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Trio arrested in Denmark for praising Iran parade attack

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Trio arrested in Denmark for praising Iran parade attack
Police raid an address in Ringsted on Wednesday morning. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Ritzau Scanpix
13:22 CET+01:00
Three members of an Iranian separatist group that Tehran blames for a deadly attack in Iran and who were targeted by a foiled assassination plot in Denmark have been arrested, Danish police said Wednesday.

"Three people have been arrested suspected of violating the Danish law... on condoning terrorism," a police statement said.

The three arrested individuals live in Ringsted, a town 60km to the southwest of Copenhagen, Ritzau reports. 

The three members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) are accused of praising the five commandos who attacked a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on September 22, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing 24 people.

Iran has blamed the attack on the ASMLA, which advocates for an Arab state in a southwestern Iranian province. Tehran calls it a terrorist organisation.

The Danish intelligence service PET on October 30th said it had prevented an assassination attempt by Tehran against three exiled Iranians living in Denmark, including the exiled leader of ASMLA.

PET has provided protection for the ASMLA leader since early 2018 "as a result of tangible threats which, in the assessment of PET, emanate from Iran".

Those threats were behind the police operation that led to the closure of a number of bridges and ferry routes on September 28th this year, Ritzau writes.

"Despite the fact that they are suspected of having committed crimes, they continue to be protected by extensive security measures because of the threat posed to them," Danish police said in a statement Wednesday.

A Norwegian of Iranian origin was arrested on October 21st and placed in custody, suspected of planning the assassination and spying for Iran.

Denmark recalled its ambassador to Iran over the foiled attack, and said it was consulting with its allies about possible sanctions against Tehran.

Iran has denied the Danish allegations, calling them "a continuation of conspiracies by the enemies of good and developing relations between Iran and Europe."

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