Netherlands kicks out two staff at Iranian embassy

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Netherlands is the latest European country to expel Iranian diplomats.

"We can confirm that the Netherlands has expelled two persons accredited to the Iranian embassy," a spokesperson for Dutch intelligence said, as reported by Reuters. "We will not provide any further information."

The agency cited an unnamed intelligence source and European official as saying the two were removed up to two months ago. State-run NOS television reported the dismissals occured on June 7.

It is unclear why the pair were expelled and the Dutch foreign ministry has not provided a statement.

Germany, France, and Belgium detained six people, including an Iranian diplomat in Vienna, earlier this week after an alleged bomb plot that would target an exiled Iranian political opposition group's rally in Paris. Two Belgians of Iranian descent were also arrested.

Iran’s controversial opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, MKO), held its annual conference in Paris last week. A number of prominent US figures spoke at the event, advocating regime change in Tehran.

In 1981 MEK formed an alliance with the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI). However, the KDPI left the alliance in April 1985 when the KDPI’s then leader pursued talks with the regime regarding Kurdish autonomy. MEK believed there should be no negotiation with the government.

Iran summoned France's ambassador on Thursday.

The Iranian president and top diplomat were in Vienna this week to try to save the nuclear deal. Iran describes the decision by Belgian authorities as a "false flag ploy."

In November 2017, unindentified gunmen killed Iranian Ahmad Mola Nissi, 52. Nisse established the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA). Nissi's family is in protective custody. 

ASMLA, MEK, and KDPI separately targets the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran.

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