Thursday marked the second court hearing for Iran’s jailed diplomat-terrorist in Belgium, Assadollah Assadi, and his three accomplices, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami, and Mehrdad Arefani, all caught red-handed trying to bomb the opposition rally in 2018 in Paris. The terrorists tacitly accepted the charges, yet desperately tried to downplay them.
Like the first session of the trial in Antwerp, Belgium, Assadi refused to appear in the court on the orders of his masters in Tehran. Assadi’s lawyer, Dimitri de Béco, represented him. But other terrorists, Saadouni, his wife Naami, and Arefani, were present.
In the first session of this trial, the prosecutor and the attorneys of the Iranian Resistance, and dozens of renowned politicians, who had attended the Resistance’s rally in June 2018, presented damning evidence of the foiled bombing plot led by Assadi.
As for Assadi, his lawyer desperately tried to justify all of Assadi’s crimes by stating that he is a diplomat and enjoys diplomatic immunity. In its indictment, the prosecutor had underlined that according to Belgium’s 2002 legislation, even if Assadi had diplomatic immunity, Belgian authorities could have arrested him. He also stressed that according to the Austrian law, Belgian authorities were able to arrest Assadi because he was planning to commit mass murder, which under international law allows authorities to strip Assadi of his diplomatic immunity and arrest him.
Yet, under what international law could Assadi use his diplomatic cover to transfer 500 grams of explosives using a commercial airliner, endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers?
Meanwhile, the terrorists tried to minimize their role in this operation, yet, like Assadi, tacitly accepted all charges.
While arrested in possession of 500 grams of highly explosive TATP explosives and a detonator, Saadouni claimed they were not aware the bomb explosion could kill people. He blatantly claimed that with 500 grams of TATP, also known as the “mother of Satan,” there will be minimal to no casualties.
Five hundred grams of TATP explosives were used in terrorist attacks in Belgium and France in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
The undeniable evidence did not allow Saadouni’s lawyer to deny his client’s connection with the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Mary admitted Saadouni had been giving information for years to department 312 of the MOIS and even went there, “but this is not the ‘terrorist department’ of the Ministry.”
While the Belgian prosecutors and Federal Police consider Naami as the leader among the couple, her lawyer Johan Platteau tried to downplay her role.
“Nasimeh believes they were acting like fools and became tools of the regime. It was not an explosive package, but fireworks. You might get angry if I say this, but when the bomb exploded, it did not cause any serious damage. This is an issue between Iran and the West in which oil and medical sanctions are part of it. Both Naami and Saadouni are victims of it. Assadi said that he only wanted to scare the MEK. The materials used for the bomb prove to me that Naami and Saadouni’s work was fireworks, and if we compare this with the Brussels bombing, it was not professional at all. Their collaboration with the MOIS was not military, but political,” Platteau claimed.
Meanwhile, Belgian Neutralization Service of Explosives Devices (DOVO) says the explosive was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and “very professional.”
In other words, the terrorist couple tried to claim the regime forced them into cooperation and fooled them for eleven years.
Yet, they always had this choice to reverse course. The prosecutor had previously revealed the couple had received at least 240,000 euros from the regime, and they were committing this crime willingly and knowingly.
The third terrorist, Arefani, denied all charges. While his conversations with Assadi are recorded, he claimed that the telephone with only one number, which was Assadi’s, was Arefani’s telephone, and the number belongs to his brother. Yet, Arefani had mentioned to the Police that he had not even seen his brother for a long time and did not have good relations with him.
Arefani had collected photos and videos of the opposition’s local office in Belgium. During the inspection of Arefani’s home, the Police found many images, recordings, and documents about the opposition. He also possessed spy devices such as Camera Spy Glasses and a USB Voice and Audio Recorder.
Arefani also had vast amounts of money in his account, despite his low salary.
In a nutshell, all terrorists, including Assadollah Assadi, and their defense team couldn’t deny the pieces of evidence.
The procedure of this crime and its chain of command from the regime’s highest authorities to Assadi highlight this was an act of state-sponsored terrorism.
Assadi used his diplomatic cover to transfer a bomb to Europe and lead the operation. The three other terrorists also used their Belgian citizenship and previous refugee status to act as the regime’s sleeper cell. Many of the regime’s terrorists have used Western countries’ privileges for 40 years to carry out their operations.
As the Iranian Resistance has demanded, all the regime’s embassies, which act as nests of spies and terrorists, should be shut down in Europe. The regime’s operatives should be stripped of their citizenship and refugee status and expelled from European countries.