Danish officials allege to have thwarted Iranian assassination plot

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Denmark is recalling its ambassador to Iran and will call for EU-wide sanctions against the country following a suspected attempt by Iranian intelligence services to attack exiled Iranians living in Denmark.

The Foreign Ministry says it will be discussing "the issue of an Iranian intelligence agency's illegal activities in Europe" with global allies.

Denmark has recalled its ambassador from Tehran and is consulting other European Union countries about imposing new sanctions against Iran.

The Danish authorities said on Tuesday that he suspects that Iranian intelligence in planning the assassination of the current leader in Iran, Arab opposition groups in Denmark.

PET believes that the Iranian agency aimed to assassinate the leader of a Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), which supports the establishment of a separate Arab state in Iran's Khuzestan Province.

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Denmark will push for new EU-wide sanctions against Iran following the suspected assassination attempt, the ministry confirmed to CNN, adding that the government would be discussing "the issue of an Iranian intelligence agency's illegal activities in Europe" with worldwide allies.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said in a statement that Tehran "strongly denied" the allegations, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Denmark for arresting the "Iranian regime assassin", further calling on other European nations to follow suit and address what the United States has been decrying since President Donald Trump's entry into the White House that led to the USA withdrawing from the nuclear deal. Totally unacceptable. The government will respond to Iran and talk to European partners about further action'.

The Ahvazi Arabs are a minority in mainly ethnic Persian Iran, and some see themselves as under Persian occupation and want independence or autonomy. "Of course, we can't allow and will not allow", said Andersen in a press conference.

He emphasized that these claims are the continuation of plots and conspiracies hatched by known enemies who are against good and expanding Iran-Europe relations at the current sensitive conditions.

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He told reporters: 'I have made a decision to recall Denmark's ambassador in Tehran for consultations. Further actions against Iran will be discussed in the European Union'.

Borch Andersen told reporters that the temporary closure of bridges and the halting of ferry services to neighbouring Germany and Sweden at the end of September were part of the local Danish police's attempts to foil the plot.

A few days earlier, the Norwegian suspect had been observed photographing and watching the Denmark home of the ASMLA leader in Ringsted, a town almost 60km (37 miles) southwest of Copenhagen, according to Borch Andersen. The Danish security service then bolstered police protection of the ASMLA leader in Denmark and two associates.

Without providing any evidence, Danish police on Tuesday linked the so-called Iranian agents of attacking a person in the country. He singled out a foiled bombing attack that targeted a rally organized by an Iranian opposition group near Paris in June.

The attack was claimed by another Arab separatist group and the Islamic State group, although neither offered proof of their claims.

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