UK delegation at the Free Iran: The Alternative Gathering in Paris, 30 June 2018

On the eve of a visit by Hassan Rouhani to Switzerland and Austria, Belgian prosecutors announced today the arrest of two Iranians in Belgium and an Iranian “diplomat” in Germany for “attempted terrorist murder and the preparation of a terrorist offence.

The statement said the detained individuals are “suspected of wanting to commit a bomb attack in Villepinte (France) on Saturday 30 June 2018 at a conference held there by the MEK, (the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, PMOI).

Several parliamentarians and dignitaries from Europe, North America and Middle East attended the gathering “Free Iran-The Alternative” in support of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The keynote speaker at the huge gathering with tens of thousands of participants was Maryma Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI.

The two terror suspects in Belgium were intercepted, on board their Mercedes, by the special units of the police in Saint-Pieters-Woluwe, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors added: “During the search of that vehicle, approximately 500 grams of TATP and an ignition mechanism were found in a small toiletry bag.

A contact person of the couple, Assadollah A., born on 22 December 1971, of Iranian nationality, was also arrested in Germany. He is an Iranian diplomat at the Austrian Embassy in Vienna.

Responding to the announcement by Belgian authorities, House of Lords member Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, on behalf of the British Committee for Iran Freedom, said:

Once again there is a clear allegation that Iran's regime is the state sponsor of terrorism. The danger of Iran's diplomatic missions supporting terrorists must be investigated thoroughly and exposed, if they are involved as the Belgian police suggest. We must be told if agents of the regime operating in Europe and posing as former members of the MEK are tasked with spying on MEK sympathizers and providing information to assist Tehran's terror plots.

Austria urgently should reconsider its invitation to the regime's President Hassan Rouhani to visit Vienna just two days after the announcement of the arrest of a member of the regime's embassy in Vienna as part of the anti-terror swoop.

Lord Carlile was the government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation from 2001 to 2011.

British Committee for Iran Freedom

3 July 2018