"We felt pressurised by Iran"

The Iranian Belgian couple held at the weekend and suspected of being about to execute a terrorist outrage in France has said that they felt pressurised into committing the atrocity.

The Belgians from the Antwerp area were stopped in Brussels on Saturday with explosives and a detonator being found in their Mercedes.  They were bound for Paris.  The couple ended up in a traffic jam outside Brussels and then decided to leave the motorway.  It was then that a Belgian special police unit intervened.  The army bomb disposal unit carried out a controlled explosion.  Computers, cash and cars were seized during raids across Belgium.

A Belgian secret service investigation is now trying to establish whether the Iranian regime was behind the operation.  The couple said they felt pressurised by the Iranian authorities and feared repercussions for their family in Iran.  Belgian judicial services are examining their claims.