Iranian diplomat charged over Paris bomb plot


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An alleged Iranian spy accused of plotting to bomb a rally has been charged over foreign intelligence activities and conspiracy to murder by German prosecutors.

The suspect was one of several people detained in Germany, Belgium and France who had allegedly planned to bomb a rally held by a controversial exiled Iranian group near Paris on 30 June.

Several British MPs and senior US politicians were present at the event.

German prosecutors said on Wednesday that a court had two days earlier remanded Assadollah Assadi, 46, a Vienna-based diplomat, in custody over charges in connection with the alleged plot.

The suspect is believed to be a member of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, which is tasked with the “observation and fight against opposition groups inside and outside Iran”, the prosecutors’ statement said.

Belgian authorities are also seeking Assadi’s extradition over the alleged plot.

German prosecutors said their investigation would not hinder Belgium’s extradition request for the suspect.

Tehran has dismissed allegations of the bomb plot as a “sinister false flag ploy” designed to discredit Iran at a time when it faces major diplomatic tensions with the United States.

Prosecutors have said that, in March, Assadi ordered a married couple living in Antwerp “to carry out an explosives attack” on the rally and had handed them the explosives in a June meeting in Luxembourg.

The couple were arrested in Brussels on the day of the rally by Belgian security services who said they found them in possession of 500 grams of the volatile explosive TATP and a detonator.

They were identified only as Amir S, 38, and Nasimeh N, 33, and as being Belgian nationals of Iranian origin.

French police arrested another three people but later released two of them, French legal sources said.

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