The Netherlands on Monday assumed its Ambassador in Tehran for deliberations. The diplomatic representative’s withdrawal come as a response to the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s declaration of persona non grata and immediate expulsion from the country of two Dutch diplomats serving in the embassy. The Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok declared that the three diplomats (the expelled ones plus the ambassador) returned to Amsterdam for consultations.
This is a fresh round of rivalry between Amsterdam and Tehran after the June 2018 diplomatic incident. In that incident, the Dutch government accused Iran for perpetrating the assassination of two Dutch nationals of Iranian origins and expelled two Iranian officials from the Embassy in Amsterdam. The first assassination took place in 2015 at Almere and the second in The Hague in 2017. In the aftermath of the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s report that there are strong indications that Tehran ordered these killings, the European Union imposed a fresh round of sanctions to Iran effective from January 2019. The Iranian government so far has not accepted any involvement with the aforementioned assassinations.
The Dutch Foreign Minister considered the expulsion of two Dutch diplomats as Tehran’s response to last year’s dismissal of two Iranian counterparts from Amsterdam. Further, the letter of the Dutch Minister’s to European authorities notifies that these type of actions are not constructive in nature and further undermine the already tense relations between Amsterdam and Tehran.