Sunday 22 May 2022

Dutch blame Iran for two murders in NL, as EU imposes fresh sanctions

The Dutch security service AIVD has ‘strong indications’ that Iran was involved in the murder of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin, foreign minister Stef Blok told MPs on Tuesday.

The killing of two opponents of the Iranian regime, in Almere in 2015 and in The Hague in 2017, ‘flagrantly violate the sovereignty of the Netherlands and are unacceptable’ Blok said in his briefing.

The AIVD’s findings, which have been confidential until now, led the Netherlands to expel two members of the Iranian embassy staff last year.

They were chosen not because of any confirmed involvement in committing or directing the assassinations, but as a ‘clear signal that the Netherlands regards Iran’s probable involvement in these serious cases as unacceptable’ Blok said.

Blok’s statement coincides with a decision by the EU to bring in new, targeted sanctions against Iran in response to ‘thwarted assassinations’ in Paris and Denmark as well as the Dutch murders.

The sanctions include placing two Iranian individuals and on the Iranian ministry of intelligence and security. ‘This means that funds and other financial assets of the Ministry and both individuals have been frozen,’ Blok said.

Electrician

Mohammad Samadi, who worked as an electrician under an assumed name in Almere, is said to have been responsible for a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party in Teheran in 1981 in which 73 people died. He was murdered in 2015 but the link between his name in the Netherlands – Ali Motamed – and Samadi was only made last year.

Iranian opposition leader Ahmad Nissi was shot dead in The Hague in 2017. His group ASMLA is campaigning for the independence of the eastern province of Ahwaz (Khuzistan) in Iran and is classed as a terrorist organisation by Iran.

Criminal investigations are under way into both killings.

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