Denmark weighs Iran sanctions after foiled assassination plot

by WorldTribune Staff, November 1, 2018

In the wake of a plot by an Iranian assassin to kill three Iranian dissidents living in Denmark, the Danish government said it is consulting with its allies about possible sanctions against Iran.

“We are going to reach out to our European allies in the coming days to try to find a united response,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told reporters during a meeting of Northern European leaders in Oslo on Oct. 31.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. / Reuters

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said he began contacting his European counterparts to discuss possible sanctions, most likely economic, against Iran, a diplomatic source told AFP.

Samuelsen tweeted: “Iran’s plotting to assassinate on Danish soil is totally unacceptable. Danish ambassador to Teheran has been recalled for consultations. Denmark will discuss further actions with European partners in the coming days.”

The Danish intelligence service PET accused the Iranian intelligence service of “planning an attack in Denmark” against three Iranians suspected of belonging to the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA).

A Norwegian of Iranian origin was arrested on Oct. 21 for allegedly planning the attack and spying for Iran.

ASMLA is a separatist group that advocates an Arab state in the southwestern Khuzestan Province. Iran regards ASMLA as a terrorist organization.

Ahvaz was the site of an attack on an Iranian military parade in September which killed 25 people.

Iran has denied Denmark’s allegations, saying they were part of a European conspiracy against the Islamic Republic.

The United States and Great Britain have expressed support for Denmark, while there was a measured response from the European Union in Brussels, where officials are trying to save the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement after Washington withdrew.

“We deplore any threat to EU security and take every incident extremely seriously, and therefore we stand in solidarity with the member state concerned, in this case Denmark,” Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington stood behind Denmark, a NATO ally.

Pompeo tweeted: “We congratulate the government of #Denmark on its arrest of an Iranian regime assassin. For nearly 40 years, Europe has been the target of #Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks. We call on our allies and partners to confront the full range of Iran’s threats to peace and security.”

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