Iran Confronts 3 European Envoys over Its Detained Diplomat

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari arrives before a ministerial meeting of EU/E3 with Iran at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 15, 2018. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran’s foreign ministry has summoned diplomatic representatives from France, Germany and Belgium over the case of an Iranian diplomat detained in Germany.

AP reports Deputy Foreign Minister Abbass Araghchi held separate meetings with the three envoys in Tehran to express Iran’s “strong protest” over the detention of Tehran’s Vienna-based envoy, Assadollah Assadi.

Assadi is an Austria-based Iranian diplomat now being held in Germany, one of four people arrested on suspicion of planning to attack a weekend meeting of the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

He was detained on Sunday near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European arrest warrant.

Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot, which it called a “false flag” operation staged by figures within the NCRI based in France.

Assadi’s arrest came after a couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.

Araghchi called allegations against Assadi a “plot aimed at damaging EU-Iran relations” ahead of a nuclear meeting on Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the fact the alleged plot was being hatched while President Hassan Rouhani was in Europe seeking to protect the economic benefits from the nuclear deal that the United States has abandoned was “an example of Iran’s boundless hypocrisy and brazen gall.”

“And I tell you that this attempt will fail—even as Iran planned a terrorist attack on French soil in Europe. It was no coincidence that this attack was thwarted,” he added.

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