Diplomat at Iran’s embassy in Vienna one of 4 arrested for involvement in plot to bomb rally of thousands of Iranian dissidents in Paris
An Iranian diplomat was one of four people arrested in an alleged plot to bomb a rally of Iranian dissidents.
Two suspects were arrested in Belgium over the weekend carrying 500 grams of triacetone triperoxide (TATP), an explosive chemical used in suicide bombs and improvised explosive devices. Police also found a detonator in the suspects’ car.
The 38-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, identified only as Amir S. and Nasimeh N., were charged with attempted terrorist murder and preparation of a terrorist act, it said.
Two arrests linked to the Belgian case were made in France and Germany. The person arrested in Germany was a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in the Austrian capital Vienna, the Belgian statement said.
Staff at the embassy said the ambassador was not immediately available for comment. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is due to visit Austria on Wednesday.
The Belgian statement gave no further details about diplomat, other than saying they were suspected of having been in contact with the Belgian pair arrested. It gave no details about the fourth suspect, arrested in France.
NCRI is an umbrella bloc of opposition groups in exile that seek an end to Shia Muslim clerical rule in Iran.
Its meeting, which attracted a crowd of thousands, took place on Saturday in Villepinte, just outside of Paris, a three-hour drive from Brussels.
Another suspect was arrested in France.
The suspects targeted a rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris Saturday. The rally, which drew thousands of people was attended by President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
NCRI spokesman Sharon Gobad said: “A plot by the religious dictatorship ruling Iran to carry out a terrorist attack against the grand gathering of the Iranian Resistance in Villepinte was foiled.”
“The clerical regime’s terrorists in Belgium, with the assistance of the regime’s diplomats, had plotted this attack. A man and woman who were implicated in the plot were arrested by the Belgian authorities.
“The woman had come to Belgium from Iran in 2009. A diplomat of the Iranian regime who was implicated was also arrested in Germany.
“The Iranian Resistance has warned time and again against terror plots and preparations by so-called “diplomats” of the Iranian regime and by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC Qods Force in various European countries.
“The Iranian regime’s embassies and representative offices in Europe are centers of espionage and terrorism, and the Iranian Resistance once again reiterates the need to shut them down.”
By: Gary Willig