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EU agrees sanctions against Iranian intelligence service over ‘assassination plots’ – Danish FM

EU agrees sanctions against Iranian intelligence service over ‘assassination plots’ – Danish FM
The European Union has agreed to enact sanctions against the Iranian intelligence service over its alleged “assassination plots on European soil,” the Danish foreign minister has tweeted.

Specific details in relation to potential new European sanctions against Iran are unclear; nor is it known whether they are close to being implemented. Foreign ministers of EU member states had reportedly agreed to consider sanctions in response to the supposed Iranian plot at a meeting in mid-November.

In late October, Danish security forces said they had arrested a man who was allegedly plotting to assassinate the leader of the Danish branch of an Iranian Arab separatist movement. Tehran denied the accusations as “hostile” and said they were in line with the “enemies’ plots” to undermine Iranian-European relations.

The European Commission, while backing Denmark’s accusation and condemning Tehran, has urged member states to not let it impact the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal of 2015. The US, which unilaterally pulled out of the agreement in May 2018, simply praised Denmark for arresting an “Iranian regime assassin.”

US President Donald Trump’s administration has been cracking down on Iran, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and violating international obligations. It has repeatedly warned the EU against maintaining trade with Tehran, but Europe has so far been determined to keep JCPOA alive, and is working on a mechanism to bypass American sanctions.

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The target of the alleged plot was a local leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), the Danish Foreign Ministry said at the time. ASMLA, pushing for a separate Arab state within Iran, is classified as a terrorist organization by Tehran.

Tehran has blamed ASMLA for the September 28, 2018 attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, which left 30 people dead and 70 injured. ASMLA denied responsibility, blaming the attack instead on a splinter group within the movement.

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