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Three more Europeans exchanged for Iran Assadi in prisoner swap

June 2, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Iranian soldiers take part in an annual military drill in the coast of the Gulf of Oman on December 30, 2022 [Iranian Army/Anadolu Agency]

Three more Europeans are being released by Iran, in return for Iranian diplomat, Asadollah Assadi, as part of a prisoner swap in which Iran released Belgian aid worker, Oliver Vandecasteele, last week, a spokesperson for the Belgian government said, Reuters reports.

A Danish national and two people with dual Austrian-Iranian nationality are involved, the spokesperson said.

Assadi was convicted in Belgium in 2021 in connection to a foiled bomb plot in France and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In a statement, the Belgian government said that the Danish person was arrested in Iran in November 2022 in connection with women’s rights demonstrations.

The two dual nationals were “wrongfully arrested in … January 2016 and January 2019”, the government said.

Belgian’s Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, thanked Oman for mediating the swap.

After a stop in Oman and medical tests, the three will be flown to Belgium’s military airport in Melsbroek.

READ: Belgium: Iran diplomat receives 20-year prison term for terrorism