Combating Iranian terrorism and protecting the citizens of EU Member States
Priority question for written answer P-002796/2022
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Assita Kanko (ECR)
On 3 August 2022, the Iranian Parliament ratified a treaty with Belgium on the transfer of convicted individuals. The Belgian Parliament had already ratified it on 20 July 2022. The treaty would make it possible for the Iranian terrorist Assadollah Assadi, who was sentenced to a jail term of 20 years in Belgium, to be exchanged for Belgian nationals who have been wrongly convicted and are imprisoned in Iran in poor conditions. The Belgian Government is being reproached for, accordingly, creating an escape route for convicted Iranian terrorists, who will use Belgium to an even greater extent as a base for organising acts of terrorism in Europe, and for making it possible for Iran to engage in blackmail by convicting Belgian nationals as a bargaining chip under the treaty.
This treaty is at odds with UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which was unanimously adopted after the 9/11 attacks, and with other positions that have been taken, such as when EU Member States recalled their ambassadors from Iran after a Berlin court condemned Iranian state terrorism in 1997.
Will the Vice-President/High Representative encourage Member States to take a firmer stance against Iranian terrorism, including by countering the blackmailing practices and impunity that the treaty has made possible?