Tehran, May 2 : Iran and Belgium have exchanged requests for a prisoner swap between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry in Tehran announced.
Iran has submitted a request for the transfer of its national Assadollah Assadi and Belgium also sent a request for the repatriation of its citizen Olivier Vandecasteele, Xinhua news agency quoted Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani as saying.
In February 2021, a Belgian court sentenced Assadi, an Iranian diplomat, to 20 years in prison after accusing him of “planning an attack” against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization, which Tehran brands as a terrorist organisation.
Condemning the ruling as completely unlawful at the time, the Foreign Ministry said it is in violation of Assadi’s diplomatic immunity.
Iranian security forces arrested Vandecasteele in February 2022, accusing him of “spying against Iran under the guise of an aid worker and smuggling”.
The Belgian citizen was sentenced to 40 years in prison.