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Opinion

Europe must not give in to the dirty business of hostages

Irán

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 20, the Antwerp Belgium Court of Appeal will announce its verdict on the appeal of the terrorists involved in the 2018 bombing plot of a large Iranian resistance rally on the outskirts of Paris. All four terrorists were convicted in the district court. The main convict was a diplomat of the mullahs' regime. This was the first time in contemporary European history that a diplomat had been convicted for being directly involved in a bombing plot.

Assadollah Assadi, a Vienna-based diplomat-terrorist of the mullahs' regime, the mastermind of the plot who was earlier sentenced to the maximum prison term of 20 years, chose not to appeal to avoid a bigger political scandal. The three other agents involved in the plot; Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami and Mehrdad Arefani, sentenced from 15 to 18 years in prison, had appealed their sentence.

In five hearings, the Court of Appeal reviewed the results of the investigation and the testimony of explosives experts regarding the destructive power of the bomb that Assadi had flown from Iran to Europe and handed over to these agents to plant at the conference.

This is the first time in history that a serving diplomat has been arrested and jailed in Belgium while delivering a package of explosive bombs to the perpetrators of a terrorist attack. He was the mastermind behind the attack on the large Iranian opposition rally in 2018, in which opposition leader Maryam Rajavi was the main target of the brutal attack. This terrorist diplomat wanted to create a bigger disaster like Bataklan. The integrity of the Iranian regime's diplomatic apparatus is like a remnant of its terrorism.

The Iranian regime arrested a Swedish tourist last week and announced earlier the imminent execution of Dr. Jalali. The Belgian Prime Minister said that he would travel to Tehran to meet with the Iranian president in case of a glorious execution. 

We must not get involved in the dirty business of hostage taking

From the hostage-taking of French nationals in Lebanon by the Lebanese Hezbollah to free the regime's terrorists imprisoned in France, to the hostage-taking of binational such as the French Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah or the Swedish Iranian citizen Jalali to force the release of the Iranian terrorist diplomat imprisoned in Belgium from France and Europe, this dirty business continues.

The United Nations and other international organizations have recently called the Iranian regime to account for the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. The Iranian regime, which holds the record for arbitrary executions in the world, the execution of children and punishments such as amputations, confirm that this regime cannot comply with international standards in the 21ᵉ century.

Europe must put an end to this dirty business by not giving in and prosecuting even in the absence of Ebahim Raisi, the Iranian president who, according to Amnesty International and the United Nations, was involved in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. 

This is the most effective measure to counter the blackmail and hostage-taking of the regime that has taken all democratic values hostage.