Iran blames Israel for Albania's expulsion of diplomats

Iran says US and Israel to blame Albania's expulsion of two Iranian diplomats over security reasons.

Elad Benari,

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama
Reuters

Iran on Thursday blamed the United States and Israel for Albania's expulsion of two Iranian diplomats accused of engaging in criminal activities that threatened the country's security, The Associated Press reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, according to the report, "Albania has become an unintentional victim of the United States, Israel and some terrorist groups."

He further claimed that the US and Israel are working to destroy relations between Iran and European countries, and that Albania should not allow others to dictate its relations with Tehran.

On Wednesday, Albania expelled two Iranian diplomats for alleged illegal activities that threaten the country's security.

A spokesman from the Foreign Ministry said that the two diplomats were expelled for "violating their diplomatic status."

Private Top Channel television said the Iranians are suspected of illegal activities related to a World Cup match between Albania and Israel two years ago which was threatened with an alleged terrorist attack. Albanian officials did not confirm that report.

While the reports did not identify which diplomats were expelled, US National Security John Bolton, who welcomed Albania’s move, said one of the two expelled officials was the Iranian ambassador to Albania.

“Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania just expelled the Iranian ambassador, signaling to Iran’s leaders that their support for terrorism will not be tolerated. We stand with PM Rama and the Albanian people as they stand up to Iran’s reckless behavior in Europe and across the globe,” he tweeted.

US President Donald Trump thanked Albania for expelling Iran's ambassador and another diplomat.




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