The Chambers English Dictionary defines “diplomat” as: “1. a government official or agent who is engaged in diplomatic activities. 2. a very tactful person”. The actions of Assadollah Assadi, a high-ranking diplomat from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, were neither diplomatic nor tactful.
In June 2018, Assadi was caught in the act when he handed over 500 grams of explosives and a detonator to an Iranian couple from Antwerp, Belgium. He allegedly ordered them to go to Paris and detonate the bomb at a large rally organized by the National Council for Resistance in Iran and attended by over 100,000 people, including leading international parliamentarians and senior government officials such as Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and advisor to President Donald Trump, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson.
Throughout history, diplomats have enjoyed a special status as representatives of sovereign states. Under the provisions of the Vienna Convention, diplomats enjoy special privileges. They are traditionally treated as guests in the country to which they are seconded and their freedom from coercion and subjugation by the host state is considered essential.
Assadi violated each of these core principles in a manner that has sent shock waves through the civilized world. A joint operation by the German, French and Belgian secret services led to the arrest of Assadi and three other conspirators, all of whom are in prison in Belgium. The trial of Assadi will begin in Belgium on November 27. It will be the first time ever that an Iranian diplomat is on trial in Europe for direct involvement in an act of terrorism.
The Islamic Republic has made desperate and repeated efforts to secure his release, claiming diplomatic immunity. But the Belgian authorities have made their stand. Now, according to a Reuters report, Assadi has indignantly warned Belgian police authorities that if he is found guilty, there will be violent retaliation against European targets by unidentified groups.
A bomb attack on this scale, which would certainly have killed and maimed hundreds of people on European soil, could only have been confirmed by the supreme leader of the Iranian regime, Ali Khamenei, and his so-called “moderate” president, Hassan Rouhani. Under the system of religious dictatorship, the velayat-e faqih, the absolute rule of the clergy and their medieval interpretation of Sharia law, the conduct of terrorist operations and the shedding of innocent blood require a fatwa, a religious decree that can only come from the supreme leader.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, must have played a key role in the terrorist conspiracy as the minister responsible for all diplomats of the clerical regime, along with the minister of intelligence and security, Mahmoud Alavi, and the leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its extraterritorial terrorist offshoot, the Quds Force.
Trump has described Iran as “the leading state sponsor of terror. Trump recognized that since its inception, the regime has maintained its power through two essential means – internal repression of its own people and the spread of extremism and state terrorism abroad. In July 2019, America imposed sanctions against Zarif. He was identified by the United States as an “illegitimate spokesman for Iran”, that is, a spokesman for the State Department, which declared the Secretary of State a terrorist.
America also listed the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization and imposed individual sanctions on dozens of key officials of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security Services (MOIS). Zarif’s clear involvement in the Assadi bombing has justified the American position.
Ironically, the high-ranking diplomat Assadi replaced at the Vienna embassy, Mostafa Roudaki, was another trained MOIS agent. Roudaki had been transferred to Albania by Zarif and held the rank of first secretary at the Iranian embassy in Tirana. There he was accompanied by a new ambassador appointed by Zarif, Gholam Hossein Mohammadinia, a former senior Iranian intelligence officer. Zarif had clearly instructed his new team of “diplomats” in Albania that their mandate was to lead the main democratic opposition to the mullahs, d