The Mullah regime continues to rely on kidnapping and extortion to solve its problems with Western countries, especially regarding the release of terrorists held in European nations.
Recently, Belgium announced the release of three European citizens who had been detained in Iran but were freed and allowed to leave for the Sultanate of Oman and then to Belgium. The three released individuals stayed in Oman for medical examinations before being flown to the military airport in Melsbroek, Belgium.
This Iranian move came in exchange for the release of Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Belgium. Assadi, the third diplomat of the Iranian embassy in Austria, was arrested in Bavaria, Germany, on June 10, 2018, while returning to Austria. He was implicated in an attempted bombing of a gathering of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq in Villepinte, north of the French capital. This Iranian diplomat did not enjoy diplomatic immunity on German soil since he did not carry out any diplomatic mission there.
Assadollah Assadi, the Iranian diplomat, was convicted of terrorism and imprisoned in Belgium for nearly five years. In 2021, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Belgium after being found guilty.
The deal also witnessed the release of Belgian aid worker Olivier Vanden Bogaert on May 26, after being detained for 455 days. The other two detainees held both Iranian and Austrian nationalities. They were Kamran Ghaderi and Masoud Mosaheb. Ghaderi was arrested in January 2016, and Mosaheb was arrested in January 2019. The latter was released in November 2022 for medical reasons but was still prevented from leaving Iran.
Belgium Expresses Gratitude to Oman
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo expressed his gratitude to the Sultanate of Oman for mediating in the prisoner exchange deal with Iran.
The statement from the Belgian Prime Minister’s office mentioned that the three Europeans were a Danish citizen who was arrested in November 2022 “on the sidelines of women’s rights gatherings” and two Iranian-Austrian citizens, one of whom was arrested in January 2016 and the other in January 2019.
Such exchanges are at the core of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s work in cooperation with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militias, given the Iranian regime’s lack of more effective means to deal with the issue of detaining its citizens engaged in terrorist activities, especially on European soil.
Iran Benefits from European Democracy
The Iranian regime resorts exclusively to this approach with democratic Western nations because the nature of these democratic systems compels elected governments to work toward the release of their citizens held abroad. During election seasons, electoral campaigns often focus, whether positively or negatively, on the parties’ and politicians’ stance regarding the issue of citizens detained abroad. Thus, Iran’s hostage-taking puts significant pressure on these governments.
The Iranian regime chooses to ignore the issue of dual citizenship and deals with it evasively. It considers them Iranian citizens, denying foreign governments the right to intervene. However, in reality, Iran detains them based on their other nationalities to exert pressure on the governments that granted them citizenship. Therefore, Iranian terrorists feel assured that their government will release them through this method.