'Plot to attack anti-Iran summit' foiled

Pauline Gross
July 6, 2018

Following the arrest of the Iranian diplomat, Assadollah A, 46, positioned in Vienna, Austrian authorities announced Tuesday (July 3) they have withdrawn his diplomatic status in view of his alleged connection to the foiled bomb attack against the Iranian opposition conference in France.

In a statement, Giuliani said the participants of the rally "appreciate and admire the fine work of law enforcement particularly in Belgium and France in arresting the terrorists who according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's office were planning an attack on the gathering supporting freedom from the theocratic oppressive regime in Iran".

Belgium is already investigating two Belgians of Iranian origin arrested on Saturday, the day of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) meeting. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is due to visit Austria on Wednesday.

Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot, which it called a "false flag" operation staged by figures within the NCRI based in France. China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom also signed the accord and have continued to support it, despite Trump's vehement criticism.

The American delegation to Saturday's rally also included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former United States envoy to the UN Bill Richardson, former NJ Senator Bob Toricelli, and former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that the Ministry has summoned the French and Belgium ambassadors to Iran as well as German charge d'affaires (in absence of envoy) ‎to protest against the arrest of an Iranian diplomat.

The developments come as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Switzerland as part of a visit to Europe in which Iran is seeking greater cooperation with the continent after the USA withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement.

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"What is interesting about this is that what happened is a hardline crank in Iran just randomly made this comment, Fox News writes a story on it, and then Trump tweets it", Sullivan said on "The Situation Room".

After their detention, police raided five homes over the weekend but did not elaborate on the results.

Its meeting, which attracted a crowd of thousands, took place on Saturday in Villepinte, just outside of Paris, a three-hour drive from Brussels.

It was outlawed in Iran in 1981, the year authorities accused it of a bomb attack that killed 74 people including Ayatollah Beheshti, the regime's number two at the time.

It became listed as a "terrorist organization" by the US State Department in 1997 and was only removed from terror watchlists by the European Union in 2008 and Washington in 2012.

Trump's recent appointment of John Bolton, who spoke at a MEK rally before he became national security adviser, and Giuliani, a regular MEK headliner, are seen as moves that could strengthen the group's bid for US backing.

Other reports by GizPress

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