In the latest session of the appeals court for three Iranian terrorists in Belgium last Friday, more information came to light about the failed bomb plot near Paris in 2018. The plot, which was organised by officials holding the highest positions within the Iranian regime, was targeted at an Iranian opposition rally and if it had been carried out, could have resulted in hundreds of casualties.
Vienna-based Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, was the main figure behind the attack. He financed and controlled all aspects of the plot, personally instructing the three other operatives how to carry it out. Assadi was the one who transported the explosive device from Tehran to Europe, concealed in a diplomatic pouch to avoid security checks. All four men were intercepted and arrested by European authorities before they could enter France to carry out their attack.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) said, “Earlier this year, an Antwerp court stripped Assadi of his diplomatic immunity and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. His accomplices, Nassimeh Naami, Mehrdad Arefani, Amir Saadouni, were respectively sentenced to 18, 17, and 15 years in prison and were stripped of their Belgian citizenship status due to their involvement in the plot.”
Once Assadi had arrived in Europe with the 500-gram explosive package, he transported it to a pre-arranged meeting location to hand it over to Naami and Saadouni, who were instructed to place the device near where Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), would be seated at the rally in Villepinte. Arefani was to act as Assadi’s eyes and ears at the event to make sure everything went as planned.
The three operatives asked for an appeal of their convictions, claiming that they were unaware that the explosives were deadly, and that they thought the bomb was only meant to scare the crowd. In the fourth session of the appeals court, a number of bomb experts spoke to provide technical details on the effects that the bomb would have caused.
The MEK said, “According to one of the experts, if the bomb would be detonated, it would function like a bullet, which indicates it was assembled by an expert. The bomb parts were built in a way that they would be spread like shrapnel and could cause severe harm. The blast itself could be deadly.”
They brought to court a small fragment of what would have been contained in the bomb and explained that the ferocity of the explosion would have launched the small component at a high speed and would have easily killed anyone in its trajectory.
Another expert stated that the bomb would have become a fireball, burning everything in its surroundings. They claimed that the bomb would be deadly within a 53-meter radius but the destruction caused by the bomb would have extend this range.
The MEK said, “It is worth noting that during the dismantling of the bomb, a police officer who had been standing at 80 meters was injured, and this is despite the fact that the explosion was partial and was less effective because it happened in an open space. If it was detonated inside the hall or under a chair, it would have caused severe casualties.”
The judge declared at the end of the session that the appeals court would resume on March 4, 2022, with the final verdict being given by May.
The three men at the centre of the case are a small part of a larger network of terrorist operatives working on behalf of the regime in Europe. Details of the extent of this network were found in documents obtained from Assadi’s car at the time of his arrest.
The MEK said, “The Iranian Resistance has demanded that Assadi’s network be exposed and the regime’s operatives in Europe, who are posing as asylum seekers, be stripped of their refugee status and expelled from their host countries.”