The Netherlands will be represented at Wednesday’s inauguration of Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad only at a ‘low diplomatic level’, according to Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen in a letter to MPs, reports the Trouw.
Instead of an ambassador, the Netherlands will send a diplomat to Wednesday’s ceremony, Verhagen said.
The presence of a higher ranking government official could be seen as Dutch approval for the situation in Iran, according to the minister.
During a parliamentary debate at the beginning of July, Verhagen had said that the Netherlands would not attend the event, says the paper.
The Dutch were not at Monday’s ceremony when Iran’s spiritual leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsed the election of Ahmadinejad.
De Christian Democrat (CDA) and Labour coalition partners are divided over the issue, according to the Trouw.
Verhagen’s own CDA party supports the solution chosen by the minister, which is in line with the European Union stance, saying that the fact that the Netherlands is only represented by a low level representative sends a signal to Iran.
But Labour says a better signal would be not to send anyone to the ceremony at all.
At least 30 people died during protests which followed the 12 June Iranian elections.
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