Intercepted chats tie Iranian diplomat to alleged Paris terror plot

European security officials have intercepted communications that suggest an Iranian diplomat was not only involved in an alleged plot last year to bomb a meeting of Tehran opponents outside Paris, but coordinated efforts with colleagues back in Iran, a well-placed western official told The Independent.

The communications between Iranian diplomat Asadollah Asadi and counterparts in Iran were described as text messages, or chats, that have been collected by European intelligence services.

“Evidence of his contacts with the regime are recorded chats,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity while disclosing sensitive information.

An Iranian official dismissed the claims of evidence, insisting that the alleged Paris plot and others in Europe were fabricated to put pressure on Tehran as it faces off against the US and regional adversaries Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The French case is among several alleged plots carried out by Iranians on European soil that have strained relations between Tehran and European nations, and potentially jeopardised a commitment to uphold the nuclear deal penned in 2015 but abandoned last year by the administration of Donald Trump.

Over the weekend, UK, French and German officials unveiled a bartering system called Instex, which is meant to allow trade between Iran and Europe that bypasses US controls on the global financial system. A European official called Instex “a small but concrete step to respond to US unilateralism”.

But Iran’s judiciary chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani quickly rejected the conditions for the exchange that include complying with global anti-money-laundering rules and curtailing its missile programme.

Taken together, Iran’s dissatisfaction with Europe’s attempts to resume business with the Islamic republic and European anger over alleged Iranian clandestine operations targeting dissidents and its missile programme threaten to diminish support for the nuclear deal, which promises Iran normalised trade ties in exchange for putting limits on its atomic programme.

Source » iranbriefing

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