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Iran summons Dutch envoy over deportation of two diplomats

Tehran calls move 'unfriendly and unconstructive' and says that it reserves the right to reciprocate.

Bahram Qasemi

Iran's government has summoned the Dutch ambassador to protest against the deportation of two Iranian diplomats in the Netherlands, according to state-run media.

IRNA news agency on Saturday quoted Bahram Qasemi, spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry, as saying as saying that the "unconstructive and unfriendly measure" by the Dutch government was "illogical and legally unjustifiable" and that Tehran reserved the right to reciprocate.

Qasemi did not say when the ministry's meeting with the Dutch ambassador took place.

"We expect officials of the country to stop leveling unwise and unjustified allegations to others and act on their international commitments to arrest and try the terrorist elements, for whom red notice has been issued even by Interpol, providing explanations on providing haven for the terrorist and criminal members of the hated MKO grouplet, whose hands are stained with blood of Iranian people," he was quoted as saying, mentioning the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran.

That group is linked to the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran - a bloc of opposition groups in exile that seek an end of clerical rule in Iran.

The group, also known by its Persian name Mujahideen-e-Khalq, was once listed as a "terrorist" organisation by the United States and the European Union but is not any more.

On Friday, the Dutch secret service AIVD announced that the Netherlands had expelled two staff members of the Iranian embassy, without providing further information.

A European government official and a Western intelligence source said on Friday that the expulsions of two Iranian embassy staff occurred up to two months ago, Reuters news agency reported.

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