Thursday, December 7, 2023

Belgian court suspends Iran prisoners treaty

Belgium’s highest court has suspended a treaty on prisoner exchanges with Iran leaving it to the Constitutional Court on whether to finally cancel the agreement. The implementation of the treaty would mean the release of an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, from Belgium prision.

“Belgium knows or must know that Iran will not effectively execute the sentence,” the court said in a press release.

After suspending the treaty, the Constitutional Court will now have to come to a final decision on whether to cancel the treaty “within three months.”

In June 2018, Belgian authorities stated 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 that he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.

A Belgian court then sentenced the diplomat, who serves as the third counselor at Iran’s Embassy in Vienna, to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the anti-Tehran terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) cult.

Tehran has condemned imprisonment of Assadi on false terror-related charges, calling for his immediate release. Iran says the process of detention and trial of Assadi has been flawed and in violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The MKO has been responsible for numerous assassinations and bombings against top-ranking Iranian officials since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the MKO’s acts of terror.

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