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11/05/2018

Who’s really behind the Danish-Iranian diplomatic scandal?

Who’s really behind the Danish-Iranian diplomatic scandal?

While the leaders of the ‘EU big three’ are pressing ahead with efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal from Trump’s attempts to sabotage it, Denmark has seemingly out of nowhere entered into a serious confrontation with Tehran.

Recently, Danish authorities announced the arrest of a Norwegian citizen with an Iranian background. According to Borch Andersen, the head of the Danish Intelligence and Security Service (PET), the man was plotting to assassinate one of the leaders of the Danish branch of an Iranian opposition group called the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), which Iran classifies as a separatist and terrorist organization. The Danish security service’s chief said that the Iranian intelligence service was plotting to assassinate a member of Iran’s opposition on Danish soil.

Anders Samuelsen, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, recalled the Danish ambassador to Iran the same day, and promised to reach out to its “like-minded” EU allies in an attempt to impose sanctions against Tehran.

Iran has rejected the accusations of Denmark’s Intelligence and security service regarding any illegal activities of Iranian intelligence service on Danish soil and called them “hostile statements”.

Following this incident, the atmosphere in the media changed significantly. Suddenly, the focus of Western authorities and the mainstream media’s attention has been diverted from the ‘Khashoggi case’, forgetting about the guilty Saudi officials. The mainstream media outlets instead started talking about Tehran, which, courtesy of the Danish politician’s statements, has been painted like a maniac  chasing the Arab separatists of ASMLA across Europe.

However, nobody provides the context that the so-called ASMLA have killed hundreds of innocent people in Iran. Nobody tries to explain what an individual from ASMLA is doing in Denmark, despite that the person in question should be tried for organizing a number of terrorist attacks in Iran.

Falsely Accused

There was a time when the region of Arab tribes called al-Ahvaz (in the western part of Iranian Khuzestan province) was a British-protected territory. The richest oil fields in Iran are located in Khuzestan. The British government made more money from Persian oil than Iran ever had. However, since the nationalization of the oil industry in Iran, London has never given up on ​​taking this large source of wealth back. That is why the British government threatened to annex Khuzestan from Iran.  A short time afterward, ASMLA was organized. This separatist group has committed a number of terrorist acts in Iran in the course of the last 20 years. The last terrorist attack occured recently in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz on September 22nd. Armed gunmen opened fire on an Iranian military parade killing at least 29 people and injuring 60, including civilians and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and local Basij militia.

ASMLA, which acted in tandem with ISIS agents, claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Ahvaz. Yaqoob Hur al-Tostari, an ASMLA spokesman, in comments to Iran International TV channel based in London, said that ASMLA was behind the attack in Ahvaz.

After the announcement, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassadors of the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom for talks, and  declared “Iran’s strong protest over their respective countries’ hosting of some members of the terrorist group” and asked these countries to extradite people linked to the Ahvaz attack to Iran to be put on trial.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said: “It is not acceptable that the European Union does not blacklist members of these terrorist groups as long as they do not perpetrate a crime on … European soil”.

European diplomats expressed readiness to cooperate with Iran in identifying criminals and sharing information. However, that cooperation did not follow. Denmark then lashed out at Tehran without providing clear evidence and actually covering up for the real perpetrator on Danish soil.

Why did Denmark make this move?

Having looked at the relationship between Denmark and Tehran over the past few decades, we can see that there have never been any serious strains, political tension or strategic rapprochements between Copenhagen and Tehran. The relationship between these two states has been unremarkable. Denmark, unlike Great Britain or the United States, has never had a hostile position toward Iran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said that “Whenever normal relations start to develop between Iran and Europe, certain parties try to create problems between them”.

However, there are two main questions in this case: who benefits from this political provocation and who is behind this conspiracy against Iran?

The answer is quite clear: there are groups in some countries who are trying to set Europe at odds with Iran and destroy Iran’s public image while drawing attention away from the brutal murder of a Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The United States and their allies, such as Great Britain and Israel, are not interested in Iran building a good relationship with Europe. The don’t want to see a strong Iran in the Middle East. Therefore, Washington needs to have a good card up their sleeve to justify introducing the next package of anti-Iranian sanctions. US authorities have found a way to do so, and their faithful allies will assist Trump’s establishment with their strategy.

Nevertheless, it is rather comical that Danish Intelligence and Security Service has so clearly overblown this “scandal” with Tehran, relying solely on hearsay. According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN), Copenhagen received secret information about the “plans” of Iranian intelligence from the Israeli intelligence service “Mossad”, whose agents were involved in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.