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EU puts Iranian intelligence unit on terror list

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen announced that EU has put a unit of the Iranian Intelligence ministry on its terror list, January 8, 2019
(AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

The European Union decided to put a unit of the Iranian Intelligence ministry on its terror list for planning to assassination on European soil, the Danish Foreign Ministry and EU diplomats said on Tuesday.

“EU just agreed to enact sanctions against an Iranian Intelligence Service for its assassination plots on European soil. Strong signal from the EU that we will not accept such behavior in Europe,” Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said on Twitter.

Financial assets of the Iranian Intelligence Service and two of its staff members will now be frozen.

Denmark has accused Tehran of plotting an "attack" against three Iranians believed to be members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) who live in Denmark.

Tehran blames ASMLA, which it calls a terrorist organisation, for an attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing 24 people.

Nils Meilvang (Ritzau Scanpix/AFP)

Iran later dismissed it as "baseless allegations," while offering the Danish government to help investigate the case.

"We see in this case a clear attempt by the Zionist regime (Israel) to torpedo relations between Iran and the EU," Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told Samuelsen in a phone call in November.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later revealed that Mossad had assisted its Danish counterpart in thwarting the attack.

"We have helped uncover two terrorist attacks – one in Paris, and the other one in Copenhagen, organized by the Iranian secret service," Netanyahu admitted on November 2.

-Assassinations in the Netherlands-

The Netherlands accused Iran Tuesday of involvement in the murder of two dissidents on Dutch soil, adding that the EU was hitting Tehran with sanctions partly as a result of the killings.

The Dutch secret service "has strong indications that Iran was involved in the assassinations of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin in Almere 2015 and in The Hague in 2017," Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a letter to parliament.

"These individuals were opponents of the Iranian regime," he said in the letter, also signed by Dutch Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren.

"The Netherlands considers it probable that Iran had a hand in the preparation or commissioning of assassinations and attacks on EU territory," the ministers said.

Haim Zach/GPO

They added that the EU had on Tuesday "partly at the recommendation of the Netherlands" agreed to impose fresh sanctions on Iran.

Dutch police have previously named the two victims as Ali Motamed, 56, who was killed in the central city of Almere in 2015, and Ahmad Molla Nissi, 52, murdered in The Hague in 2017.

Last June, the Netherlands expelled two workers from the Iranian embassy in connection with the murders.

Tehran at the time protested the expulsion of the two diplomats as an "unfriendly and destructive move" and threatened to retaliate.



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