Iran threatens to retaliate after Dutch expel two diplomats

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY - AFP
TEHRAN
Published

Iran protested yesterday against the Netherlands' expulsion of two of its diplomats and threatened to retaliate for the "unfriendly and destructive move." A spokesman for the Dutch intelligence service AIVD told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Friday that two employees of Iran's Embassy had been expelled on June 7, without providing further details.

The Dutch ambassador to Tehran was subsequently summoned to express Tehran's "severe protest" at the move, Iran's Foreign Ministry said in an online statement.

"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.

The expulsion was "illogical and illegitimate" Qassemi added, while calling on "Dutch officials to refrain from leveling baseless and absurd ac

cusations."

Qassemi also urged the Dutch government to explain "its move to shelter the criminal and terrorist members" of Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen.

Tehran banned the People's Mujahedeen in 1981 and the European Union put the group on a terror blacklist from 2002 to 2009. The two Iranian diplomats were expelled long before arrests announced on Monday by French, Belgian and German authorities of six people, including an Iranian diplomat based in Vienna, on suspicion of involvement in an alleged plot to attack a Mujahedeen rally in a Paris suburb on June 30. Tehran has said the alleged plot was a "false flag ploy" to harm Iran and that two people arrested in Belgium were members of the Mujahedeen.

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