Diplomat returns to Iran after 5 years of illegal detention by Belgium

Assadollah Assadi, a former Iranian diplomat imprisoned in Belgium on false charges, has returned home after five years.

The plane carrying Assadi landed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport on Friday evening local time, IRNA reported.

Earlier on the day, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani had said that the former diplomat had been released from prison and would return home after “five years of captivity.”

Belgian police arrested Assadi in June 2018, accusing him of plotting an attack against the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq (MKO) terrorist organization, a claim that has been strongly rejected by the former diplomat and Iranian authorities.

A Belgian court then sentenced Assadi, who served as the third counselor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna, to 20 years in prison.

Iran had repeatedly condemned the violation of Assadi's diplomatic immunity and made every effort to secure his release in negotiations with Belgian authorities.

News ID 195404

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