Last week, the Albanian government expelled the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat for “damaging its national security”. Whilst the Foreign Ministry declined to name the two and did not specifically say when they had been expelled, or if they had indeed left the NATO member country, they did state that the had consulted other members on the decision.
The reaction of the Iranian Foreign Ministry was that the move was nothing more than dirty politics under duress and interference from Israel and the United States.
I believe that this is a step aimed at harming Iran’s ties with Europe at such a sensitive time. Obviously this is a measure which has been taken under Israel and America’s pressure …. We expect Albania to respect its own independence.
With Israeli news portals stating that Israel’s Prime Minister called of a scheduled visit to Albania last month over an alleged hint that his safety was threatened. It was also designed to be a hint to the country that it should take a harder stance against Iranian activity within its borders.
According to reports, the expulsion was also due to suspicions that the Iranian’s were behind illegal activities and a “terrorist threat” behind a World Cup match two years ago, between Albania and Israel.
American President Donald Trump personally thanked Prime Minister Edi Rama in a letter for his “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe” and added that this expulsion showed how Albania and the US were working together to show the Iranian government that so called “terrorist activities” around the world would have “severe consequences”. This letter was published in the US Embassy in Tirana Facebook page on the 14th of December.
Another country to be vocal of their support of this latest move is Saudi Arabia. Otherwise accused of financing global terrorism, supplying weapons to questionable political and religious groups, and dismembering journalists and then lying about it, a source in the Saudi foreign ministry stated that they supported the decision that had been taken.
“Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stressed the seriousness of Iranian support for terrorism and the need of the international community to deal with it firmly,” ironically missing the point that they are doing the same, if not worse than the Iranian diplomats and Iran are accused of.