Netherlands recalls ambassador to Iran after diplomats expelled

Netherlands recalls ambassador to Iran after diplomats expelled

AMSTERDAM- Reuters
Netherlands recalls ambassador to Iran after diplomats expelled

The Netherlands on March 4 recalled its ambassador to Iran after staff members at its embassy in Tehran were expelled, Foreign Minister Stef Blok said.

"Have decided to recall the ambassador in Tehran for consultations," Blok said in a tweet. "The decision follows the expulsion of two Dutch embassy staff. That is unacceptable."

The move comes just two months after the Netherlands accused Iran of being behind political killings in the Netherlands that triggered new European Union sanctions against Tehran.

The diplomats have already returned to the Netherlands, Blok said.

The Iranian ambassador to the Netherlands was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in The Hague to explain the expulsions, which Blok said in a letter to parliament "is not acceptable and is negative for the development of bilateral relations."

In a letter to parliament, Blok said the expulsion of Dutch staff from Tehran was in response to the earlier expulsion of two Iranian diplomats from the Netherlands in June 2018, due to strong indications from the AIVD (intelligence agency) that Iran has been involved in the liquidations on Dutch territory of two Dutch people of Iranian origin.

Iran has denied any involvement in alleged plots in Europe.

Iran, Netherlands, diplomat