Belgian court sentences Iranian diplomat to 20 years over bomb plot

Assadollah Assadi supplied explosives for intended attack on Iranian opposition rally in France in 2018

A Belgium armed police vehicle is stationed outside Antwerp court where Assadollah Assadi was sentenced. Photograph: Belga/AFP/Getty Images

An Iranian diplomat who masterminded a failed bomb attack at a rally outside Paris attended by five British MPs has been sentenced to 20 years in jail by a Belgian court for attempted murder and involvement in terrorism.

Assadollah Assadi, 49, had been attached to the Iranian mission in Vienna when he supplied explosives for the intended atrocity at an Iranian opposition rally in France in 2018.

The courtroom was heavily guarded during sentencing, with armoured vehicles outside and police helicopters overhead, despite Assadi refusing to appear at any point in the trial.

Assadi, believed to be an officer of the so-called department 312 in Iran’s intelligence and security ministry, had warned authorities last year of possible retaliation if he was found guilty.

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