E.U. Imposes Sanctions on Iran Over Assassination Plots
In a letter outlining its justification for sanctions, the Dutch Foreign Ministry cited “strong indications that Iran was involved in the assassinations of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin,” one in 2015 in the city of Almere and another in 2017 in The Hague.
European intelligence officials have also linked the Iranian government to unsuccessful plots in Denmark and France.
“In the Dutch government’s opinion, hostile acts of this kind flagrantly violate the sovereignty of the Netherlands and are unacceptable,” the letter said.
The sanctions were imposed under steps devised by the European Union to combat terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. They involve freezing assets connected to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and two Iranian officials: Saeid Hashemi Moghadam, a senior Iranian intelligence official, and Assadollah Asadi, an Iranian diplomat arrested in connection with a plot to bomb a rally of an Iranian opposition group in Paris last year, according to officials familiar with the sanctions.
Iran has long been suspected of covertly carrying out violence against opponents living outside its borders. In remarks delivered shortly after becoming secretary of state last year, Mike Pompeo accused Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards force of conducting “covert assassination operations in the heart of Europe.”
But it is unusual for the 28-member European Union to confront such an issue so directly.
On Tuesday, ambassadors from Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands visited the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran “to convey their serious concerns” about Iran’s behavior, according to the Dutch letter.
Read More: New York Times
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