German prosecutors have charged an Iranian diplomat with activity as a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit murder, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Prosecutors said their investigation would not hinder Belgium’s extradition request for the suspect.
Federal prosecutors announced that Vienna-based diplomat Assadollah Assadi is suspected of contracting a couple in Belgium to carry out any attack on an annual Paris meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled umbrella organization representing a variety of Iranian opposition groups. Speakers at the event included high-profile American politicians, including Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s attorney.
German authorities said Assadi was suspected of having given the couple a device containing 500 grams of the explosive TATP. The Iranian official had been detained earlier this month near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant, after the Belgian citizens of Iranian heritage were stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.
A statement by the secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella group of the MEK, said: “The conspiracy of the terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran to attack the grand gathering of the Iranian resistance in Villepinte, Paris, was foiled.”
“The mullahs’ regime’s terrorists in Belgium, helped by the regime’s diplomat terrorists, had designed for the attack.”
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, rejected claims of Iran’s involvement in the attack and described the accusations as a “sinister false flag ploy.” In May, Iranian officials were forced to deny accusations by United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that its elite Revolutionary Guards carried out “assassination operations in the heart of Europe.” The State Department released a graphic last week showing eleven Iranian terror attacks or attempts that have taken place over the past 30 years in Europe.
[Photo: Carsten Frenzl / Flickr]