Iranian Embassy Discredits Belgian Court's Jurisdiction against Diplomat
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian mission in a statement said that the jurisdiction issued by a Belgian court to sentence Iran's diplomat Assadollah Assadi to 20 years in prison is not creditable.
Iran’s Embassy in Brussels discredits the self-proclaimed jurisdiction of a Belgian court that has sentenced an Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) terrorist cult, the embassy said in a statement released on Wednesday, reiterating the country’s position concerning the February 4 sentence against Assadollah Assadi, the third counsellor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna.
In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that the Belgian police had intercepted a car carrying homemade explosives and a detonation device, claiming that Assadi had handed the materials to two people in Belgium earlier.
Assadi, himself, was apprehended in Germany the next day and told he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.
Repeating Iran’s previous statements on the matter, the Brussels-based mission expressed “strong protest” at Belgium and Germany’s violation of the common international law and the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that grants immunity to diplomatic staffers, in their treatment of Mr. Assadi.
The court ruling, the embassy added, showed that the Belgian legal system did not recognize the binding nature of the Vienna convention’s provisions.
“The Islamic Republic reserves its right to resort to all legal mechanisms, including the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes,” the embassy statement noted.
Also on Wednesday, Reuters cited Assadi’s lawyer as saying that he had decided not to appeal the conviction given the political nature of the trial.
"This has been a political trial since the beginning, and he does not want to participate any longer," said the lawyer Dimitri de Beco.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has, on separate occasions, summoned the Belgian and German ambassadors to Tehran, to convoy the Islamic Republic’s indignation at the issue.
Following Assadi’s so-called conviction, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called the sentence completely unlawful and a result of the European country's falling under the MKO cult’s influence.
“Unfortunately, Belgium and some [other] European countries have taken such illegal and unjustifiable actions [against Assadi] under the influence of the atmosphere that has been created by the hostile MKO terrorist group on Europe’s soil,” he noted back then.
The MKO throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American, Western, and Saudi Arabian officials in attendance as guests of honor. These include former US national security advisor John Bolton, former US president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.
The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community. Its members fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq, where they received support from then dictator Saddam Hussein.
The notorious outfit has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials for several decades.
In 2012, the US State Department removed the MKO from its list of designated terrorist organizations under intense lobbying by groups associated to Saudi regime and other regimes adversarial to Iran.
A few years ago, MKO members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former US military base in Baghdad, and were later sent to Albania.
Those members, who have managed to escape, have revealed MKO's scandalous means of access to money, almost exclusively coming from Riyadh.
The MKO terrorist group specified the targets as martyred Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who commanded the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Iranian Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.
The terrorist organization said it would “welcome” their assassination, adding that it desired for the ranking officials to “join” Asadollah Lajevardi, Tehran’s former chief prosecutor, and Ali Sayyad-Shirazi, a former commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces during Iraq’s 1980-88 war against Iran.
Earlier in June 2019, a leaked audio of a phone conversation between two members of MKO, revealed Saudi regime has colluded with the MKO elements to frame Iran for the tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf.
In the audio, which is being released by the Iran Front Page for the first time, Shahram Fakhteh, an official member and the person in charge of MKO’s cyber operations, is heard talking with a US-based MKO sympathizer named Daei-ul-Eslam in Persian, IFP news reported.
In this conversation, the two elements discuss the MKO’s efforts to introduce Iran as the culprit behind the tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf, and how the Saudis contacted them to pursue the issue.
“In the past week we did our best to blame the [Iranian] regime for the (oil tanker) blasts. Saudis have called Sister Maryam (Rajavi)’s office to follow up on the results, [to get] a conclusion of what has been done, and the possible consequences,” Fakhteh is heard saying.
“I guess this can have different consequences. It can send the case to the UN Security Council or even result in military intervention. It can have any consequence,” Daei-ul-Eslam says.
Attacks on two commercial oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, 2019 and an earlier attack on four oil tankers off the UAE’s Fujairah port on May 12, 2019, have escalated tensions in West Asia and raised the prospect of a military confrontation between Iran and the United States.
The US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have rushed to blame Iran for the incidents, with the US military releasing a grainy video it claimed shows Iranian forces in a patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the side of a Japanese-owned tanker which caught fire earlier this month.
It later released some images of the purported Iranian operation after the video was seriously challenged by experts and Washington’s own allies.
The MKO which is said to be a cult which turns humans into obedient robots, turned against Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and has carried out several terrorist attacks killing senior officials in Iran; yet the West which says cultism is wrong and claims to be against terrorism, supports this terrorist group officially.
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the MKO began its enmity against Iran by killing over 17,000 Iranians and terrorist activities. Several members of the terrorist group and its leaders are living in France now, freely conducting terrorist activities.
The MKO terrorist group has martyred 17,161 Iranian citizens, including late president Mohammad Ali Rajayee, former prime minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, late Head of Supreme Judicial Council Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, late Deputy Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff Ali Sayyad Shirazi, and 27 legislators, as well as four nuclear scientists.