Belgium frees three Europeans held in Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran on Friday June 2 released three new foreign or binational prisoners, two Iranian-Austrians and a Dane, held in its jails. A Belgian defense medical plane from Oman arrived in Brussels overnight with three prisoners. Belgian authorities say they obtained the publications as part of negotiations aimed at obtaining Olivier Vandecasteele.

He was released on May 26 after fifteen months in prison. He was accused of “espionage” by the Tehran regime, which earned him a 40-year prison sentence. The humanitarian worker was exchanged in the capital of the United Arab Emirates with “diplomat” Asadolah Azadi, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence in Belgium, for organizing a plan to attack an Iranian opposition meeting in Villepinte, France (Seine-Saint-Denis), in 2018.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croux attended a meeting of the European political community with his counterparts in Chisinau and informed them of the success of the talks with Tehran on Thursday evening. A long and complicated debate, underlining his entourage, was always in favor of a European approach to receiving other publications.

“A Diplomatic Marathon”

Two Austrians, 76-year-old Masoud Mozaheb, an engineer and general secretary of the Austria-Iran Association, and Kamran Khaderi, an Iranian-Austrian businessman, were arrested upon their arrival in the country in 2016. Both were sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage. Masoud Mozaheb benefited from a temporary release from prison due to his poor health earlier this year.

Denmark has yet to communicate overnight the identity of its nationals from Friday to Saturday. We only know that he was arrested in November 2022, during the demonstrations that followed Mahza Amini’s death in September 2022. The head of Danish diplomacy, Lars L√łkke Rasmussen, welcomed the publication and praised it in particular. “Great Effort” From Belgium. “It was a diplomatic marathon that finally paid off.”Underlined, for its part, by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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“As far as we know, this is the first time that one EU state has freed citizens of another state.”Belgian government sources said on Friday. They would have stopped the two-part deal on May 18 without saying they would finally secure the release of Mr. Vandecastel and then the release of the other three Europeans.

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