EU sanctions Iran over assassination plots on European soil – Tehran vows to retaliate
Iran said on Wednesday that it would reciprocate after the European Union added two Iranian terrorists and an Iranian intelligence unit to the bloc’s terrorist list.
EU ministers agreed on Tuesday to add the names to the list and freeze their assets, effective from Wednesday, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil and joined France and Denmark in alleging Tehran plotted other attacks in Europe.
The EU on Tuesday approved sanctions against an Iranian ministry and two Iranian nationals for their involvement in thwarted assassination attempts in France and Denmark.
For months now, EU countries have been pressuring Brussels to enact disciplinary measures against Tehran for the hostile actions committed by a state.
On Wednesday, the EU confirmed that the two individuals targeted by the sanctions were Assadollah Asadi and Saeid Hashemi Moghadam. The former is a diplomat accredited to the Iranian embassy in Vienna who was arrested last year and extradited to Belgium, and the latter is a deputy chief in Iran’s Ministry for Intelligence and Security.
“Very encouraging that the EU has just agreed on new targeted sanctions against Iran in response to hostile activities and plots being planned and perpetrated in Europe, including Denmark,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said.
The “EU stands united — such actions are unacceptable and must have consequences,” he tweeted.
Iran said on Wednesday that it would reciprocate after the European Union added two Iranian individuals and an Iranian intelligence unit to the bloc’s terrorist list.
The Mossad, Israel’s National Intelligence Agency, helped Denmark foil an Iranian plot to assassinate an opposition leader, Israeli media reported in October.
Denmark said that an Iranian intelligence service had tried to carry out a plot to assassinate an Iranian Arab opposition figure on its soil. The attack was meant to target the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA).
A Norwegian citizen of Iranian background was arrested in Sweden on October 21 in connection with the plot and extradited to Denmark.
Earlier in September, French intelligence concluded, without any doubt, that Iran’s intelligence ministry, which is controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered a foiled terror attack on an exiled Iranian opposition group’s rally near Paris in June.