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In Tehran on Jan. 8 during a meeting with European envoys, Iranian officials abruptly stood up, walked out and slammed the door in an extraordinary break with protocol...The French, British, German, Danish, Dutch, and Belgian diplomats in the Iranian foreign ministry room had incensed the officials with a message that Europe could no longer tolerate ballistic missile tests in Iran and assassination plots on European soil, according to four EU diplomats.
“There was a lot of drama, they didn’t like it, but we felt we had to convey our serious concerns,” one of the diplomats said. “It shows the relationship is becoming more tense,” a second said.
Iran’s firing of short-range ballistic missiles into Syria on Sept. 30, missile tests and a satellite launch this month have (annoyed) Western powers.
For Europe, alleged assassination plots by Iran on French and Danish soil in 2018 were the last straw, diplomats say.
Tehran denies the plots and says the missile tests are purely defensive.
“Take the Dutch for example. They had kept very quiet until the Danish attack and now they are more hawkish than the French,” said the diplomat.
Alarmed by Trump’s “America First” policy, Europe considered his May 8 decision to pull out of the Iran accord a severe setback but Iran’s international ambitions appear to offer Brussels and Washington a chance to work more closely.
A U.S. State Department official said there was now “a growing international consensus” on the range of Iranian threats.
“The U.S. welcomes Europe’s efforts to counter Iranian terrorism on European soil, its missile launches, human rights abuses, and other threats,” the official said.