Iran’s foreign ministry on Thursday condemned Albania’s decision to expel two Iranian diplomats and said it was based on fabricated intelligence and taken under US pressure.
“This unjustifiable behavior of the Albanian government… is completely based on false and fabricated intelligence and is unacceptable and condemned,” it said in a statement.
Albania said Wednesday it has expelled the diplomats for security reasons, with US officials identifying one as the ambassador and claiming the pair had plotted “terrorist attacks” in the Balkan country.
Albania’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Edlira Prendi told reporters the diplomats were suspected of “involvement in activities that harm the country’s security.”
She said the decision was taken in consultation with other countries.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the move in a statement and US National Security Adviser John Bolton expressed his support in a tweet.
The Iranian foreign ministry said their support was proof of US and Israeli efforts to “harm and disrupt Iran’s foreign relations, especially with Europe”.
“This scenario was carried out under the pressure of the United States government and the security service of the Zionist regime,” it said.
The move had come “at a time that cooperation between Iran and Europe for bypassing unilateral and illegal US sanctions has become ever more serious”.