TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran protested Sunday against the Netherlands’ expulsion of two of its diplomats and threatened to retaliate for the "unfriendly and destructive move.”
A spokesman for the Dutch intelligence service AIVD told AFP Friday that two employees of Iran’s embassy had been expelled on June 7, without providing further details.
The Dutch ambassador to Tehran was subsequently summoned to express Tehran’s "severe protest” at the move, Iran’s foreign ministry said in an online statement.
"As earlier announced to the ambassador of the Netherlands, the Islamic Republic reserves the right to retaliate,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said in the statement. The expulsion was "illogical and illegitimate” and Qasemi called on "Dutch officials to refrain from leveling baseless and absurd accusations.”
Qasemi also called on the Dutch government to explain "its move to shelter the criminal and terrorist members” of the anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO).
Tehran banned the MKO in 1981 and the European Union put the group on a terror blacklist between 2002 and 2009.
The two Iranian diplomats were expelled long before arrests announced Monday by French, Belgian and German authorities of six people on suspicion of involvement in an alleged plot to attack an MKO rally in a Paris suburb on June 30. Tehran has said the alleged plot was a "false flag ploy” to harm Iran and that two people arrested in Belgium were members of the MKO.