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Archive for Iran

Newsline: Pakistan Complains To Iranian Ambassador About Militants’ Border Attack

Islamabad has lodged a formal protest with Tehran about an attack by militants who killed six Pakistani paramilitary troops as they were patrolling a mountainous area near the Iranian border. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says it summoned Iran’s ambassador to demand that Tehran take action against the armed group responsible for the attack in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan. Pakistani authorities say about 30 militants attacked a convoy of forces from Pakistan’s Frontier Corps on December 14, killing six soldiers and wounding 14. Islamabad says four attackers were killed in the clash. There was no immediate claim of responsible for the ambush along a mountainous stretch of road in Balochistan Province’s Kech district. Neither Pakistan nor Iran has identified who they believe was responsible and there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Iran on December 15 condemned the attack and vowed to cooperate with Islamabad.



Newsline: Britain’s top diplomat in Iran as US oil sanctions back on

Iranian state media say the country’s foreign minister discussed ways of easing international financial transactions during a meeting with British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt in Tehran. Britain’s top diplomat arrived in Iran on Monday, less than two weeks after the United States re-imposed sanctions on the country’s oil and banking sectors. The official IRNA news agency said Hunt and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also discussed ways of ending the war in Yemen, where Iran supports the Houthi rebels against a Saudi-led coalition. There was no immediate comment from the Britain Foreign Ministry on the talks. President Donald Trump has restored punishing sanctions on Iran since withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord earlier this year. Iran continues to abide by the agreement, and Britain and other European nations have been trying to salvage the deal.


Newsline: Norway summons Iranian ambassador over alleged assassination plot in Denmark

Norway summoned the Iranian ambassador on Thursday over a suspected assassination plot against an Iranian Arab opposition figure in Denmark involving a Norwegian citizen of Iranian background. Denmark said on Tuesday it suspected the Iranian government intelligence service had tried to carry out an assassination on its soil. It is now calling for fresh European Union-wide sanctions against the Islamic Republic. A Norwegian citizen of Iranian background was arrested in Sweden on Oct. 21 in connection with the plot and extradited to Denmark, Swedish security police have said. “During the meeting we underlined that the activity, that has come to light through the investigation in Denmark, is unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.


Newsline: France Expels Iranian Diplomat Over Failed Bomb Plot

France has expelled an Iranian diplomat in response to a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack at a rally near Paris organized by an exiled Iranian opposition group, diplomatic and security sources say. France’s foreign ministry said there was no doubt the Iranian intelligence ministry had been behind the plot against the June 30 rally. It subsequently froze assets belonging to Tehran’s intelligence services and two Iranian nationals. About a month ago it went a step further, expelling an Iranian diplomat based in Paris, five sources said. Two of the sources said the diplomat was an Iranian intelligence operative under diplomatic cover. A spokesman at the Iranian embassy in Paris did not respond when asked about the diplomat’s expulsion. Iran has previously said it had nothing to do with the attempt to carry out a bomb attack at the rally. One Iranian official, who declined to be identified, denied there had been any expulsion. French President Emmanuel Macron’s office referred all inquiries to the foreign ministry, which said it would not comment.


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.