Iran expels two German diplomats

01 Mar 2023

Iran expels two German diplomats

The reasoning behind their expulsion was accredited to Germany's interference in Iran's internal affairs following the sentencing of a German-Iranian national to death

By News Desk, The Cradle

March 1, 2023


Nasser Kanaani, the Spokesperson of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, announced on 1 March that Tehran expelled two German diplomats following Berlin’s recent decision to expel two Iranian diplomats over the Islamic Republic’s sentencing of a German national to death.

Kanaani expressed that the reasoning behind Tehran’s decision to expel the two diplomats was accredited to the German government’s “interference and meddling” in Iran’s judicial and internal affairs.

He added that Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador to inform him of Tehran’s decision to expel the two diplomats, remarking that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will act mightily in the face of excessive demands.”

Last week, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock affirmed that Berlin does not accept violations of human rights against German citizens. 

German-Iranian national Jamshid Sharmahd, aged 67, was arrested in August 2020 on charges of “corruption on earth” for being the ringleader of a pro-shah militant group planning attacks against the country. The group, known as ‘Tondar’ (thunder) or the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, is an exile monarchist opposition movement based in Los Angeles, California. 

Tondar was behind a devastating 2008 bombing in Shiraz that killed 14 and injured 200 – an attack in which Sharmahd has also been accused of being complicit.

Sharmahd was sentenced to death on 21 February after the Iranian court ruled that he had been involved in plots to carry out 23 terror attacks, five of which were successfully implemented, according to Tasnim News Agency.

He retains US residency along with German and Iranian citizenship.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also condemned Iran’s sentencing, calling it “unacceptable.” Scholz tweeted, “the Iranian regime fights its own people in every possible way and disregards human rights.” 

Several German officials claim that Sharmahd’s verdict should be appealed.

It is important to note, however, that under Iranian law, dual nationality is not accepted and that interference and statements under the pretext of dual citizenship are unwarranted.

On 21 February, several EU foreign ministers implemented new sanctions against 32 Iranian individuals, including travel bans and the freezing of personal assets in Europe over alleged human rights violations.

Iran has since countered the sanctions with its own, sanctioning individuals and institutions associated with the EU. 

Since the withdrawal of Washington from Iran’s nuclear deal in 2018 under former US President Donald Trump’s administration, relations have worsened between the UK and other EU member states on the one hand and Iran on the other.