BRUSSELS—The European Union is set to impose sanctions on Iran over foiled assassination plots in Denmark and France.
European Union Foreign Ministers, meeting Monday in Brussels, reportedly agreed to impose economic sanctions on an unspecified list of Iranian nationals.
Denmark pushed for such sanctions after revealing at the end of last month that its security services accused Iranian intelligence service of plotting the assassination on Danish soil of the exiled leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), a separatist Iranian group.
“We are dealing with an Iranian intelligence agency planning an attack on Danish soil. Obviously, we can’t and won’t accept that,” said Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.
The minister revealed that a massive police operation that cut off Copenhagen from the rest of Denmark for several hours last month was triggered when police noticed a stolen, Swedish-registered car near the home of an Iranian opposition activist.
“In light of the latest development, Denmark will push for a discussion in the EU on the need for further sanctions against Iran,” Samuelsen said at the time.
Denmark has since recalled its ambassador to Tehran for ‘’consultations.’’
A Norwegian national of Iranian background has been arrested in Sweden and since extradited to Denmark in connection with the foiled attack.
Following Monday’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told a press conference that the ministers expressed solidarity with Denmark and their full support for the work of the investigation around the events. ”This is completely unacceptable,” Mogherini said.
The EU Council ”will work out a targeted response to what happened,” she added.
Reaffirming the EU’s ”full support” of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, she said that ”this doesn’t mean that we turn a blind eye on Iran’s role in the region.” She mentioned in particular Iran’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen.
France has also accused Iran of plotting attacks on European soil. In October, French sources said that Iran’s ministry of intelligence was behind a foiled bombing attack that targeted a rally organised by an Iranian opposition group near Paris in June.
Two Belgians of Iranian descent were arrested carrying explosives in their car. German police also arrested an Iranian diplomat, based in Austria. He has been extradited to stand trial in Belgium.