact of history. This judgement calls for a severe European response. No more accommodation, no more submitting our values to political and economic interests. Europe has to close Iranian terrorist centers all over Europe, all Iranian embassies. We have to close those embassies if we want to protect our nationals. Zarif has to be held accountable for his crimes. He must understand that he is not welcome in Europe. Our leaders and government must refrain from inviting him to Europe to talk. He should be in jail with Assadi. The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has to be designated as a terrorist organization, which is what it is. The EU must reject the regime’s blackmail policy.

We call on all leaders in office in Europe to support the Iranian people in their struggle to claim back their country. We must recognize the NCRI and its leader Maryam Rajavi as a valid alternative for a democratic transition in Iran.

Giulio Terzi, Foreign Minister of Italy (2011-2013)

Guilio Terzi speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Guilio Terzi speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

This is a moment when we have to believe that justice must be rendered for other instances of the crimes committed by the heinous regime of the mullahs. Justice must be rendered for the execution of political prisoners in 1988 and the killing of political refugees in other countries.

Those who appease the mullahs’ regime must be aware that the mask is finally off. The regime is certified as a terrorist state by the court.

The judges have established that Assadi was acting on behalf of the leaders of the Iranian regime. This shows the unity between the so-called hardline and reformist factions in the regime. The regime, particularly Zarif, used dual nationals, innocent civilians, as hostages to influence Assadi’s case and secure his release.

We need the closure of embassies and expelling of ambassadors and diplomats every time terrorist activities are detected. This is the number-one state sponsor of terrorism. It supports murderous dictators and terrorist groups. European-Iranian relations must be made contingent on the regime halting its malign activities.

Europe’s lack of proper action has emboldened Iran’s regime in its terrorist activities, giving them the impression that they will not be held accountable. Today is the day for a new approach to tackle the terror regime.

Pandeli Majko, Minister of State For Diaspora, former Prime Minister of Albania

Pandeli Majko speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Pandeli Majko speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Today, the trial in Belgium has placed the regime in Iran under a serious charge. This clarifies Iran’s official status. Iran’s leaders have imprisoned their country. They are now faced with international law and public opinion at home.

We must support the democratic alternative and the platform and plan of Madam Maryam Rajavi.

Tom Ridge, first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

Tom Ridge speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Tom Ridge speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

The NCRI is an immediate threat to the repressive Iranian regime. It is the largest, best organized and most popular democratic alternative to the regime.

The regime’s fear of a democratic alternative, attracting even greater domestic and international support, was and still remains so intense that it directed one of its diplomats to oversee this plot, collaborate with the accomplices, act as a courier for the explosives and coordinate the activity with the Iranian government.

For the past 20 years, the regime’s effort to suppress the truth and eliminate any efforts to bring democracy and freedom to Iran has been brutally, but unsuccessfully sustained. The regime has killed dissidents. It has not killed their quest for freedom.

The planned bombing was a state sponsored operation by a terrorist state that continues to operate with arrogance with impunity, with disdain for the human race and common decency, basic norms with civil society.

The European Union, the United States, nations around the world must applaud the courage and the diligence of the Belgian government, its judicial system and their citizens, and loudly resoundingly condemn the action of the Iranian government. But rhetorical condemnation without further action will be of little impact on this rogue regime, which heretofore has been totally unwilling to change its behavior.

Countries whose citizens were in harm’s way, in the July event should consider downgrading diplomatic relations with Iran. The operation of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, that whole shop, should be labeled a foreign terrorist organization. This is the way to hold them accountable worldwide. And we need to hold the Foreign Minister accountable in some fashion for his use of the diplomatic pouch, the diplomatic corps, the embassies and the missions as hubs for their terrorist activity.

These countries and their leaders should align themselves with the hopes of the Iranian people for freedom. I would call on them to recognize publicly the National Council of Resistance in Iran as the alternative to the existing regime. That is the ultimate. It’s the ultimate condemnation of their action. In that fashion, the truth will out. Again, I thank you for the opportunity to share with you my thoughts on this very important day.

Patrick Kennedy, former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Patrick Kennedy speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Patrick Kennedy speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Today is a historic day. Today is a day that there’s no turning back from. It’s a turning point for the European community and the rest of the world, not only with the regime in Iran, but particularly with their representative, Foreign Minister Zarif.

It’s time we face the facts. Either call them out on cleaning house or shut those embassies down. Make it very clear to the mullahs in Iran that we know that their existential threat is Madam Rajavi and PMOI and the NCRI, because that’s who they were targeting. It’s not anyone’s claim that the NCRI and Madam Rajavi are existential threats to Iran. The proof is in this trial.

The proof is why would the whole Iranian diplomatic system go to such lengths to seek to blow up a rally celebrating democracy and freedom coming to the Iranian people that clearly is the enemy of the current regime in Iran, that is wreaking havoc over human rights in Iran.

We have seen it not only in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 protesters, but also in numerous massacres especially in the last few years of uprisings.

It’s time to call Iran for what it is: a terrorist state. It’s time to expel their diplomats. It’s time that we have a new Iran, that we support the NCRI, we support the 10-point plan of Madam Rajavi, and that we support a new day for all Iranians who can finally be freed of this terrorist regime who terrorizes not only Iranians but the whole world.

Michèle de Vaucouleurs, Member of the French National Assembly

Michèle de Vaucouleurs speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Michèle de Vaucouleurs speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

There should be a complete turnaround in the relationships between France and Iran. Diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime should be suspended and only restored after a democratic transition takes place.

Steve McCabe, British MP for Birmingham Selly Oak

Steve McCabe speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Steve McCabe speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Assadi’s masters in Tehran must also be held accountable. This trial has exposed for all to see how the Iranian authorities show contempt for diplomatic conventions by using their embassies to carry out terrorist operations. That’s not how a normal government operates. These are the actions of a pariah state.

Assadi did not deny the charges, instead he asserted that the diplomatic status meant he was above the law and should go free. He and his co-conspirators have received the sentence justice demands. There should be no backdoor deals, no swaps for innocent hostages.

This is the time for tougher action, reduced diplomatic relations, and reconsideration of our longer term relations with this regime. Terrorists are terrorists, no matter how they dress or call themselves. And they cannot represent legitimate governments, and cannot negotiate with legitimate governments.

Wesley (Wes) Martin, Colonel, U.S. Army, (RET.)

Wesley (Wes) Martin speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Wesley (Wes) Martin speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Whenever the ayatollahs’ power is threatened the regime resorts to repression inside the country and terrorist attacks against the regime’s enemies.

The day of justice has come for Assadi and his accomplices. Also indirectly on trial were Khamenei and Rouhani. Unfortunately, their day of justice will have to be delayed until the day of the collapse of their regime.

It’s time for the West to realize that the way to move forward is to work with the Iranian opposition.

The people of Iran want change. Leaders of the international community will better serve their nations by working with the NCRI and the MEK.

Dr. Riad Yassin Abdallah, former Foreign Minister of Yemen

Dr. Riad Yassin Abdallah speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Dr. Riad Yassin Abdallah speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

We should all come together and work together the unwanted terrorism of the Iranian regime which is causing a lot of dying and suffering. We will continue our struggle and fight against terrorism and I think the decision today by the court is worth celebrating.

Jean-Michel Clément, member of the National Assembly of France since 2007

Jean-Michel Clément speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Jean-Michel Clément speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

It was essential that justice was served and diplomacy was kept out of this decision. This is not the end of a fight, it’s the first page of a new book. It should send a strong signal to European diplomacy, especially French diplomacy. The Iranian regime is a criminal system, not a political system.

Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada

Stephen Harper speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Stephen Harper speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

In 2018, I attended the NCRI’s Free Iran rally for the first time. It was in Paris, and it was one of the largest and most impressive events I’ve ever participated in. We did not know then, that Iranian government agents were planning to disrupt that event through terrorism and murder. Those individuals have been put on trial, where they have faced undeniable evidence of their intent to commit those crimes. We did not know that then. But we would not have been surprised.

This is what the Islamic Republic in Tehran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism does. And it is no surprise that such actions would be directed against you, the NCRI, which is the regime’s largest opposition, and which works relentlessly to expose its malevolence, its brutality and its crimes. Whatever the outcome in the court today, I’m here to say, continue your work. Continue the fight for freedom, democracy, human dignity and peaceful change in Iran. Continue to strike fear into the hearts of the extremist mullahs in Tehran. And continue that fight until victory is achieved.

Gen. James Jones, 22nd United States National Security Advisor

Gen. James Jones speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Gen. James Jones speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

The regime took the risk because it was vital for it to strike at the NCRI and MEK as the main threat to its rule. They got Assadi involved because they did not trust intermediaries.

In the past few years, there has been a new surge of support for the MEK and NCRI inside Iran, especially among youth. The NCRI is a force for democratic change in Iran.

The Iranian regime has been engaged in acts of terrorism for over 40 years, but this is the first time a diplomat has been caught red-handed. It is clear that the entire regime, including Zarif, was involved.

It is now time to end our conciliatory approach toward this regime and adopt a much firmer policy. This is a regime that is taking its last breaths.

Europe and the U.S. must condemn the regime for this act. We should downgrade diplomatic relations, close regime embassies and centers. Hold Zarif accountable for the terrorism of his ministry. Refrain from inviting them to Europe for talks. Anything less will be a sign of weakness that will embolden the regime. Designate the MOIS and IRGC as terrorist entities and arrest and expel their agents.

We should stand with the Iranian people in their desire for change by supporting the democratic resistance. The time has come for decisive action.

Lars Rise, former Norwegian MP

Lars Rise speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Lars Rise speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

How come every European leader wants to shake Zarif’s hand? After receiving today’s verdict, all European leaders have to add an arrest warrant for Zarif to their to-do list. How is it possible for anyone to continue to work with the regime as if nothing happened?

This shows the regime is desperate. The regime has committed terrorist acts for many years. This is the first time a diplomat has been caught in the act. The evidence was so overwhelming that the regime’s lawyers did not even deny them.

Now is time for leaders in Europe to hold the regime accountable for its crimes. Close the embassies, do not invite Zarif for meetings. It is time to stand together for human rights in Iran and hope for the day of freedom to come very soon.

Dr. Tahar Boumedra, former chief of the Human Rights Office of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), legal expert

Dr. Tahar Boumedra speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Dr. Tahar Boumedra speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Today, the truth, the rule of law, justice, have prevailed over impunity. Impunity has failed. Through this verdict, it’s not only Assadi who has been convicted. It’s the whole regime. The whole regime has been behind crimes against humanity.

I call on the EU and its member states to start a new type of relationship with this regime, a new relationship that would leave no room for complacency, a new relationship that would hold all criminals accountable for their acts.

Today’s verdict is a very good example and a source of inspiration for the United Nations. Let us not forget that the criminals behind the 1988 massacre remain to be held accountable. And I am sure that in this case too, justice will prevail.

Kimmo Sasi, Finnish MP since 1983

Kimmo Sasi speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Kimmo Sasi speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

It has been proven that this was state terrorism. This is a great shame for the Iranian government. I urge the European Union foreign ministers to condemn the Iranian regime for this terrorist plot and go through all embassies of Iran to make sure there are no people who can cause harm. They have to study the role of the IRGC in this case. The EU must levy sanctions on all the people involved in this case.

The EU has to show how serious they are in fighting for human rights, especially the right to life.

Paulo Casaca, former Member of the European Parliament

Paulo Casaca speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Paulo Casaca speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

This is a moment to strengthen our efforts and seek justice for the countless victims of the mullahs’ crimes. How can European diplomacy pretend they are facing anything other than the representatives of a terrorist state?

Diplomatic statutes cannot be used for terrorist activities. European states must reevaluate all the credentials of Iranian diplomats. It is time to demand full investigation and prosecution of those in the leadership of the mullahs’ regime involved in these crimes. It is time for the people of Iran to live in peace and dignity.

Prof. Eric David, renowned Belgian legal expert

Prof. Eric David speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Prof. Eric David speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Today was a great day for law. The law always prevails.

Michèle Alliot-Marie, former MEP and French Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs

Michèle Alliot-Marie speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Michèle Alliot-Marie speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Today, the trial in Belgium includes a diplomat from Iran’s embassy in Austria. He represents the Iranian state in a terrorist act that could have led to many victims. It is thanks to an exemplary cooperation between European authorities that we avoided a catastrophe. International relations cannot be based on terrorism and blackmail. It is time to stop these terrorist activities.

Gianna Gancia, Member of the European Parliament representing North-West Italy

Gianna Gancia speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Gianna Gancia speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

We need a stronger policy against the threatening activities of the Iranian regime in Europe. We in Europe need to be firm against the actions of the Iranian regime. The time has come to downgrade diplomatic relations with Iran. We should withdraw our ambassadors from Iran.

John Baird, former Foreign Minister of Canada

John Baird speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
John Baird speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

For more than 40 years, the regime in Tehran has been sponsoring terrorism around the world. The Iranian regime, including their president Hassan Rouhani, targeted the Iranian opposition and Madam Maryam Rajavi at the Paris rally. The evidence is undeniable. There needs to be justice for the NCRI and Madam Rajavi. I personally was at the event which the regime tried to bomb. For me, it’s personal.

Linda Chavez, former White House Director of Public Liaison and U.S. expert to the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights

Linda Chavez speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Linda Chavez speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

There was an effort on the part of the Iranian regime, not just to quash dissent by offering words of criticism, but by sending bombs, and using their diplomats in Europe, to in fact, involve themselves in the plot, and to hire those who would take those weapons and bring them to the gathering outside Paris in order to seek maximum damage.

Their goal, obviously, was to assassinate Madame Rajavi who the Iranian regime views as the major threat to the regime. But they also would have inflicted mass casualties with scores of people possibly having been killed, or at the very least injured. So I am here to ask the European Union to recognize the danger of the Iranian regime to recognize the diplomats who are stationed throughout Europe, often are simply the security arm of the Iranian regime. They are not true diplomats, they are not coming in seeking peace or dialogue, they are coming to spread terror. And I urge that in order to stop more terrorism from spreading in Europe, that the European Union will act decisively to dissolve the network of agents that hide under the cover of diplomacy within Europe.

Robert Torricelli, former US Senator from New Jersey

Robert Torricelli speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Robert Torricelli speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

These four individuals posing as Iranian diplomats, agents of the regime, have been found in a court of law, and a free, open, and fair process, guilty of acts of terrorism. Any debate about the Iranian regime’s involvement and acts of terror, murder is now over. It’s established as a matter of law, a matter of fact, that it was the intention of the mullahs in Tehran, to murder Madam Rajavi, and all of us, who were there doing nothing more than in free expression in France, the heart of a Western democracy, petitioning the Iranian government to let its people live free lives.

Now the verdict is in. And these four individuals will pay with years or decades of their freedom. But what’s not done? They did not act alone. Indeed, interestingly, they never even plead innocence. All they were arguing is that they shouldn’t be tried because they were diplomats. They didn’t claim they were not terrorists. They did not claim they were not trying to commit murder. They claimed there were diplomats. Well, their pleas have been rejected.

Now, where do we go? First, let us just be honest with each other, while these four individuals were guilty, they were members of the Iranian government, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The real culprit that should be on trial, Mohammad Javad Zarif, was not there. But he remains guilty.

And for all the international community who seek justice, he and his subordinates are yet to be apprehended and tried. But they are guilty, as is the larger regime. international diplomacy, using the status of a diplomat to transport explosives, to plan murderers, to move agents with the intent of killing is as much of a violation of international law as is possible.

So what do we do? First, those nations who have not done so, designating Zarif, designating the ministry as a terrorist enterprise is essential. Sanction it. Call it out for what it is: a terrorist enterprise.

All Western governments, if you have confidence in your own courts, if you believe your own prosecutors, if you are willing to be honest with the evidence, what choice do we have? These are judgments my own government, the United States have made, but now must be made by countries in the EU and Britain, and a host of other nations. You have confidence in your courts, follow their lead.

My congratulations to the police of Germany, Belgium and France, the courts of Belgium, the governments of Western Europe for their professionalism, their honesty, their integrity, and their strength. They have spoken. Now, as I have suggested, other governments need to speak by designated terrorist acts, certainly designating Zarif as a terrorist.

Struan Stevenson, former Member of the European Parliament for Scotland

Struan Stevenson speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Struan Stevenson speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

What should the West do? We have just heard the sentence by a Belgian court against Assadollah Assadi who tried to bomb the Iranian Resistance rally. I was a plaintiff at the trial. Today’s court ruling is a great victory for the NCRI and its charismatic leader Madam Maryam Rajavi. It will be a huge morale booster to the courageous members of the MEK’s Resistance Units in Iran.

The regime uses its embassies around the world as bomb factories. There can be no return to business as usual. The regime’s arch-criminal Ali Khamenei and his President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Intelligence Minister Mahmood Alavi ordered the spying, the assassinations and the bomb plot, and they must be held to account for their terrorist actions.

The EU’s appeasement policy is dead in the water. The EU will have to reassess completely its relationship with the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime is being led by gangsters who will not hesitate to kill and maim their own people and the people of the world.

Amb. Robert Joseph, former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

Amb. Robert Joseph speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Amb. Robert Joseph speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

This brazen act reflects the desperation of a regime that has lost all legitimacy with the people of Iran, through pervasive corruption, through foreign aggression in support of dictators, such as Assad in Syria, and through the bankrolling of terrorist groups.

The religious dictatorship has squandered the wealth of the Iranian nation through its brutal repression of those seeking a democratic Iran, including the mass murders of more than 100,000 of its own citizens from the 1980s until the present, and through now, it’s proven direct acts of terrorism in Europe and around the globe.

The regime has committed crimes against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable. Targeting a massive crowd to pursue the criminal objective of killing the leader of the democratic opposition is an abhorrent crime that cannot be tolerated by any civilized government.

Now that the verdict has been handed down by the court, the judiciary has finished its work. It’s now time for the governments to act decisively. Knowing that further concessions to the regime will only bring more injustice to the Iranian people, and more criminal and terrorist acts, for the EU, this should mean the adoption of a firm policy, including designating the MOIS and the IRGC as terrorist entities, withdrawing the legal status of all other regimes agents in Europe, and reducing the level of diplomatic relations until the regime has demonstrated its commitment to end its terrorist activities.

For the Biden administration, the guilty verdict of Assadi and his accomplices should weigh heavily in his review of Iran policy. This active state terrorism should have a sobering effect. It should end any move to resurrect the appeasement policies of the past and dispel any false nostalgia about working with ministers or Zarif as a moderate influence in the regime, as he, with no doubt, was aware of the attempted attack by MOIS operatives working under his auspices, the new administration must uphold the values that it espouses.

If the leaders of free societies fail to hold the perpetrators responsible, including at the highest levels in Tehran, it will only encourage more terrorist attacks and make us complicit in them.

Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon, leading member of the British Committee for Iran Freedom

Matthew Offord speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Matthew Offord speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

I personally attended the annual gathering in Paris for a free and democratic Iran in previous years. The regime’s attempted attack was similar to ISIS attacks. Following today’s verdict, it would be a mistake to think this case is now over and closed. The case is now open because the real perpetrators are free among the Iranian leaders in Tehran.

The decision to launch this terrorist attack was taken by the regime’s Supreme National Security Council headed by President Hassan Rouhani and approved by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

While the small fish was caught, the time has come to go after the bigger fish. The UK and EU must proscribe without delay the IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

David Jones MP, Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group

David Jones speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
David Jones speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

Today’s verdict puts an end to the false narrative that the terrorist actions of the regime are the work of hardliners or rogue elements within the regime. Assadi was an accredited diplomat working for Zarif. The UK’s Home Secretary should consider urgently proscribing the IRGC. The EU’s conciliatory policy towards the regime has emboldened the regime to believe it can get away with terrorist acts against its opponents on European soil.

Martin Patzelt, Member of the Bundestag Human Rights Commision, Germany

Martin Patzelt speaks to the online conference - February 4, 2021
Martin Patzelt speaks to the online conference – February 4, 2021

The court in Belgium has handed down its verdict. The whole regime of the mullahs has been convicted. This is a victory for the Iranian Resistance. The EU has some responsibility. For too long Europe has tolerated the abuse of diplomatic status in Europe promoted by the Iranian regime. Germany seems to be at the center of the Iranian regime’s terrorist actions. So-called Iranian diplomats have been guiding the terrorist apparatus of the regime in Germany.