Germany approves extradition of Iran diplomat over bomb 'plot'

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A German court said Monday it gave the green light for an Iranian diplomat linked to an alleged bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally to be handed over to Belgium.

The superior regional court in Bamberg said in a statement that it had on September 27 approved the extradition of the Iranian diplomat based in Vienna who has been named as Assadollah Assadi.

"The wanted man cannot cite diplomatic immunity because he was on a several day holiday trip outside his host state Austria and not travelling between his host country and the state that dispatched him," the court said.

The suspected plan to target a gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a Paris suburb came to light a few days after the June 30 event.

Six people were arrested in Belgium, France and Germany, two of whom were later released.

German prosecutors say Assadi, believed to be an intelligence agent, ordered a couple to attack the rally and had handed them the explosives at a June meeting in Luxembourg.

Tehran has dismissed the alleged bomb plot as a "sinister false flag ploy" designed to discredit Iran at a time when it faces major diplomatic tensions with the United States.

The rally in the Paris suburb of Villepinte was attended by several allies of US President Donald Trump, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, both of whom urged regime change in Iran.

Belgian authorities in July requested the extradition of both Assadi and a man identified as Merhad A., who was detained in Paris.

Belgian police believe Merhad A. is an accomplice of a husband and wife team caught in Brussels in possession of 500 grams of the powerful explosive TATP and a detonator.

The couple were identified as Amir S. and Nasimeh N.

All three are Belgian nationals of Iranian origin.


© 2018 AFP

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