Belgium: Parliamentary Committee sanctions controversial Iran deal

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Brussels: The Parliamentary Committee has sanctioned a deal between Belgium and Iran, which has green signalled the light to an exchange of convicted prisoners.

The treaty is pending to be approved by the House of Representatives. The treaty is predicted to help Brussels NGO employee Olivier Vandecasteele from Iranian prisons and free VUB professor Ahmadreza Djalali. Moreover, it would release an Iranian terrorist detained in Belgium.

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The deal has caused a controversial protest after 350 Iranian citizens took over the streets on Tuesday to prevent the exchange of prisoners who would release to Iranian diplomat and terrorist Asadollah Assadi, detained in Belgium prison.

On the one hand, the deal will likely save the lives of innocent Belgian and European people detained by Iran, which is believed to be a tactic to grant freedom to an Iranian terrorist.

While on the other, the deal would also give in to Iran’s ‘hostage diplomacy’ and acknowledge the authoritarian regime, which the Iranian opposition fear will open the door to more terrorism in Iran and Europe.

If this agreement is reached, Belgium will be the first country in the world to cooperate with Iran in this way.

However, Justice Minister Vincent van Quickenborne insisted that the deal would threaten Belgian interests if it were not approved.

The deal appears to concern three individuals mentioned above.

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Belgian NGO employee Vandecasteele, who has been imprisoned in Iran without charge, and Swedish-Iranian VUB Professor Dajajali, who was sentenced to death by the country for espionage, turned in for Iranian diplomat and terrorist Asadollah Assadi.

Assadi has worked for Iran as a diplomat and is the mastermind behind a failed terrorist attack on a congress of the Iranian opposition near Paris. He has been sentenced to twenty years in prison in Belgium.

 

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