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Archive for Iran

Newsline: Iran Summons German Ambassador Over Extradition of Wanted Diplomat

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency is reporting that the country’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the German ambassador over a German court decision to hand over an Iranian diplomat wanted in Belgium. A German court on Oct. 1 approved the extradition of Vienna-based Assadollah Assadi, who is wanted in Belgium on suspicion he was part of a failed plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally near Paris on June 30. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi called the verdict a plot by parties seeking to sever Iran-Europe relations. He offered no evidence for the claim. Assadi was apprehended in July near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant alleging his involvement in the plot to bomb the rally. His arrest came after a couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.



Newsline: German Court Approves Extradition of Iranian Diplomat Over Bomb ‘Plot’

Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who is believed to be an intelligence agent, ordered a couple to attack the rally and had given them the explosives at a June meeting in Luxembourg. Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, linked to an alleged bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally, will be extradited from Germany according to the court’s ruling. “The wanted man cannot cite diplomatic immunity because he was on a several day holiday trip outside his host state Austria and not traveling between his host country and the state that dispatched him,” the superior regional court in Bamberg said in a statement. Assadi was detained in July near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant after a couple of people of Iranian origin were arrested in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car. The diplomat was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and being a foreign agent. Belgian authorities have accused Assadi of being part of an alleged plot aimed at reportedly setting off explosives at a huge annual rally of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq group, or MEK, in neighboring France. Six people linked to the case were seized legally in Belgium, France and Germany, two of whom were later released.


Newsline: Pompeo accuses Iran of firing at U.S. embassy in Iraq

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered the closure of a diplomatic mission in Iraq, following rocket launches that he blamed on Iran. “I have advised the Government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” Pompeo said Friday afternoon. That statement came on the heels of an announcement that he had ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate in Basra, a city in southern Iraq. The “temporary relocation” is taking place just weeks after after an Iranian facility in the same city was set ablaze by protesters angry about Iranian influence in the country. Iran-backed forces alleged that the U.S. had orchestrated the incident, raising concerns of an analogous assault on American diplomats.


Newsline: Greek Anarchists Target Iranian Embassy In Athens

A group of anarchists has attacked the Iranian Embassy in Athens to protest Tehran’s treatment of its Kurdish population, Greek authorities say. Police officials said that about 10 people armed with iron bars early on September 17 smashed windows in the embassy’s waiting room and threw red paint into the courtyard. Nobody was reported hurt in the attack. In a statement posted on the Internet, the anarchist Rubicon group claimed it carried out the attack in a gesture of solidarity with the “Kurds of Iran.” The group has carried out a series of similar attacks in Greece in recent years, targeting embassies, companies, and public buildings. The latest attack in Athens comes days after activists targeted the Iranian Embassy in Paris, throwing objects and smashing windows at the building.


Newsline: Iran accuses French police of slow reaction to attack on Paris embassy

Iran said on Saturday that Kurdish activists attacked its embassy in Paris and it accused French police of arriving late on the scene. Paris police confirmed officers had responded to an incident at the embassy on Friday afternoon, but declined to comment on the speed of their response. Fars news agency reported that about 15 Kurdish activists burned the Iranian flag in front of the embassy during the incident and broke some windows with stones. They also threw fire extinguishers and computers at the gate but did not manage to enter the premises, Fars said. “The French government should take all necessary measures to protect Iranian diplomatic missions in that country,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA on Saturday. “Unfortunately, the French police did not arrive as expected on the scene on time, although the assailants were members of a terrorist organization,” he said. Qasemi said some of the attackers were arrested.


Newsline: Angry Protestors Attack Iranian Embassy in Finland

Police in Helsinki, Finland, has arrested four demonstrators during a protest gathering in front of the Iranian embassy. “According to the local media and the police, the protestors snatched an Iranian flag from the embassy premises and set it on fire. They also pelted stones at police on duty at the spot and at a police helicopter that was being used to film the scene,” reported Daily Finland. The identity of the four demonstrators held by the police has not been revealed. Three of those arrested have been charged with “disturbing of the peace and flag-burning,” and the fourth with “violent behavior.” According to the police, some 150 people took part in the demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy, however, no one was injured although the demonstration turned violent.


Newsline: Iraqi protesters set fire to Iran consulate in southern city

Angry protesters stormed the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Basra, setting a fire inside as part of ongoing demonstrations that have turned deadly in the past few days, a security official and eyewitnesses said. At least 10 protesters have died in clashes with security forces since Monday, including three who were shot dead by security forces on Thursday night as protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails and set fire to a government building and offices of Shiite militias in the city. The protests in Basra and other cities, the most serious to shake Iraq’s oil-rich southern Shiite heartland in years, have since July been calling for an end to endemic corruption, soaring joblessness and poor public services. Clashes erupted earlier this week, leaving several civilians and police dead. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered an investigation into the violence which shows no sign of abating. The violence prompted the temporary head of Iraq’s parliament, the eldest lawmaker, to call an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the snowballing protests.