The Islamic Republic continues to behave as if it were already at war with the West. Also, it may use sentences of this kind to try to give the Iranian people the impression that the country is beset by spies and saboteurs from the Infidel West, and hence the protests are just playing into the hands of the enemies not just of the regime, but of the nation in general.
“Iran Sentences Belgian Aid Worker to 28 Years in Prison,” by Bart H. Meijer, Reuters, December 14, 2022:
AMSTERDAM (Reuters)—Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele has been sentenced to 28 years in prison in Iran for a “fabricated series of crimes”, Belgium’s Justice Minister said on Wednesday, adding the government was doing everything possible to secure his release.
Vandencasteele had been sentenced as retribution for a jail sentence Belgium imposed on an Iranian diplomat last year, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said in the Belgian parliament.
“This is a compatriot who was innocently arrested in February and has been held under inhumane conditions since,” he said.
Belgium has repeatedly said there are no grounds for the detention of 41-year-old Vandencasteele.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
“It’s a disgrace and a tragedy for Olivier and his family,” family spokesman Olivier Van Steirtegem told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. “He is innocent and the victim of a larger, shady international game.”…