JEDDAH0 (Rahnuma) : The Netherlands recalled its ambassador from Tehran on Monday in a growing diplomatic dispute over Iranian plots to assassinate regime opponents on European soil.
The Dutch government expelled two Iranian Embassy workers in June 2018 over Tehran’s involvement in the murder of two Dutch-Iranian dissidents in the Netherlands. Ali Motamed, 56, was killed in the central city of Almere in 2015, and Ahmad Molla Nissi, 52, was murdered in The Hague in 2017.
At the time, no reason was given for those expulsions, but the Dutch government explained them in January this year amid a coordinated European response to covert Iranian activities in Europe.
The EU put the Iranian intelligence service and two senior officials on its terror list over their involvement in the Dutch assassinations and other plots to kill opposition activists in Denmark and France. In response, Iran expelled two Dutch diplomats on Feb. 20 and they were deported back to the Netherlands on Sunday
The expulsions were “not acceptable, and negative for the development of the bilateral relationship,” Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said on Monday. The Netherlands would recall its ambassador from Tehran and the Dutch had also summoned the Iranian ambassador over the issue, Blok said.
Assassinations and attack plots carried out in Europe by the Iranian regime are on the rise, the Iranian-American Harvard scholar Dr. Majid Rafizadeh told Arab News.
“The regime is feeling significant pressure domestically and globally. The more pressure the regime feels, the more hard-line policies it pursues,” he said.
“The Iranian regime will resort to any act of terrorism in order to achieve its fundamentalist, extremist and revolutionary objectives. The theocratic establishment of Iran continues to be the top state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
“Furthermore, this ought to be a warning to the EU. European governments must take a tougher stance toward Iran’s ruling clerics. Governments that appease Tehran and improve ties with it are not necessarily immune from its malign and aggressive foreign policy.”