The British Committee for Iran Freedom strongly opposes the Belgian Government’s decision to release the Iranian diplomat, Assadolah Assadi, convicted of terrorism and allow him to return to Iran before serving his full sentence.

We also back the Iranian Resistance movement (NCRI) in condemning this decision and support their efforts to seek justice in this case in Belgium and on the international level.

The Belgian Government decision to include Assadi in a prison exchange for a Belgian citizen held under bogus charges in Iran seriously undermines the ongoing global efforts to hold the regime to account for its export of terrorism and unacceptable behaviour at home and abroad.

Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool, Co-President of the British Committee for Iran Freedom, said:

“Belgium’s release today of Asadollah Assadi - a shocking 15 years before the completion of his sentence - encourages terrorism and betrays human rights by disregarding the ruling of the Constitutional Court. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is sending the wrong signal to a barbaric state.”

Bob Blackman MP, Co-President of the the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic Iran (ICPDI) and a prominent member of the British Committee for Iran Freedom said:

“As one of his many victims and plaintiffs in this case in Belgium, I am shocked and appalled over this decision which will only embolden the regime in Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, to plot more terrorist operations against its critics and Iranian dissidents in Europe. This is a very concerning development at a time when the Met police and the British security services have reportedly foiled 15 assassinations and kidnappings by the regime in the UK.

“Assadi’s release as part of a prison exchange between Brussels and Tehran today means that not only is he allowed to escape justice and accountability for his crime but also rewards the regime’s unacceptable and illegal hostage-taking diplomacy.”

British Committee for Iran Freedom

26 May 2023