European Union condemns Denmark attack plot, urges support for Iran deal

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen gives a press conference in Copenhagen

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen gives a press conference in Copenhagen

In a tit-for-tat move, Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the Danish ambassador to convey Tehran's "strongest protest against hasty reactions by some Danish officials".

A probe by the Danish security service, known by its acronym PET, produced other evidence of illegal activity taking place in Denmark involving Iran and the opposition, he said.

The Iranian government summoned Denmark's ambassador after the attack and accused the Danish government of harboring members of the "terrorist group".

Israeli officials said Wednesday the Mossad intelligence service provided its Danish counterpart with information concerning the alleged plot.

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On Twitter Tuesday, Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen called it "totally unacceptable" that Iran was planning an attack in Denmark. Vaezi underlined the timing of the claims that came "on the eve of new USA sanctions against Iran".

After President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, the European Union continued to honor it. Denmark was key in encouraging other EU members to remain in the deal. Just previous year, the Danish Export Credit Agency made a deal with eight Iranian banks, giving them lines of credit or guarantees.

The attack was meant to target the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), Danish intelligence chief Finn Borch Andersen said.

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested October 21 on suspicion of helping an unknown Iranian intelligence service "to act in Denmark" and for involvement in planning to kill an opposition member, Borch Andersen said.

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ASMLA is a separatist group that advocates an Arab state in a southwestern Iranian province.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi dismissed the claim and said it was in line "with the enemies' plots and conspiracies against the good and ever-growing Iran-Europe relations under present grave and special conditions", according to state-run IRNA news. Tehran calls it a terrorist organisation.

British premier Theresa May quickly voiced support for Denmark's position during a meeting in Oslo of northern European leaders, and Danish leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen tweeted his appreciation, adding his determination to "stand up to Iran" together with the U.K, and other countries. Given growing Iran-EU engagement, our European partners should be vigilant. "We are in touch with the Danish authorities on several levels and expect their debrief to the member states as soon as possible", the spokeswoman said.

Another Arab opposition group, the Ahwaz National Resistance, and the Islamic State militant group both claimed responsibility for the parade attack, though neither has provided conclusive evidence to back up their claim.

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