The Dutch government has accused Iran of directing the assassinations of two dissidents in the Netherlands – triggering sanctions by the European Union against Tehran’s intelligence services, according to reports.
The two murders took place in 2015 in Almere, a city east of Amsterdam, and in 2017 on a street near the Dutch foreign ministry in The Hague, according to The Guardian of the UK.
Foreign Minister Stef Blok told the Dutch parliament in a statement that intelligence services had found “strong indications that Iran was involved in the assassinations of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origin.”
Blok said the government believed such “hostile actions” violated Dutch sovereignty.
The man killed in 2015 was identified as Mohammad Reza Kolahi Samadi, 56, who had been sentenced to death in Iran for allegedly planting a bomb at the Islamic Republic party’s headquarters in 1981, killing 73 people.
Samadi, who fled to Europe after the attack – which also killed the second-in-command to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then the supreme leader of Iran — was sentenced to death in absentia.
He had lived in Almere, working as an engineer under the alias Ali Motamed, when he was shot in the head by two assailants in what was claimed to have the hallmarks of a contract hit.
Two years later, Iranian activist Ahmad Molla Nissi, 52, who founded an Arab nationalist group seeking an independent state inside Iran, also was shot in the head as he strolled through The Hague.
On Tuesday, the EU imposed sanctions against two Iranians and the country’s military intelligence service in response to the allegations.
“This has been a chapter in our lives we cannot close,” said Nissi’s daughter Hawra, who was one of the first to the scene when her father was killed near their home, the UK’s Telegraph reported.
“We have always been 99 percent sure it was the Iranian regime but the Dutch government never revealed any information,” she told the paper.
In a statement Tuesday, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said that “hostile acts of this kind flagrantly violate the sovereignty of the Netherlands and are unacceptable.”
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