Tehran summons Belgian envoy after Iranian diplomat jailed for 20 years on foiled bomb plot charges

Tehran summons Belgian envoy after Iranian diplomat jailed for 20 years on foiled bomb plot charges ...
rt.com 10/02/2021 News

Keywords:#Austria, #Belgium, #EU, #Europe, #Foreign_Affairs, #Foreign_Ministry, #French, #German, #Germany, #IRNA, #Iran, #Iranian, #Iranian_Revolution, #Iranian_Students_News_Agency, #Islamic, #Islamic_Republic, #Islamic_Republic_of_Iran, #January, #Maryam_Rajavi, #Mehrdad, #Ministry_of_Foreign_Affairs, #National_Council_of_Resistance_of_Iran, #News, #News_Agency, #Paris, #Rajavi, #Revolution, #Rt.com, #Students, #Tehran, #Vienna, #Vienna_Convention

Iran has summoned Belgium’s ambassador in Tehran to protest a Belgian court’s sentencing of Iranian diplomat Assadolah Assadi for orchestrating a bomb attack in Paris, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.
Tehran repeated its claim that the 20-year maximum sentence handed down to Assadi by an Antwerp court last week is a violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations – a treaty governing relations between states.
“The Antwerp Court ruling violates international law and ignores Belgium’s obligations to the Islamic Republic of Iran, therefore Iran does not recognise it in any way,” an Iranian Foreign Ministry official told the ambassador, according to IRNA.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also protested Assadi’s “illegal arrest” at the embassies of Germany, Austria, and Belgium, according to the IRNA report.
On February 4, Assadi became the first Iranian official to be tried and sentenced by an EU member state for terrorism charges since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
The diplomat, who was formerly based in Vienna, was found guilty of planning to bomb a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a Parisian suburb in 2018, but the attack was foiled by German, French, and Belgian police.
The NCRI is an emigrant political group based in Europe that is opposed to the Iranian government.
Three Iranian-Belgian accomplices of Assadi, some of whom handled explosives, were also handed sentences of 15, 17, and 18 years and were told they would be stripped of their Belgian citizenship.
Iran has consistently argued that Assadi’s arrest, as well as the case against him and the eventual conviction, are illegal.
Tehran has said it would take all available options to defend him and hold countries involved in the case to account, claiming they have “violated their international obligations.”
Belgian judicial authorities said that Asadi, along with two others, Nasim Naami and Amir Saadoni were suspects.
All four defendants (Assadollah Assadi, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami, Mehrdad Arefani) were found guilty. Assadi was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment on 4 February 2021. Naami was sentenced to 18 years, Saadouni 15, and Arefani 17.
While Assadi was entitled to diplomatic immunity where applicable, it was deemed that he was not protected when he was arrested as he was on holiday (in Germany) outside the country where he was posted and hence protected. A lawyer for the prosecution commented after the trial "The ruling shows two things: a diplomat doesn't have immunity for criminal acts ... and the responsibility of the Iranian state in what could have been carnage."
The semi-official Iranian Students News Agency was told by a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry in January 2021 that Assadi's diplomatic immunity had been violated and that he had been a victim of a western trap. Maryam Rajavi (head of National Council of Resistance of Iran) said the conviction was "a brilliant victory for the people and resistance of Iran and a heavy political and diplomatic defeat for the regime". She also said "the plot had been authorised at the highest levels in Iran, by the president and supreme leader and that the intelligence ministry had been given the task of carrying it out."
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