“For [Assadollah Assadi] to claim protection or diplomatic protection in Belgium, this is a false claim and, in my view, should be rejected by the courts out of hand,” said Tahar Boumedra, former official in the United Nations, during an interview with Simay-e Azadi, an Iranian opposition satellite TV channel on Thursday.
Simay-e Azadi interviewed Mr. Boumedra simultaneous with the second session of the trial of Iran’s jailed diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi, and his three accomplices in Antwerp, Belgium. Assadi and his accomplices were arrested while attempting to bomb the Iranian opposition’s rally in Paris on June 30, 2018.
Since his arrest, Assadi has been trying to use ‘diplomatic cover’ and its immunity to influence the court and evade justice.
Based on Belgium’s 2002 legislation, even if Assadi had diplomatic immunity, Belgian authorities could have arrested him, the prosecutor of Antwerp said during the first session of the court. He added that even according to Austrian law, Belgian authorities were able to arrest Assadi. Since Assadi was planning to commit mass murder, international law allows authorities to strip Assadi of his diplomatic immunity and arrest him.
In his interview on Thursday, Mr. Boumedra shed light on this issue and rejected Assadi’s claims.
Below is the full text of Mr. Boumedra’s interview:
The international media has reported the case of four terrorists that made an attempt to blow up the NCRI’s meeting in Villepinte, in the suburbs of France in the 30th of June 2018.
The four people, including an Iranian regime’s diplomat, have been arrested. And they have been put to trial last week.
The court started its proceedings and the Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, claimed diplomatic immunity and did not respond to the court, so he did not attend the proceedings.
I would like to explain and to verify whether such a claim of diplomatic immunity applies in this particular case.
Our reference is the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is very clear in its articles 39, 40, 41, and 42, those are the relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the issue of diplomatic protection.
Basically, the diplomatic protection is offered by the receiving state, to the diplomats or members of the staff of the diplomatic mission of the sending state. Let us call the send in the state, country A, receiving state, country B. So, country A sends its diplomatic staff to Country B, and that is done for the specific purpose of conducting diplomatic relations with the receiving state.
This situation does not extend to a third party, to a third state. Meaning that diplomatic protection is offered by the receiving state. Not a third state. And there is a very, very narrow exception to this, where a third state could extend diplomatic protection to the diplomats of the Senate in the state in case of need of transit. So, when they are on transit to join their mission, they could enjoy protection according to the visa granted to them, if necessary.
So, the conclusion is in the case of Assadi, he belongs to a diplomatic mission accredited in Vienna in Austria. But he was arrested, outside Austria, in a third country, and he was prosecuted in Belgium, which is the third state.
So, the question is, is Belgium, and their obligation to give Assadollah Assadi diplomatic protection?
The obvious answer is no. Assadollah Assadi was on some business that has nothing to do with his diplomatic mission, and he was on a territory that does not grant him diplomatic protection.
Therefore, for him to claim protection or diplomatic protection in Belgium, this is a false claim and, in my view, should be rejected by the courts out of hand.
So, let us see what’s happening then. What brought Europe to this situation where members of the IRGC activate, plan and execute terrorist acts on European soil, and not being held so far accountable for these acts. A lot of warnings have been made that diplomatic missions of the Iranian regime have mainly run by members of the IRGC. Those People are out in Europe and elsewhere to first target the Iranian opposition abroad. And we have a long list of terrorist acts against the opposition, that goes back to the 90s. So, there are acts of terrorism committed by the so-called diplomats in Europe, basically Germany, France, and many other places.
So far, they got away with their terrorist activities for the simple reason that the European political leadership has been complacent with this situation. They have been tolerant. They did not so far take the firm action to hold these people accountable to hold the Iranian political leadership accountable for those acts because. Everybody knows, and the media has widely reported on this issue, that decisions on taking action in Europe and elsewhere, are taken in Teheran by the top Iranian regime’s leadership. Without a firm action by the European Union leadership against the Mullah regime, the Iranian regime is getting more and more emboldened that will commit more and more action not only against the Iranian opposition but it will victimize many other Europeans as well. And the attempt of 2018 in Villepinte, is proof that the Iranian regime is ready to commit heinous crimes against not only the opposition leadership and the opposition in general, that’s also against many European, American, Canadian, Arab, Members of Parliaments and members of civil society.
So, we expect that this Villepinte incident is a lesson to be learned. And firm action has to be taken not only against the direct perpetrators, but the action has to be taken against the Iranian regime’s leadership.
To finish my talk, I would like to salute the courage of the Belgian judicial who have taken their time and done the job, arrested the culprits, put them to court, and we expect a firm action to be taken against these perpetrators as soon as the court will give its verdict expected probably next month.
So, we are very happy to see that justice is being made in Belgium, the law is being implemented and obviously, the rule of law in Europe will prevail, and I thank you very much for your attention.