Germany expels two Iranian diplomats
The diplomats were expelled from the country over Tehran's recent sentencing of a German national to death
By News Desk - February 22 2023

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

According to a statement from the German foreign office, Germany expelled two employees from the Iranian embassy in Berlin on 22 February over Tehran’s recent sentencing of a German national to death.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock remarked that the expelled individuals were informed that Berlin does not accept violations of human rights against German citizens. 

She added: “We call on Iran to revoke Jamshid Sharmahd’s death sentence and provide him with a fair appeal process based on the rule of law.”

The Islamic Republic accused Sharmahd of leading a pro-shah militant group to plan attacks against the country, as well as accusing him of being complicit in a devastating 2008 bombing in Shiraz that killed 14 and injured 200. He was arrested in 2020 on charges of “corruption on earth” and retains US residency along with German and Iranian citizenship.

The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also condemned the recent 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.

On the same day, Germany’s foreign ministry affirmed that it is willing to provide additional support to the dual national and is currently in communication with Sharmahd’s family.

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.

On the same day the EU implemented the new sanctions, Iran called on its UK envoy to protest against London’s accusations that the Islamic Republic made several “threats” against a UK-based journalist who worked for Saudi-funded Iran International.

A few days prior, the UK police advised the Saudi-funded news outlet to shut down its London TV studios temporarily.

“Following the continued baseless accusations from England against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mrs Isabelle Marsh, temporary charge d’affaires of that country’s embassy in Tehran, was summoned to the foreign ministry on Tuesday,” the official IRNA news agency reported. 

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