Norway Summons Iranian Ambassador Over Alleged Assassination Plot In Denmark

Clay Curtis
November 4, 2018

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested October 21 on suspicion of helping an unspecified Iranian intelligence service "to act in Denmark" based on his alleged involvement in the assassination plot, Danish security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said.

In a tweet Tuesday, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said that it was "totally unacceptable that Iran or any other foreign state plans assassinations on Danish soil".

During a televised press conference, Borch Andersen noted that Iran already was suspected of targeting opposition groups overseas.

Iran on Wednesday summoned the Danish ambassador to Tehran over Copenhagen's allegations about an Iranian plot to kill an opposition activist in Denmark, the official IRNA news agency reported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington stood behind Denmark, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

The EU on Wednesday condemned a foiled "attack" in Denmark blamed on Tehran but insisted the incident should not undermine Europe's support for the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal.

"We want to preserve the nuclear agreement", Lokke Rasmussen said, referring to how possible sanctions would approach the 2015 worldwide accord on Iran's nuclear programme.

The person had, among others, been seen taking photos of the residences of members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA) in Ringsted, almost 60 kilometers (37 miles) southwest of Copenhagen.

Khashoggi's body was 'dissolved' after murder
A vehicle with a diplomatic registration plate leaves the site of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul , Turkey, Oct. 31, 2018. Khashoggi was a former insider in Saudi royal circles who went into self-imposed exile in the United States past year .

ASMLA is a separatist group that advocates an Arab state in a southwestern Iranian province.

The official also warned against "hasty and controversial actions".

"An Iranian intelligence agency has planned an assassination on Danish soil".

It is now calling for fresh European Union-wide sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The ministry's spokesman Bahram Qassemi vehemently denied the Danish allegations as "in line with conspiracies by the known enemies of the good and expanding ties between Iran and Europe" at a juncture he described as "special and critical". The group is branded a terrorist organization by the Iranian government. Given growing Iran-EU engagement, our European partners should be vigilant.

Tehran has blamed the group for a terror attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22 that left at least 25 people dead. Kayhan was referencing recent accusations by those two states that implicated Iranian diplomats in a perceived terror plot in Paris.

The UK and the USA have expressed support for Denmark, while there was a measured response in Brussels, where officials are desperately trying to save the 2015 agreement to curb Iran's nuclear programme after Washington abruptly pulled out.

Iran has since carried out several operations in Iraq and Syria in retaliation.

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