May 26, 2023 13:06 UTC
  •  Assadollah Assadi released from prison in Belgium, on way home: FM

Foreign Minister says Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat detained in Belgium on false terror-related charges, has been released after an Omani-brokered deal and is on his way back to his home country.

According to Press TV, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the statement in a Persian-language post on his Twitter account on Friday after Oman’s Foreign Ministry officially announced that Muscat had mediated a deal between Iran and Belgium to swap their prisoners.

“Mr. Assadollah Assadi, the innocent diplomat of our country, who was illegally detained in Germany and Belgium for more than two years against international law, is now on his way back to his homeland and will soon enter our beloved Iran,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

“I thank the Sultanate of Oman for its positive efforts in this direction.”

Assadi’s case, according to legal experts, was based on sham and unsubstantiated charges and smacks of political propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan'ani also announced in a statement that Assadi will return to the country after "five years in captivity".

Kan'ani noted that Assadi had been "taken hostage" during a plot designed by the Israeli regime and cooperation of some European intelligence services.

"The Zionist-American 'big lie' scenario went on stage with the aim of creating crisis in relations between Iran and Europe and this plot happened right after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran," he said.

Kan'ani also said that some European governments, influenced by Israel and Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group, violated international law by arresting and sentencing Asadi to 20 years in prison after a "political and sham trial".

Iran had always protested and condemned the violation of Asadi's diplomatic immunity and tried hard to free him, Kan'ani said, adding that an agreement was reached to release Asadi following negotiations between foreign ministers of Iran and Belgium.

The news came shortly after Oman’s foreign ministry officially announced that the country had “successfully” managed to broker a deal between Iran and Belgium to exchange their prisoners.

“The Omani efforts have resulted in an agreement between the two sides for a mutual exchange deal,” the ministry’s website said in a statement on Friday.

“The Sultanate of Oman appreciates the positive high level spirit that prevailed during the discussions in Muscat between the Iranian and Belgian sides, and their commitment to resolving this humanitarian issue,” the statement added.

The Omani foreign ministry also announced that the released individuals had been transported from Tehran and Brussels to Muscat in preparation for their return to their respective countries.