A scandal is growing in Belgium over the invitation of representatives of Iran and Russia to the country, as it has become known that the Iranian delegation used the trip to intimidate opposition activists.
The Brussels Times writes about this, citing other Belgian media and materials in the Iranian information space.
It refers to the trip of delegations from the Tehran City Hall to an urban forum organized by the authorities of the Brussels-Capital region at the invitation of the Belgian side and at the expense of taxpayers.
The Brussels Times translated fragments of the Tehran mayor's spokesman's comments about the trip, which gives reason to fear that the 14 members of the delegation used this opportunity to gather information and intimidate the government's opponents in Belgium.
In particular, it became known that they videotaped the faces of activists protesting against the presence of the mayor of Tehran in Brussels.
The Belgian broadcaster RTBF published evidence that such filming was indeed conducted by two people standing at a distance from the action. The person next to the cameraman is the spokesman for the mayor of Tehran. After returning to Iran, he himself spoke directly about this episode and that the filming was done allegedly to show how small the demonstration was.
The media also pointed out that the Iranian delegation is presenting the very fact of the invitation and the "warm welcome" in Brussels as their victory.
Activists fear that now the Iranian authorities may identify them and threaten their relatives who still live in Iran. Daria Safai, a Belgian deputy of Iranian origin, filed a complaint with the police because of this.
"He (the mayor's spokesperson) called us an 'anti-revolutionary group' several times and called me in particular. This term has certain legal connotations - it was used after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to describe opponents of the regime who wanted to overthrow it. This is a verdict that no one wants to hear from a Shariah 'court' because it usually means the death penalty," commented Safai.
Author - Olena Madiak, 22/06/2023