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Jelle van Buuren Discusses the Long Arm of Tehran on Dutch Television

On 19 June, an Iranian man was stabbed by another Iranian man at the train station in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden. He had been placed on an Iranian execution list because of his political past in Iran. Was this attack the work of the Iranian secret service?

'It's easy to understand why people believe to see the long arm of Tehran in this attack,' says Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor at the Institute Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University. 'It's no secret that the Iranian secret services are very active in Europe and, as a result, in the Netherlands. The Iranian secret service keeps tabs on countrymen, intimidates and sometimes political murders are committed on the orders of the Iranian regime. In 2015 and 2017, Tehran gave the orders for political murders that were committed in the Netherlands.' 


It remains to be seen if the attempted murder in Leeuwarden was also ordered by the Iranian regime. 'It's important to look take a very close look at this case. Is this once again the work of Iran or not?' says Van Buuren. 'I understand that the comparison is being made, but you'll notice that some things are different in this case. In this case a knife was used, while in other cases fire arms and even explosives have been used. The perpetrator did not flee but allowed himself to be arrested by the police without any form of resistance. If a regime commits a murder for hire it would make more sense if the perpetrator tried to get away. This case has several atypical characteristics when compared to other cases.' 

You can watch the entire segment (in Dutch) on the website of Dutch broadcaster NOS.

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