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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Iran tries to spin Denmark assassination plot as Mossad concoction

Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested on suspicion of helping Iranian intelligence services in plot

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Reuters
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Reuters

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Israel's intelligence agency on Thursday of falsely framing Tehran in the alleged plotting of the assassination of three Iranian opposition figures residing in Denmark.

Israeli officials said Mossad had alerted Copenhagen of the possibility of a plot in September shortly after an attack killed 25 people in Iran’s city of Ahvaz, the Times of Israel reported.

"Mossad’s perverse and stubborn planting of false flags...only strengthens our resolve to engage constructively with the world,” Mr Zarif said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Denmark's Intelligence Service, PET, said it "cannot comment further on the ongoing investigation".

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested on suspicion of helping an unspecified Iranian intelligence service "to act in Denmark" and of alleged involvement in the assassination plot, Danish security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said.

The suspect has denied any wrongdoing and is being held in custody until November 8, Mr Borch Andersen said.

Officials in Tel Aviv say that Mossad provide intelligence to Israel's allies and prevent attacks against Israeli targets.

Copenhagen recalled its ambassador to Tehran and described the alleged incident as "completely unacceptable".

“In fact, the gravity of the matter is difficult to describe,” Foreign Minister, Andres Samuelsen said, adding that has been made crystal clear to the Iranian ambassador in Copenhagen.

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Denmark also said that it will push for a discussion in the EU on the need for further sanctions on Iran.

In September, Tehran accused Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain of harbouring opposition members that Iran accuses of being responsible for the military parade attack in Ahvaz.

Iran summoned the envoys of the three countries.

Meanwhile, this week Mr Zarif held talks with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad, Shah Mahmood Qureshi on key issues such as strengthening security along their shared border from where 11 Iranian border guards were abducted earlier this month.

Iran has asked Pakistan for assistance in finding and rescuing Iranian guards who were seized from a town bordering Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province.

Pakistan has said it will do whatever is possible to trace and rescue them.