Iran expressed its displeasure with the Netherlands for expelling two of Iran’s diplomats on Sunday, stating that they would retaliate against the “unfriendly and destructive move.” A Dutch Intelligence Service spokesperson informed local media that the two Iranian diplomats had been expelled on June 7; no details were given beyond that. Shortly after that, Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded the Dutch ambassador to Iran pass on “severe protest” over the situation.
Bahram Qassemi, the spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated, “As earlier announced to the ambassador of the Netherlands, the Islamic Republic reserves the right to retaliate.” Qassemi claimed that the move was “illogical and illegitimate” adding that it would behoove “Dutch officials to refrain from leveling baseless and absurd accusations.” He continued to say that the Dutch government should be required to elaborate on “its move to shelter the criminal and terrorist members” of organizations in opposition of the Islamic Republic; specifically the People’s Mujahedeen. In 1981 Tehran outlawed the People Mujahedeen, following that the European Union declared the organization a terrorist group from 2002 to 2009.
Iran is currently at odds with much of Europe and the United States now that the U.S. has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal while simultaneously reimposing sanctions. Many Iranian businesses and avenues of national revenue are beginning to suffer as a result. Russia has recently vowed to step in and support the deal as best they can while blocking sanction efforts. The primary target of the United States sanctions will be national oil exportation which is the nation’s most significant source of revenue. Many advocates for the sanctions say it is time for a regime change and that Iran’s violations of human rights have gone on far too long unchecked. Earlier this year Iran was overrun with anti-regime protests at a national scale, a level of unrest by the population not seen in a long time.
Featured image: Iranian Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. | By Amin [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons