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Monday, July 22, 2024

More protests at Iranian embassy

Iran’s embassy in Oslo has been the site of more protests, which resulted in vandalism to embassy vehicles. Many Iranians in Norway are unhappy with the situation in their homeland, and don’t feel secure themselves.

Iran's embassy in Oslo has once again been the scene of protests. Now a former diplomat at the embassy is talking about surveillance methods going on behind embassy walls. PHOTO: Views and News

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Wednesday that the windows of three embassy cars were smashed, while demonstrators also threw stones and pieces of asphalt at the embassy building.

The vandalism occurred after a legal demonstration involving around 100 persons suddenly turned violent. The demonstrators were protesting the executions in Iran of five Kurdish members of the organization PKK last weekend.

“The demonstration began peacefully, but emotions got out of hand,” Johan Fredriksen of the Oslo Police District told NRK. He said police tried to stop the demonstrators with tear gas while they called for re-enforcements.

An embassy spokesman said staff inside the building felt the situation was “dramatic,” but added that “we have become used to this. We’re not dealing with logical people. They have no ideology.”

Tensions have been high between Iranian officials in Norway and Iranians living in Norway who advocate more democracy in Iran. Since last summer’s violent demonstrations in Teheran, the tensions have escalated.

Earlier this year, an Iranian diplomat left his post at the embassy in Oslo and sought political asylum in Norway. Consul Mohammed Reza Heydari says he no longer could represent his country in good faith.

“I saw that my people were being killed on the streets, and I could no longer work for a regime that kills its own people,” Heydari recently told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

He won asylum in Norway, but now feels that he’s under constant surveillance by Iranian intelligence agents, and under threat as well.

He’s not alone. Many dissidents who have won asylum in Norway told DN they are shadowed and harassed by agents of their homeland, whether it’s China, Russia, Iran or Vietnam. In Heydari’s case, he said he feels he and his family must move again soon, for security reasons.

“I’m the first diplomat who coming out and telling what’s going on behind the embassy walls,” he told DN. “After that, both my safety and my family’s are vulnerable to whatever can come from the Iranian regime.”

Iranian embassy officials earlier have downplayed the role Heydari played at the embassy, and initially refused to confirm that he had abandoned his post.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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