Copenhagen, Oct 31: The government of Denmark has called back its ambassador to Iran and accused the West Asian nation of plotting an assassination mission on its soil. According to Danish officials, Copenhagen will look to impose more economic and diplomatic sanctions on Tehran, in coordination with the European Union, an intelNews.org report said.
The charges against Iran, which has of late faced a high level of hostility from the US over its nuclear programme, surfaced during an emergency news conference in Copenhagen on Tuesday, October 30. The conference was led by Anders Samuelsen, Denmark's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Finn Borch Andersen, director of PET, the Danish security and intelligence service.
As per the intelNews report, the duo said "an Iranian intelligence agency" had planned "an attack on Danish soil". While Samuelsen said it was "completely unacceptable", Anderson said a Norwegian national of Iranian background was arrested in Sweden on October 21 and was awaiting extradition to Denmark. The arrested man is an employee of Iranian intelligence, the PET director added. He was accused of carrying out surveillance against a member of an Iranian separatist group based in Denmark, Anderson added.
The member belongs to the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, a separatist group which campaigns for a separate land for Iran's Arab minority. The body is known to be the militant wing of Iran's separatist Arab community (constitutes two per cent of the population) and has staged terror attacks inside Iran in the past.
Iran strongly denied the Danish accusations and its foreign ministry called them "spiteful", according to the report.
Iran suspects timing of accusations
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bahram Qassemi suspected the timing of reports linking Iran to assassination operations in Europe soil and called them as "a plot by [Iran's] enemies to damage Tehran's growing relations with European countries".
Iran has focused on improving relations with the European countries after the US and Israel have strongly targeted it.
Earlier in October, France seized the financial assets of individuals who it called Iranian spies and it came in the wake of arrest of six people in France, Germany and Belgium for allegedly planning to attack the annual conference of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a militant group which Iran calls as a terror outfit, in June.