Iran General NewsIran criticizes its diplomats' defections

Iran criticizes its diplomats’ defections

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AP: Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has criticized the country’s two diplomats who defected this month in Europe, saying they chose to stay abroad for “personal interests.”

The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has criticized the country’s two diplomats who defected this month in Europe, saying they chose to stay abroad for “personal interests.”

The defections were seen as a sign of fissures within Iran’s establishment. Both diplomats said they left their positions because of the government crackdown on citizens protesting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2009 re-election.

But foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says “nobody in the foreign ministry believes” the two had political motives.

Farzad Farhangian quit his job at the Iranian Embassy in Brussels and said he would ask Norway for political asylum. Hossein Alizadeh, the No. 2 man at Iran’s mission in Helsinki, said he would seek political asylum in Finland.

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