Former Iranian embassy counsellor in Vienna suspected of terrorism

On February 4, a court in Antwerp, Belgium, announces a verdict in a trial of three conspirators on suspicion of terrorism with Assadollah Assadi, a senior diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna.

On July 1, 2018, Asadi was arrested and charged with giving an Iranian / Belgian couple 500 grams of TATP high explosive and a detonator from Antwerp. He handed the bomb to Amir Saadouni, 40, and his wife, Nasimeh Naami, 36, at the Pizza Hut restaurant in Place d’Armes, Luxembourg. Both are from Iran.

Asadi instructed them to detonate a bomb at a major rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which was attended by tens of thousands of people in Bilpunt near Paris. Another conspirator, Mehrdad Arefani, was posted as a lookout for the rally. The event was addressed by key politicians and government officials, including former Speaker of the United States House Newt Gingrich, former British Cabinet Minister Teresa Villas, and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“The plan for the attack was devised under the guidance of Iran, not a matter of Asadi’s personal initiative,” said Jaak Raes, head of VSSE at the State Security Service of Belgium. If the bombing project was successful, it could have killed hundreds of men, women and children in European soil.

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