Iran MP says defecting diplomats have 'mental' problems

17th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

An Iranian MP accused three diplomats who have defected in Europe to join the anti-government opposition of having "mental" problems, ILNA news agency reported on Friday.

"Some of these people have mental problems and seek asylum in order to have an excuse to stay in their desired countries at the end of their mission," Mohammad Karami-Rad, who is a member of the parliament's national security commission, told the agency.

The Iranian foreign ministry has reacted vaguely to the defection of the three Europe-based diplomats.

Farzad Farhangian, a press attache at Iran's embassy in Brussels, called Tuesday for an uprising against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government and announced he was seeking asylum in Norway.

Earlier this month, a senior official at Iran's embassy in Helsinki, Hossein Alizadeh, said he was seeking asylum in Finland.

Norway granted asylum in February to Mohamed Reza Heydari, the former consul general of the Islamic republic's mission in Oslo, after he resigned the previous month.

Ahmadinejad's June 2009 re-election has bitterly divided the political elite in Iran, as the opposition charged the poll was massively rigged to keep the hardliner in power.

© 2010 AFP

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