The exiled Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), held their annual Free Iran Rally in Paris on June 30. While the rally was going on, however, authorities stopped an attempted bombing at the event. Belgium authorities released a statement that they arrested a couple of Iranian origin with materials to make a bomb. The couple, Amir Sadoni and Nasim Naami, claimed to be supporters of the PMOI and held Belgium citizenship.
The two individuals were carrying 500 grams of TATP, a volatile explosive, along with a detonation device after being stopped in a residential district within Brussels. An alleged accomplice was under arrest in France and two others were questioned but released by the French authorities.
The NCRI and the Iranian resistance repeatedly warned that such attacks were possible and have called for the Iranian regime’s diplomats and members of the Quds Force to be expelled from European countries and their embassies closed. An Iranian diplomat from Vienna was also arrested by German authorities. Asdollah Assadi, who is the station chief of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and has been stationed there since August 2014, was charged with being the main planner of the aborted attack.
The Free Iran gathering was attended by leaders from countries around the globe, as well as U.S. President Trump’s attorney, former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
“This [aborted attack] accentuates the growing sense that the regime that is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world is increasingly weakened by constant large demonstrations in over 140 cities. It is also becoming apparent that Madam Maryam Rajavi and the NCRI pose a realistic alternative to this homicidal regime. Nothing could be worse for these misogynists than a movement seen as replacing them headed by a heroic woman,” said Giuliani.
Prior to Assadi, an individual by the name of Mostafa Roudaki was the MOIS station chief in the regime’s embassy in Austria. Roudaki was then transferred to Tehran and later dispatched to Albania in 2017. Albania is currently the home of many exiled members of the PMOI, the largest member of the NCRI coalition.
In the past, the Iranian opposition has noted that the regime uses its diplomats as cover for spying and the planning of attacks on Iranians who are exiled. Recent international events, including the U.S. pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have considerably weakened the position of the fundamentalist regime. Additionally, continued protests throughout the country are focused on the regime’s economic and environmental polices that have left many Iranians struggling to find work or to provide their basic needs.