Reuters: A German diplomat has been ordered to leave Iran, a German news agency said on Saturday, in what may be retaliation for the expulsion of an Iranian diplomat from Germany in July. BERLIN (Reuters) – A German diplomat has been ordered to leave Iran, a German news agency said on Saturday, in what may be retaliation for the expulsion of an Iranian diplomat from Germany in July.
The Hamburg-based weekly Der Spiegel reported last month that an Iranian official was forced to leave Germany last summer after he tried to acquire components for Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme.
The German foreign ministry declined comment at the time and on Saturday a spokeswoman again declined to confirm the Spiegel report.
German news agency DPA reported on Saturday that the German diplomat had had to leave Tehran and it was thought this was a result of the expulsion of the Iranian official from Germany. It did not identify the source of its information.
The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman would only say that a German diplomat had left Iran and declined any further on the record comment.
The German Embassy in Tehran referred queries to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin.
Der Spiegel said the Iranian diplomat was expelled after contacting a firm in Bavaria to buy a systems control component which would be essential in the enrichment of uranium.
The magazine cited no sources but identified the consulate attache involved as “Mohraramali D”.
Iran denies it wants a nuclear bomb and says its atomic work is aimed at boosting civilian power generation.
The U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran for failing to comply with demands to suspend uranium enrichment, a process the West believes Tehran is trying to master to enable it to build nuclear weapons.
A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate published last month said Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.