Dutch freeze contacts with Iran after execution: official

29th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch government said Saturday it was freezing its contacts with Iran, decrying the hanging of an Iranian-Dutch woman in the Islamic republic as an "act committed by barbarous regime."

"The Netherlands has decided to freeze all contacts with Iran" after obtaining confirmation of Zahra Bahrami's execution from Iran's ambassador to the Netherlands, foreign ministry spokesman Bengt van Loosdrecht told AFP.

"This concerns all official contacts between diplomats and civil servants," he said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal "was profoundly shocked by the news," the spokesman said.

"He called this an act committed by a barbarous regime," he added.

Iran hanged Bahrami for drug smuggling after initially arresting her for anti-government protests, the Tehran prosecutor's office said.

Her execution brings the total number of people hanged in Iran so far this year to 66 -- on average more than two a day -- according to an AFP tally based on media reports.

The Netherlands summoned Iran's ambassador to the country in the wake of the hanging.

© 2011 AFP

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