Iran has summoned Germany's ambassador to Tehran after a German court agreed to transfer an Iranian diplomat to Belgium. The diplomat has been charged with orchestrating a failed bomb plot at a Paris rally in June.
Iran's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it had summoned Germany's ambassador to Tehran to protest a German court's decision to extradite one of its diplomats to Belgium.
Bahram Ghassemi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said he deeply regretted the German court's decision before claiming the verdict was part of a "staged conspiracy" to sever relations between Europe and Iran.
He did not provide any evidence or go into further detail about such an alleged plot.
"At the meeting with the ambassador, we protested against the arrest, imprisonment and extradition of the Iranian diplomat," said Ghassemi.
Last week, a regional court in Bamberg agreed to hand over the Iranian diplomat, identified only as Assadollah A., to Belgian authorities. It is believed that he was part of a failed plot to bomb an annual Iranian opposition rally near Paris in June.
He was extradited on Tuesday and charged the following day with preparing a terrorist attack, Belgium's state prosecutor said.
Three others, all Belgian nationals of Iranian origin, are also suspected of planning the attack. A husband-and-wife team was arrested by Belgian police in June after they were caught in possession of 500 grams (around one pound) of TATP, an explosive that can be made at home from easily available chemicals. The fourth suspect was arrested in Paris in early July and transferred to Belgium.
Assadollah A., who is normally based in Vienna, was detained by German authorities in the Bavarian city of Aschaffenburg in July on a European arrest warrant. He was on holiday outside of Austria at the time and therefore not protected by diplomatic immunity.
Iran has denied the accusation by France and Belgium that one of its diplomats could have been involved in any attack.
Last week, French authorities announced they had frozen assets belonging to Assadollah A., as well as to Iran's Ministry of Security and Intelligence.
dm/rc (dpa, AP, AFP, Reuters)