Iran confirms expelling German diplomat

6th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Iran confirms that it had expelled a German diplomat for "undiplomatic activities," saying the decision was taken by the relevant authorities.

6 January 2008

Tehran/Berlin (dpa) - Iran confirmed Sunday that it had expelled a German diplomat for "undiplomatic activities", saying the decision was taken by the relevant authorities.

The confirmation by foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini did not detail either who the authorities were, or who the diplomat was.

It followed Saturday's statement by a German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman that a German diplomat had left Iran following the expulsion by Germany of an Iranian diplomat last summer.

The spokeswoman confirmed the diplomat had left, but declined to say whether it was a tit-for-tat expulsion.

The news magazine Der Spiegel reported in December that Berlin had expelled an Iranian diplomat who allegedly sought to purchase equipment for his country's controversial nuclear programme.

The man was ordered to leave in July, but the case was not disclosed until five months later. The German Foreign Ministry declined to comment at the time.

The diplomat, an attache at Iran's embassy in Berlin, was reported to have been in contact with a specialist firm in the southern German state of Bavaria.

Der Spiegel said he was suspected of trying to procure parts that could be used in uranium enrichment.

Western nations have been calling on Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which they fear could lead to it making atomic weapons. Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

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