Dutch-Iranian relations at new low

Diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Iran have sunk to a new low with the Iranian ambassador twice failing to turn up to meetings at the foreign office in The Hague, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Foreign affairs minister Uri Rosenthal, who is on a visit to the Middle East, told the paper the ambassador had been invited twice to explain the execution and secret burial of Dutch-Iranian woman Zahra Bahrami but failed to arrive.
In addition, the paper says, the Dutch ambassador in Teheran ‘found a closed door’ when he went to attend a meeting at the Iranian foreign ministry.
The Netherlands has since recalled its ambassador. Bahrami was executed last week and buried on Sunday, before her family were able to get to the funeral.
‘This shows the character of the Iranian regime,’ Rosenthal is quoted as saying. ‘This is not normal in diplomacy’.
No strategy
In parliament, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold accused the minister of not being prudent in his decision-making.
‘First he calls the Iranian regime barbaric and then he recalls the ambassador on dubious grounds – because the Iranian authorities never release a body after an execution,’ Pechtold said. ‘I get the impression he is doing this to keep parliament happy rather than because he has a strategy.’

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