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Iranian diplomat’s 20-year jail sentence over France bomb plot confirmed

BRUSSELS –An Iranian diplomat’s 20-year prison sentence in Belgium for plotting to bomb an opposition rally outside Paris was confirmed today after letting an appeal deadline lapse, prosecutors say.

Assadollah Assadi, 49, was convicted in February by an Antwerp court of supplying explosives for the planned June 30, 2018 attack on the exiled opposition group the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI).

“Mr Assadi’s lawyer has failed to lodge an appeal,” a spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office tells AFP.

Three individuals sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in prison as accomplices are maintaining their appeals against their convictions, the spokesman says.

Iran has protested Assadi’s conviction. Days after the February verdict Iran’s foreign ministry summoned Belgium’s ambassador in Tehran to convey its fury.

Belgian police thwarted the 2018 attack when they intercepted a car carrying the bomb, acting on information gathered by several European intelligence services.

Assadi, who was attached to Iran’s embassy in Austria at the time, was arrested the following day in Germany, where he was deemed unable to claim diplomatic immunity.

Investigators concluded that he was an Iranian agent working under diplomatic cover.

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