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Exclusive – Iranian Embassy in Norway Involved in Assassination Plot Foiled by Denmark

Exclusive – Iranian Embassy in Norway Involved in Assassination Plot Foiled by Denmark

Saturday, 3 November, 2018 - 08:30
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the annual military parade marking in Tehran, Iran September 22, 2018. Tasnim News Agency/via REUTERS
London - Adil Al-Salmi
The Iranian Embassy in Norway is directly involved in the assassination plot of Ahvaz politicians foiled by Denmark and Sweden about 10 days ago, well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

In a related matter, Amnesty International said that the Iranian authorities have launched a campaign of mass repression against hundreds of Ahwazis in recent weeks.

Denmark has called for imposing European sanctions against Tehran after revealing the details of the plot to assassinate opponents to the regime. Scandinavian countries, Britain and France announced their solidarity with Denmark.

“The steps made by the Scandinavian countries, the summoning of Iran’s ambassadors and the unprecedented warning” were due to the direct link between the suspect and the Iranian embassy in Norway,” sources familiar with the investigations said.

The sources noted that investigations with the suspect, who was arrested on October 21, indicated that he was recruited in Iran before traveling to Norway 10 years ago.

According to sources, “the suspect works at the Iranian embassy… under the cover of cultural and religious centers sponsored by the embassy to spy on Arab and Kurds opposed to the Iranian regime.”

The Scandinavian countries issued a statement on Friday, vowing to confront the Iranian threats, two days after Denmark’s official announcement of thwarting an Iranian plot to assassinate three officials of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz or ASMLA.

The detained Norwegian citizen was a computer engineer and was working in a cell belonging to the Iranian intelligence services, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat revealed the European intelligence services have foiled ten attempts to assassinate political figures opposed to Iran in European countries.

On a different note, Amnesty International said in a statement that it has so far received, from Ahwazi Arab activists outside Iran, the names of 178 people who have been arrested. The real number may be far higher, with some activists outside the country reporting that up to 600 have been detained. There are also reports that the arrests are continuing on an almost daily basis.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in this regard: “Iran’s appalling track record of persecuting and discriminating against members of the Ahwazi Arab community raises suspicions that these arrests are being carried out arbitrarily and are politically motivated.”

“Amnesty International calls on the Iranian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally anyone being held solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association or peaceful assembly or solely on account of their ethnic identity,” he added.

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