Suspects in France bomb plot to be sent to Belgium

Asadollah Assadi, head of intelligence at the Iranian embassy in Vienna was among those arrested. (Supplied)

France and Germany will send two men, including an Iranian diplomat, to Belgium to face accusations they were involved in a plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally on the outskirts of Paris, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

Belgium is already investigating two Belgians of Iranian origin arrested on Saturday, the day of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) meeting. Five hundred grams of the homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device were found in their car.

Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot, which it called a “false flag” operation staged by figures within the opposition group itself.

The exiled Iranian opposition group’s meeting was attended by Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who gave a speech calling for the removal of Iran’s rulers.

In addition to the two people arrested in Belgium, an Austria-based Iranian diplomat was held in Germany, and a man of Iranian origin was held in France. Judicial authorities in France and Germany told Reuters Belgium had requested they be extradited.

“It’s extremely sensitive and the Belgians are taking the lead,” said one European intelligence source.

During a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Vienna on Wednesday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement to reporters that Rouhani had assured him that he would work to clarify the case.

French officials have declined to comment on the matter saying the nature of the incident is unclear.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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