European ambassadors summoned in Tehran after Iranian diplomat accused in bomb plot

European ambassadors summoned in Tehran after Iranian diplomat accused in bomb plot
Bomb disposal experts search a car in Brussels on Saturday as part of an investigation into a plot to bomb an Iranian opposition meeting. (Reuters)
Updated 05 July 2018

European ambassadors summoned in Tehran after Iranian diplomat accused in bomb plot

European ambassadors summoned in Tehran after Iranian diplomat accused in bomb plot
  • French, Belgian and German representatives summoned in Tehran
  • Iranian diplomat to be sent to Belgium face accusations over plot to bomb opposition meeting

LONDON: Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the French and Belgian ambassadors and Germany’s chargé d’affaires on Wednesday in protest against the arrest of an Iranian diplomat linked to a bomb plot.

France and Germany said on Wednesday they would send two men, including an Iranian diplomat, to Belgium to face accusations they were involved in a plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally on the outskirts of Paris, judicial sources told Reuters.

Belgium is already investigating two Belgians of Iranian origin arrested on Saturday, the day of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) meeting. 

Five hundred grams of the homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device were found in their car.

The Austrian foreign ministry said on Tuesday it was stripping the diplomatic status of the diplomat arrested in Germany.

Iran's foreign ministry responded on Wednesday by summoning the three European representatives, Fars news agency reported.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister expressed his country’s “strong protest over the arrest of an Iranian diplomat” and that he should be released “without any delay and with no condition,” ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.

He said the arrest was a plot to damage Iran-European ties, as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in Europe to save the international nuclear deal following Washington's withdrawal. 

The exiled Iranian opposition group’s meeting was attended by Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who gave a speech calling for the removal of Iran’s rulers.

Earlier, reports said Iran had summoned France’s ambassador to protest against the staging of the meeting.