A Norwegian citizen with ties to Iran is in police custody in Denmark, charged with planning to assassinate local Iranians in exile at the behest of Iranian authorities. The situation has set off a diplomatic crisis between Denmark and Iran.
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told reporters Tuesday that Danish authorities have reason to believe Iranian officials are behind the assassination plans. Denmark has recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen,” and called Iran’s ambassador in on the carpet. Danish authorities believe the Norwegian citizen under arrest has been working for Iranian intelligence officials.
He was arrested shortly after “concrete threats” of pending assassinations set off a massive manhunt in late September that even closed the bridge between Denmark and Sweden. “This is an extremely serious case and we must react sharply and precisely,” Samuelsen said.
Iranian officials flatly deny hatching any plans to assassinate any Iranians living in exile in Denmark. They’re accusing Denmark’s intelligence agency PET of a disinformation campaign that aims to harm Iran’s reputation.
The head of Norway’s police intelligence agency PST said it was aware of active Iranian intelligence efforts also in Norway that seek to track exiled Iranians who have criticized the Iranian government. There were few details so far about the Norwegian-Iranian under arrest. His alleged targets were members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), which seeks independence in an area of Iran. ASMLA has been accused of carrying out a terrorist attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22, when 29 people were killed.