28 May 2023 :
(May 26, 2023) - IRNA: 'Assadi's release, a personal victory for Raisi's diplomatic initiatives'
Two telephone calls between Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi and Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, on March 1 and April 20, played a major role in the release of Assadollah Assadi, a former Iranian diplomat imprisoned in Belgium, and showed how the Iranian president's diplomacy drive can lead to major success in critical times, according to an analysis.
The analysis by IRNA's political desk published on Saturday said three days after the first phone call, the Constitutional Court of Belgium approved a prisoner swap treaty between Tehran and Brussels, and 35 days after the second phone call, Assadi was released from prison and returned to Iran on May 26.
It said that President Raisi had warned that it would be harmful for Belgium if its chooses to act on wrong and misleading information provided by terrorist and mercenary groups about Assadi's legal case.
The plane carrying Assadi landed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport on Friday evening.
Belgian police arrested Assadi in June 2018, accusing him of plotting an attack against the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq (MKO) terrorist organization, a claim that has been strongly rejected by the former diplomat and Iranian authorities.
A Belgian court then sentenced Assadi, who had served as the third counselor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna, to 20 years in prison.
Iran had repeatedly condemned the violation of Assadi's diplomatic immunity and made every effort to secure his release in negotiations with Belgian authorities.