Denmark summons Saudi envoy over Riyadh's support for anti-Iran terror group
Denmark has called in the Saudi ambassador to Copenhagen to protest the kingdom’s support for a notorious terrorist group behind a 2018 deadly attack in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz, among its other terrorist crimes against Iranians.
Riyadh’s envoy was summoned to the Danish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday after terrorism charges were leveled against three leaders of the anti-Iran al-Ahvaziya terror group based in Denmark.
Danish police said they were prosecuting “three people for financing and promoting terrorism in Iran, including in collaboration with a Saudi intelligence service.”
The suspects are believed to have received funds from Riyadh, which has been pursuing a highly hostile Iran policy under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Meanwhile, Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) stressed that the trio worked for the Saudi regime between 2012 and 2018.
PET chief Finn Borch Andersen said it is “completely unacceptable” that Denmark is used “as a starting point to finance and support terrorism.”
“We will not accept such activities under any circumstances and our ambassador in Riyadh has repeated the same message directly to the Saudi authorities,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a statement.
In February, Denmark said its intelligence service had arrested and charged three members of the Saudi-backed terror group for spying on behalf of the kingdom in the Scandinavian country.
Al-Ahvaziya has committed numerous crimes against Iranian targets over the past decades, among them bomb attacks in public places, abductions, assassinations, kidnapping for ransom, shooting at tourists and blowing up oil pipelines.
Formed a few years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the terror group was inspired back then by the Baath regime of Iraq’s ex-dictator Saddam Hussein.
Al-Ahvaziya has been after separating the southwestern province of Khuzestan — home to the country’s Arab population — from the rest of Iran through engaging in armed conflict against the Iranian government.
In September 2018, the Saudi-backed terror outfit claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on military parade in Ahvaz, Khuzestan’s provincial capital. The assault killed 25 people, including members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and civilian bystanders, and injured 70 others.
Shortly after the attack, the London-based “Iran International” television channel funded by Saudi Arabia allowed the al-Ahvaziya spokesman to go live on air to defend the bloodshed.
In parallel, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group also claimed responsibility for the Ahvaz attack.
In response, Iran launched missiles on gatherings of the ringleaders of the terror attack Ahvaz based in an area east of the Euphrates in Syria, killing and injuring a number of them and inflicting heavy losses on their stronghold.
Riyadh is widely viewed as a key sponsor of Takfiri terrorists, who are inspired by Wahhabism, an extremist ideology preached by Saudi clerics.