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Belgium's Shameful Treaty with Iran Opens the Path to More Terrorism in Europe

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Ronald Zak

This week, the Belgian parliament will be voting on a bill that paves the way for the repatriation of a convicted and imprisoned Iranian terrorist. Assadollah Assadi and three of his associates were arrested in 2018 by European authorities on terrorism charges and are now serving sentences of 17 to 20 years in Belgium. Now they stand to be freed and returned to Iran as some in Europe seek ways to appease and placate the mullahs in Tehran despite risks of more terrorism.


What makes matters worse is that Assadi is a senior Iranian regime diplomat who personally delivered a deadly explosive in his diplomatic pouch to Vienna. He then personally handed over the TAPT explosive to his accomplices who were tasked with blowing up a major international rally near Paris, the Free Iran World Summit 2018, organized by the principal opposition movement National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Had the bomb exploded, there would have been massive casualties among the tens of thousands of people attending the rally along with hundreds of international dignitaries who were voicing support for a free Iran.

The regime abhorrently abused its diplomatic privileges to plot terrorism on European soil. If successful, it would mark one of the worst humanitarian travesties in Europe's recent memory.

As the seat of the European Union, Brussels is known as the "capital of Europe." It is carrying the weight of Europe's proud traditions of democracy, rule of law, human rights, and justice on its shoulders. The fact that its current administration is even contemplating the signing of a treaty with the murderous Iranian regime in order to secure the release of a convicted terrorist is nothing short of a travesty.

The other party to the proposed treaty stands for everything that Europe is supposed to reject. Tehran is the "capital of theocratic terrorism." It is the world's foremost state sponsor of terror. It carries out the highest number of executions per capita and is known as one of the most egregious rights abusers in the world. The regime's leaders have wreaked havoc in the region and destabilized the world by pursuing a nuclear weapons program.


The regime has violated countless international laws and conventions while viciously targeting dissidents and opponents abroad. It continues to leverage extortion and blackmail to secure concessions from western governments that should be standing up to it, not kowtowing in front of it. For decades, these governments have thought that appeasing the regime would induce behavioral changes from within. In fact, however, the regime's behavior continues to worsen and grow more dangerous.

The latest instance of cajoling the Iranian regime by Belgium's government is dangerous on numerous fronts. First, it directly aids and abets regime terrorists - who have been convicted in Belgian courts - to escape justice. Second, it tells the Iranian regime in the clearest of terms that it should never have to feel accountable for its heinous acts of terrorism. The regime will be emboldened to conduct more terrorism in Europe with complete impunity.

Tehran will be buoyed to not only target its opponents abroad, but to also do so without any regard for the safety and security of European citizens, as the Assadi case demonstrated. If repatriated, Assadi and his accomplices will be hailed as heroes by the Iranian regime, further emboldening Tehran and its terrorist forces.

Finally, this treaty will set a dangerous precedent. The Iranian regime will see more blackmail and hostage taking as an effective tool to force other European countries to accede to its demands. Europe's security will be threatened on multiple fronts and the regime's terrorist operatives will expand their nefarious activities around the continent.


The proposed Belgian treaty should be opposed and defeated. Other EU countries and the European Parliament should not allow this abysmal deal to leave a dark stain on their proud traditions of democracy and human rights. The authoritarian regime in Tehran should instead be forced to face justice and stop its terrorism and mass murder once and for and all.

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