Iran summons 3 European envoys over its detained diplomat
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state TV reported Thursday the country’s Foreign Ministry has summoned envoys from France, Germany and Belgium over the case of an Iranian diplomat detained in Germany.
The report says Deputy Foreign Minister Abbass Araghchi held separate meetings with the three diplomats in Tehran to express Iran’s “strong protest” over the detention of Tehran’s Vienna-based envoy, Assadollah Assadi.
Assadi was detained Sunday near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European arrest warrant for suspected involvement in a plot to bomb a large Iranian opposition rally north of Paris on June 30.
His arrest came after a couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.
Following the arrest of the Iranian diplomat, Iran’s ambassador was summoned to the Austrian Foreign Ministry on Monday.
Araghchi called allegations against Assadi a “plot aimed at damaging EU-Iran relations” ahead of a nuclear meeting on Friday.
Carsten Sellnow, spokesman for the regional court in Bamberg, Germany, told AP that Assadi remains in detention awaiting possible extradition.
French officials also detained a 54-year-old Iranian who is to appear in court on July 11 as part of his extradition process to Belgium, which had issued a European arrest warrant. The man identified as Mehrdad A. normally resides in Belgium.
A French diplomatic official said France does not support the ideology or activities of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, the exile group that staged the rally. However, he said it is no longer on a European list of terrorist organizations and can conduct activities as long as they public order isn’t disrupted. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
Associated Press writers Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.