An Iranian-Swedish dissident accused by Iran of being behind a string of attacks for an Arab separatist group goes on trial on January 18, the judiciary has said.

Habib Chaab was abducted during a visit to Turkey in October 2020 and a month later appeared on Iranian state television confessing to carrying out attacks and working with the Saudi intelligence services.

In December, Turkish authorities announced the arrest of 11 people suspected of spying and involvement in the alleged kidnapping of Chaab on behalf of Iran.

Chaab, a founder and former leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), lived in Sweden for 14 years but was apparently “lured” to Turkey by Iranian intelligence agents.

Iran accuses Chaab of being the leader of ASMLA, which Tehran considers a terrorist group.

The group, which has an armed branch and seeks a separate state for ethnic Arabs in Iran’s oil-producing southwestern province of Khuzestan, has been blamed by Iran for a series attacks on government institutions, oil facilities, and other infrastructure over the years.

In the indictment, Chaab, also known as Habib Asyud, is accused of being behind a deadly 2018 terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that left at least 25 dead, including civilians, the judiciary’s Mizan Online agency said.

ASMLA is primarily based in the Netherlands and Denmark.

In April 2021, three leaders of ASMLA went on trial in Denmark on charges of financing and promoting terrorism in Iran with Saudi Arabia’s backing.

In late October 2018, the Danish intelligence service PET accused the Iranian intelligence service of plotting to assassinate at least one of the three leaders of the group’s Danish branch. Tehran denied the allegation, calling it a conspiracy aimed at damaging Iran’s relations with the European Union.

But a Danish court in 2020 sentenced a Norwegian-Iranian to seven years for his role in the plot.

In November 2017, a leader of ASMLA was shot dead in The Hague in an attack the Dutch government said was linked to Iran.

Source » rferl