Iranian diplomat held over ‘bomb plot’

Iranian opposition activists in July demanded diplomat Assadollah Assadi was extradited to Belgium from Germany. (AFP)

BRUSSELS — An Iranian diplomat was taken into custody in Belgium on Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in an alleged plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in France.

An investigating magistrate earlier questioned the Iranian, normally based in Vienna, in the northern Belgian city of Antwerp, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that the suspect, previously identified as Assadollah Assadi, had been extradited to Belgium from Germany.

Tehran summoned the German ambassador on Wednesday to protest the extradition, which the foreign ministry said was “caused by a fabricated conspiracy by enemies of Iran and European relations.”

Iran has denied French accusations that Assadi was involved in a plot targeting an annual gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran on 30 June just outside Paris.

Belgian anti-terrorism prosecutors announced on 2 July that they had foiled the plot. They then requested the extradition of both Assadi and a man identified as Merhad A., who was detained in Paris.

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