Iranian intelligence service placed on EU terrorism list after NL murders

Flags of the Netherlands and Iran
Flags of the Netherlands and Iran. (Photo: Alexandra_Strekoza/DepositPhotos)

The European Union placed two Iranians and Iran's military intelligence service on the European terrorism list after it was revealed that Iran was likely responsible for two murders in the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.

On Tuesday Ministers Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs and Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs revealed that Iran was almost certainly involved in two assassinations of Dutch-Iranian men in the Netherlands. Dutch intelligence service AIVD has strong indications of the country's involvement in the murders of Mohammad Samadi in Almere in 2015 and Ahmad Nissi in The Hague in 2017

Both victims opposed the regime in Tehran. Mohammad Samadi was sentenced to death in Iran for a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party. And Ahmad Nissi was the founder of the Arab Struggle Movement, which fights for the independence of a region in the west of Iran. 

The Ministers also announced that the EU took sanctions against the Iranian intelligence service and the two Iranians. The murders were also the reason for two Iranian diplomats being deported from the Netherlands in June last year. 

Mohammad Samadi lived in the Netherlands under the name Ali Motamed. He received asylum in the 1990s and lived in Almere with his wife and son, working as an electrician. State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security said last year that the Netherlands was not aware of his other identity, according to the newspaper. 

Two Amsterdam residents were arrested for Samadi's murder. The Public Prosecutor told NU.nl that the AIVD intelligence was not provided to them and it is not yet clear whether this information can form part of the investigation against the two Amsterdam suspects.  "The valuation of information within the criminal law system is different from the valuation of intelligence by the intelligence services", Ministers Blok and Ollongren said on Tuesday. 

Richard Korver, the lawyer representing Samadi's family, said that the man's family feels unsafe. They think that the Dutch government is not supporting them enough and want protection, according to the lawyer.

Members of Nissi's family participated at a demonstration at the Iranian embassy in The Hague on Wednesday, according to various Dutch newspapers. Four demonstrators were arrested for public violence and disrupting public order. Protesters stormed the embassy, climbing over its fence, and pelted objects at the building. 

Iran denied any involvement in the two murders and said it will respond to EU measures, according to NU.nl.

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