In this photo released on Aug 11, 2022 by the Iranian foreign ministry, ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani speaks in Tehran, Iran. (PHOTO / AP)
TEHRAN – Iran has declared two German diplomats to be personae non gratae and expelled them from the Islamic republic over Berlin's "interventionist and irresponsible" measures against Tehran.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani blamed the German government for its "irresponsible interference" in Iran's internal and judicial affairs, according to a statement published on the foreign ministry's website on Wednesday.
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The ministry has summoned the German Ambassador to Tehran Hans-Udo Muzel and informed him of the decision, Kanaani was quoted as saying in the statement.
Germany announced on Feb 22 it would expel two diplomats from Iran's embassy in Berlin after an Iranian court handed down the death sentence to Jamshid Sharmahd
Iran will "act decisively" in response to unreasonable demands, said Kanaani, warning that Tehran will have "other alternatives" if certain countries seek to disregard its fundamental principles and national sovereignty.
On Feb 22, Germany announced that it would expel two diplomats from Iran's embassy in Berlin after an Iranian court handed down the death sentence to Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-German national, for "planning and organizing acts of terror in the country."
According to the Mizan news agency affiliated with the Iranian judiciary, Iran handed down the death sentence on Feb 21, accusing Sharmahd as "the ringleader of the Tondar (Thunder) group who intended to carry out 23 terror operations(in Iran), of which only five were conducted."
One day later, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced in a statement that Berlin had declared two staff members from the Iranian embassy in Berlin to be personae non gratae and ordered them to leave the country immediately.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced the arrest of Sharmahd in 2020.
Founded by a number of Iranian pro-monarchists in Britain in 2003, the Tondar group is accused of carrying out a bombing attack in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz in 2008, which killed 14 people and injured 300 others, and planning other attacks in the country, according to Mizan.