10 July 2022 :
The row continues in Belgium and across the world
“We are doing everything we can in the parliament to convince them to change their mind. But we cannot do it alone. That’s why we need you out here, in your full support, in your protests. We need the Iranian exile community around the world… We need pressure from outside governments because this government has forsaken us, has forgotten about all of you here, and is opening the gates to terror in Europe. And we must never allow this.”
This is part of the speech delivered by Michael Freilich, a Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament, at an Iranian Resistance rally prior to a recent meeting of the Belgian Parliament Foreign Relations Committee discussing a prisoner exchange deal between Belgium and the Iranian regime.
Mr. Freilich was referring to an intense five-day campaign launched and directed by the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and their supporters following the revelation of a shameful deal between Brussels and Tehran.
This includes a series of demonstrations and protest gatherings in more than a dozen cities across Europe, the United States, and Canada before Belgian embassies and/or other institutions. Furthermore, calls were made to various lawmakers and political dignitaries from 24 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and a long list of European countries, that led to strongly worded letters to the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the President of the Chamber of Representatives in opposition to this agreement.
In parallel fashion, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the European Parliament, MPs from various European countries, Friends of a Free Iran groups in 14 different countries, a large number of renowned jurists and hundreds of political, religious, and scientific figures, including two Nobel laureates, joined the campaign.
This intense campaign completely altered the scene in the Foreign Relations Committee session on Tuesday, July 5, which the Belgian government initially expected to take less than 30 minutes. However, following four hours of intense debates, the discussion stretched into the next day. Not only members of the Belgian opposition parties, but also a significant number of MPs from the ruling coalition described the bill as incomprehensible, illogical, and even dangerous.
Wednesday, July 6, Foreign Relations Committee with 10 votes in favor in the face of five votes against and one abstention. Nevertheless, this was only the beginning of a new round of the ongoing campaign and political struggle. Especially since the initial drive disrupted the coalition government’s plans, including their aim to have the bill brought to the floor of the Belgian Federal Parliament on Thursday to have it fully adopted.
Thanks to the intense initial campaign and the numerous measures that went into the initiative, a long slate of evidence and documents have been placed forward, coupled with the many protests, about the catastrophic results of returning Assadollah Assadi, the Iranian regime’s convicted diplomat-terrorist, to Iran, both for the Iranian people and Belgium.
Accordingly, the Foreign Relations Committee declared they will need more than 24 hours to evaluate all the texts and discussions brought forward, and to deliver a final document to the Belgian Parliament. Thus, the parliamentary session was postponed to Thursday, July 14.
Assadi was convicted for masterminding a bomb-plot targeting a 2018 rally in support of Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), near Paris, attended by thousands of people and hundreds of political dignitaries from across the globe. Fortunately, the attack was foiled by European law enforcement authorities, leading to the arrest and conviction of Assad and his three accomplices. Assadi’s release would be a new low in the history of appeasement vis-à-vis dictatorships by western governments.
The following week promises to be an intense scene of a political row at the foremost magnitude. The PMOI/MEK and their massive network of supporters across the globe are promising to continue their initiatives with even more resolve.
In the first round, the pro-appeasement crowd in Belgium, and the West in general, sought to push their plan forward incognito. They kept a lid on their plot but the Iranian Resistance community, despite having no prior warning, initiated their campaign with only five days to organize their efforts against the disgraceful prisoner exchange that would lead to the release of terrorists.
Despite the circumstances, the Iranian Diaspora, led by the PMOI/MEK, have brought global attention to this disgraceful plot, sending messages to pro-appeasement officials across the board in the Green Continent, North America, and Australia.
The West is once again facing a litmus test of their already failed appeasement-led foreign policy vis-à-vis Tehran. Chamberlain chose the path of appeasement in the face of Hitler, leading to World War II and the deaths of tens of millions of people across the globe. In our times, the West has failed again to adopt a strong policy, this time in the face of Putin, leading to the dreadful war in Ukraine. It is truly preposterous that we are here again despite all the noble “Never again” campaigns.
Tehran’s mullahs have been watching closely for the past four decades, banking on the West’s illogical insistence on appeasement, causing death and destruction throughout the Middle East and beyond, and taking Western nationals hostage to swap for its convicted terrorists.
As the current row continues in Belgium, when will the West realize it is high time to end the cycle of appeasement and terrorism? Did all those millions of people die and sacrifice their lives in vain?