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Denmark arrests three Iranians on spying charges

Danish security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said Monday that the suspected spying took place for six years from 2012.

Denmark said on Monday it had arrested three leading members of an Iranian Arab opposition group on suspicion of spying for Saudi Arabia.

Danish security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said Monday that the suspected spying took place for six years from 2012.

Borch Andersen said the three individuals had spied on people and companies and that the information was sent to an unnamed Saudi intelligence service.

An unnamed Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent was arrested on October 21, 2018 on suspicion of helping an unspecified Iranian intelligence service “to act in Denmark” and of alleged involvement in the assassination plot. That suspect has denied wrongdoing and is being held in custody.

The three members of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) had already been charged by Danish police for supporting an attack in Iran in 2018.

“It is the view of PET (The Danish Security and Intelligence Service) that the three people, in the period from 2012 to 2018, have been spying for a Saudi Arabian intelligence service,” PET chief Finn Borch Andersen told reporters. The three Iranians have been under close police protection and One of them was the subject of a 2018 assassination plot that was prevented by security officials after a major police operation.

In 2017, Ahmad Mola Nissi, an Iranian exile who established ASMLA, was shot dead in the Netherlands. A Norwegian citizen of Iranian background, who was held in connection with the plot in October 2018, was still under arrest. In addition, it said it had on Monday arrested in absentia a member of the Iranian intelligence service on suspicion of espionage and complicity in the 2018 murder attempt.

The Iranian government has previously denied any connection with the alleged plot. ASMLA seeks a separate state for ethnic Arabs in Iran's oil-producing southwestern province of Khuzestan. Arabs are a minority in Iran, and some see themselves as under Persian occupation and want independence or autonomy.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:17:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/denmark-arrests-three-iranians-on-spying-charges/article30728688.ece

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