Global campaign against the Belgium-Iran prisoner exchange deal
On Thursday, July 7, the global campaign launched by freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) against a shameful deal between Belgium and the Iranian regime entered a new phase. Tehran is seeking to release a Belgian citizen currently kept hostage by its authorities for the release of Assadollah Assadi, its convicted diplomat-terrorist currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for his role in a foiled bomb plot that targeted an Iranian Resistance rally back in 2018 held just of Paris.
On July 6, the Belgian Parliament Foreign Relations Committee, following two heated debate sessions over the government’s prisoner swap bill with Iran’s regime, voted to approve the treaty and sent the text to the Parliament for a final vote scheduled for Thursday, July 14.
PMOI/MEK supporters responded by launching rallies outside Belgian diplomatic missions across the globe and conveying their protests through letters, documents, and other evidence to Belgian embassies and consulates. In parallel to their demonstrations in Brussels, freedom-loving Iranians launched similar gatherings in five other capitals, including Stockholm, Berlin, Vienna, Washington, and London outside Belgian embassies. Protest rallies are also reported in other countries including France, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Luxembourg.
Iranians have also been encouraging various Members of Parliaments, political dignitaries, Nobel Laureates and scientists to also write letters and voice their protests to this deal to Belgian government officials and speaker of the Belgian Parliament, and demand this treaty be voted down. According to European and international media reports these letters and messages have been placing enormous pressure on the Belgian government.
The Iranian regime and the pro-appeasement circles in the West had gone to great lengths to keep a lid on this treaty and wrap up the entire approval process in the Belgian Parliament Foreign Relations Committee and the Belgian Parliament floor in two days. However, the Iranian Resistance with its vast network of supporters throughout the globe went full force into preventing this shameful deal from going through.
The impact has been significant, to say the least. While the Belgian government’s treaty gained a vote of approval in the Belgian Parliament Foreign Relations Committee, those opposing this bill voiced harsh criticism targeting the Belgian Justice Minister who was representing the government in the session.
A Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant, referred to these remarks in sarcasm: “The Justice Minister wanted to say there are times when you need to dirty your hands by reaching a deal with the Iranian regime!”
Belgian MPs pressured their Justice Minister to place at their disposal all the protest letters and messages from members of the U.S. Congress to other MPs from across the globe sent to the Belgian government. The Minister acknowledged that there had been 300 emails received to that day and pledged to as the MPs demanded. However, the Belgian MPs emphasized that they want the texts within 30 minutes. Finally, the government provided a commitment to publish all documents related to the deal with Tehran.
The Iranian Resistance campaign has already obtained a major victory up to this point by attracting global attention to a deal that was aimed to remain secret between Brussels and Tehran. As a result, if the two governments remain hellbent on seeing this agreement through, it will come at a heavy price for the reputation of the Belgian government and Parliament.
The Iranian Resistance and their supporters across the globe will continue their campaign in the broader spectrum to bring an end to the West’s policy of appeasement that has encouraged the mullahs’ regime to expand its support for global terrorism and use dual nationals as hostages for four decades.