Monday, 15 October, 2018

Netherlands expels two Iranian embassy staff - Dutch intelligence service

GETTYPresident Hassan Rouhani warned Iran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries GETTYPresident Hassan Rouhani warned Iran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries
Steven Clarke | 09 July, 2018, 00:29

Iran's government has summoned the Dutch ambassador to protest against the deportation of two Iranian diplomats in the Netherlands, according to state-run media.

"As earlier announced to the ambassador of the Netherlands, the Islamic Republic reserves the right to retaliate", foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in the statement.

A spokesman for the Dutch intelligence service AIVD told Agence France-Presse on Friday, July 7 that two employees of Iran's embassy had been expelled on June 7, without providing further details.

"Instead of expelling Iranian diplomats, the Dutch government should explain why it has harboured members of a terrorist organisation", Qasemi said, mentioning the People's Mujahideen of Iran.

The expulsions appeared to precede recent moves by other European countries against Iranian citizens.

NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison: Trump to "encourage" Putin to change behavior
He meets the Russian leader in Helsinki as the finale of a trip with earlier stops in Belgium, England and Scotland. Last month, a G-7 meeting in Canada turned sour when Trump disparaged allies and refused to sign a joint statement.

The diplomat, 46-year-old Assadollah A, was arrested in Germany, suspected of having been in contact with the two arrested in Belgium.

"How convenient: Just as we embark on a presidential visit to Europe, an alleged Iranian operation and its "plotters" arrested", Zarif tweeted on Monday.

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani paid a visit to Switzerland and Vienna this week and held talks with senior officials of the two European countries.

That group is linked to the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, a bloc of opposition groups in exile that seeks an end to clerical rule in Iran.

Iran said it had nothing to do with the plot described by Belgian authorities, which it called a "false flag ploy", and said it was ready to work with all concerned parties to get to the bottom of it.

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