Following numerous back-and-forths, the Belgian parliament finally agreed to a despicable prisoner exchange agreement with Iran’s theocratic government. This treaty, which is disguised as upholding human rights principles, opens the door for the release of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat-terrorist who orchestrated a failed bombing attempt on the “Free Iran World Summit” in Paris in 2018.
With 79 votes in favor, 41 votes against, and 11 abstentions, the treaty—which was initially and covertly signed in March 2022 with the Iranian regime—was approved on July 20. Belgian opposition MPs fiercely opposed this treaty, and the voting process continued until Wednesday night. Many referred to the votes supporting this deal with Tehran as “votes of shame” and said they were a result of Europe’s failed appeasement strategy.
The Iranian Resistance began an international mobilization as soon as it became clear that the Belgian government intended to approve this deal at all costs. Numerous well-known lawmakers and politicians from both sides of the Atlantic sent Belgian authorities hundreds of letters of condemnation as a result.
Many of the authors of these letters were potential targets of Assadi’s thwarted plot and took part in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) “Free Iran” rally in France in 2018. Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the NCRI’s main constituent group, also staged sit-ins in various nations, including Belgium, calling for a firm stance against the Iranian regime.
Many Belgian MPs vehemently opposed this scandalous deal and demanded that it be immediately revoked. Theo Francken, a member of parliament and a former state secretary for migration in Belgium, spoke out against the treaty:
“It is the duty of the MPs to serve the public interest. The general interest of all compatriots, including that of the tens of thousands of Iranian dissidents in Belgium and the EU who are now even more afraid of being eliminated by the regime,” he wrote on his blog on July 18.
Dit parlement maakt geen internationaal verschil. Behalve over de Irandeal. Daar kiest ze voor de verkeerde kant van de geschiedenis. Wat een primeur. Vreselijk dit.
De dag dat de Ayatollahs nog maar eens toeslaan, zal ik Vivaldi aan deze stemming herinneren. pic.twitter.com/87snOBdpQL
— Theo Francken MP (@FranckenTheo) July 20, 2022
The case of Hamid Noury was used by the Kayhan daily, whose editorial policies are set by the Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime, to publicly threaten the EU with additional hostage-taking on July 19, just before the Belgian parliament’s vote.
“Why should citizens of European nations enjoy complete security in Iran when Iranian citizens do not feel safe there? Our officials should punish the Swedish government and make it regretful and show the governments of Germany, France, and Belgium that the trial, indictment, and detention of innocent Iranian nationals will entail high costs for them,” the editorial reads.
“Any relocation of criminals who are responsible for acts of terrorism and human rights violations, without serving legally required punishment, is to encourage and offer a ransom for terrorism and human rights violations and a breach of international laws and UN Security Council resolutions,” the Iranian Resistance stated today.
Appeasement invites aggression
On July 19, prior to the #Belgian parliament's vote, the Kayhan daily, whose editorial guidelines are directed by the #Iranian regime Supreme Leader, used the case of #HamidNoury to publicly threaten the #EU of more hostage taking. 1/4 pic.twitter.com/HmP6Ee1mVv
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 20, 2022
The Belgian government should be aware that keeping Assadi from being released goes beyond just being required to do so by law and morality. Millions of people’s lives are at risk if this is done, as it gives Tehran’s terrorist regime permission to murder.
As NCRI president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi stated: “The advocates of appeasement and back-door deals seek to turn the hostage-taking of Belgian citizens in Iran into a tactic against victims of terrorism and seek to appease the executioner with the victims’ blood.