Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Denmark Alleges Iran Plot to Kill Activist on Danish Soil

Denmark Alleges Iran Plot to Kill Activist on Danish Soil

The alleged plot, which Denmark's foreign minister said he believed the Iranian government was behind, prompted the Nordic country to call for fresh European Union-wide sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The suspect has denied the charges and the Iranian government also denied any connection with the alleged plot.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bahram Ghasemi, said the allegations were a "plot" against "growing Iran-Europe relations", Iran's Mehr News quoted him as saying.

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested October 21 on suspicion of helping an unknown Iranian intelligence service "to act in Denmark" and for involvement in planning to kill an opposition member, Borch Andersen said.

A Norwegian man was arrested last month in Gothenburg, Sweden, according to the Swedish intelligence service Säpo and has maintained his innocence, but will be held in custody in isolation until November 8, authorities said.

The Iranian government summoned Denmark's ambassador after the attack and accused the Danish government of harboring members of the "terrorist group".

The Foreign Ministry says it will be discussing "the issue of an Iranian intelligence agency's illegal activities in Europe" with worldwide allies.

Iran has previously objected to Denmark for the presence of members of ASMLA, which is seeking a separate state for ethnic Arabs in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan.

"We congratulate the government of Denmark on its arrest of an Iranian regime assassin".

Last week, diplomatic and security sources said France had expelled an Iranian diplomat over a failed plot to carry out a bomb attack on a rally in the Paris area by an exiled Iranian opposition group.

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Andersen revealed on Tuesday that a massive police operation that cut off Copenhagen from the rest of Denmark for several hours last month was triggered when police noticed a stolen, Swedish-registered vehicle near the home of an Iranian opposition activist.

Meanwhile, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen called the suspected planned attacks in Denmark "perfectly unacceptable".

The alleged Iranian intelligence plot in Denmark threatens to add to tensions between Iran and Europe at a time the two sides are seeking to save the Iran nuclear deal following the United States exit from the pact earlier this year.

French intelligence concluded that Iran's deputy minister and director general of intelligence, Saeid Hashemi Moghadam had ordered the attack.

Andersen said the individual has been under police protection since the spring after PET became aware of concrete threats against the person's safety.

In May, the USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed that Iran's Revolutionary Guard was carrying out "assassination operations in the heart of Europe", an allegation that at the time bewildered security experts, given that there had been no recent killings in Europe officially attributed to the Iranian state.

The Norwegian suspect had been observed photographing the residence of the ASMLA leader, Danish security services said in a statement.

In 2017, ASMLA leader Ahmad Mola Nissi was gunned down in the Netherlands by an unidentified assailant in what was widely viewed as a political murder. All three members of the group live in the Danish city of Ringsted.

Another Arab opposition group, the Ahwaz National Resistance, and the Islamic State militant group both claimed responsibility for the parade attack, though neither has provided conclusive evidence to back up its claim.

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