Danish, two Austrians exchanged for Iran’s Assadi in Iran-Belgium prisoner swap

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Three more Europeans are being released by Iran in return for Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi as part of a prisoner swap in which Iran released Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele last week, a spokesperson for the Belgian government said.

A Danish national and two people with dual Austrian-Iranian nationality are involved, the spokesperson said.

Assadi was convicted in Belgium in 2021 in connection to a foiled bomb plot in France and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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In a statement, the Belgian government said that the Danish person was arrested in Iran in November 2022 in connection with women’s rights demonstrations.

The two dual nationals were “wrongfully arrested in... January 2016 and January 2019,” the government said.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo thanked Oman for mediating the swap.

After a stop in Oman and medical tests, the three will be flown to Belgium’s military airport in Melsbroek.

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