The government of Prime Minister Edi Rama has expelled two Iranian diplomats for violating their status.
Acting Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj wrote on a Facebook post that the ministry declared Mohammad Ali Arz Peimanemati and Seyed Ahmad Hosseini Alast non grata. Their activity did not comply with their diplomatic status and principles of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations. The two diplomats were asked to leave the country immediately.
Seyed Ahmad Hosseini Alast was a cultural attaché, who had held high ranking positions in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Voice of America reported. Mohammad Peimanemati, a counselor in the Iranian Embassy in Tirana, had worked for the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, and had allegedly engaged in several terrorist acts in the EU countries. According to other VoA sources, they had both been collaborators of the slain general Qassem Soleimani.
In December 2018, Albania expelled two other Iranian diplomats, including the ambassador.
The latest expulsions come amidst raised tensions between Iran and US after the killing of one of the Iranian regimes top figures by the US.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei implied that Albania, which hosts about 3,000 members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran – an opposition organization seeking the toppling the Tehran regime, was an “evil country” conspiring with the US against Iran.