3 July 2022

Alexander De Croo
Prime Minister of Belgium
Rue de la Loi 16 BE-1000 Brussels

Mr Prime Minister

Prisoners swap between the Belgium Kingdom and Islamic Republic of Iran

Your government’s proposed bill that authorizes the transfer of convicted criminals between the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and Belgium is a grave political mistake and is extremely dangerous given the IRI governance in Iran. If such a bill is passed, the terrorist regime of Iran and its supporters will be encouraged to increase their terrorist operations in the world.

Mr. Prime Minister, you recall Asadullah Assadi, who held the third political position in the Embassy of IRI in Germany, who planned to execute an act of bombing at the 2018 National Council of Resistance rally in Paris.  You will also recall that in July 2018, he was arrested in Germany on charges of involvement in the act of terrorism in Paris. On November 27, 2020, Assadi was tried in the 2020 Antwerp assassination trial along with three other defendants (Mehrdad Arefi, Amir Sadoony and Nessimeh Naami). Antwerp judicial system rejected the Immunity of Assadullah Assadi and convicted and sentenced him to 20-year imprisonment. Also, the Belgian government gave a guarantee that Assadi would not be exchanged for any Western prisoner in Iran.

Now the Government of the Belgium Kingdom and the IRI have agreed on the transfer of convicts such as Assadi, so that respective prisoners can serve their prison term in their own country. To make the agreement effective, your government has submitted a prisoner swap bill to be legislated in Belgian parliament. The submitted bill is scheduled to be heard and voted on, on Tuesday 5 July 2022.

Iran Transition Council (ITC) considers the action of the Belgium Kingdom contrary to the conventions against global terrorism. It is wrong to send Assadi to Iran, the country who had deployed him for the purpose of carrying out terrorist acts in Europe in first place. This could be a “green light” to the Islamic Republic and an incentive to send more terrorists. The Iranian regime is championing these terrorists in Iran to encourage others to follow suit. In addition, whenever an agent of the regime has been arrested outside Iran, ordinary citizens are taken hostage by the regime to free the arrested agent. It should be noted that  the regime’s terrorist offenders in the West are considered national heroes by the IRI rulers in Iran.

The ITC warns the Government of the Belgium Kingdom the proposal to the Belgian parliament is unwise and suggests that it is withdrawn.

Best regards,

ITC Secretary General
Hassan Shariatmadari