During the third session of the trial, the prosecutor’s representative presented evidence showing the Saudi and Israeli sponsorship for the separatist outfit.
Habib Farajollah Chaab, also known as Habib Asyud, the ringleader of the so-called Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz terrorist group (SMLA), appeared in court on Wednesday.
At the hearing, Amin Vaziri, the prosecutor’s representative, said Chaab is accused of corruption on earth through forming, managing and heading the SMLA, as well as planning and carrying out terrorist operations, and destroying public property.
“Members of this terrorist group visited Saudi Arabia annually under the guise of Hajj to carry out the plans dictated by the Saudi intelligence agency. These plans included actions against innocent citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.
Vaziri also displayed the picture of a meeting between the Saudi culture minister and an SMLA member, who was arrested in the Netherlands for terrorist acts and sentenced to four years in prison. He further showed the photo of an invitation sent to the militant by the Saudi king.
Another picture showed a meeting between the SMLA spokesman and the Saudi king.
Additionally, the prosecutor’s representative pointed to the ties between the SMLA and Israel’s Mossad spy agency.
He also presented written documents that showed Chaab had dealings with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The defendant, Vaziri said, has over the past years infiltrated into non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and even charities to attract and organize SMLA members.
As the trial continued, images were displayed of intelligence and military elements of the terrorist group, who freely engage in terrorist acts against innocent Iranians in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Based on an indictment, he is charged with “leading and heading the SMLA terrorist group as well as planning and carrying out numerous bombing and terrorist operations in Khuzestan Province and destroying public property in order to counter the Islamic Republic of Iran’s establishment”.
He is also charged with bombing operations at the Housing and Urban Development Office, Planning and Budget Organization, and Department of Environment in Ahvaz.
Chaab’s other charges include bombing operations targeting the governorates of Dezful and Abadan and oil pipelines in the cities of Abadan, Ahvaz, and Mahshahr, and also planning a bombing attack against Ahvaz’s Judiciary office.
In September 2018, the SMLA claimed responsibility for an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz that killed 25 people, including members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and civilian bystanders, and injured 70 others.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the prosecutor’s representative said the SMLA’s operations are designed with the Saudi backing in Sweden and Denmark, where the group’s ringleaders are residing.
European and Arab countries have failed to extradite the terrorists to the Islamic Republic despite a red notice issued against them, he noted.
“In addition to intimidating and threatening Iranian citizens, SMLA elements call for violence in their accounts on social networks.”
Chaab was arrested in November 2020 on the back of a set of “specialized and combined measures” by Iranian intelligence forces.
The SMLA, which is directly supported by foreign intelligence agencies, has been pushing to separate Khuzestan — home to the country’s Arab population — from the rest of Iran through engaging in an armed conflict against the Iranian government.