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Netherlands freezes ties with Iran

The Netherlands has frozen official contacts with Iran over the hanging of Dutch-Iranian drug trafficker Zahra Bahrami, Iran’s Ambassador to Amsterdam Kazem Gharibabadi says.

Gharibabadi was informed of the decision after he confirmed the reports about an announcement by Tehran’s Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, saying Bahrami was executed in Tehran on Saturday.

The announcement pointed out Bahrami was a member of an international drug trafficking ring, who with the help of her Dutch links, smuggled cocaine to Iran.

A search of her house has reportedly uncovered 450 grams of cocaine and 420 grams of opium, it added.

Gharibabadi advised the Dutch officials to “respect Iran’s internal laws and avoid meddling in the country’s ruling affairs.”

Gharibabadi argued that “Iran does not recognize double-nationality; therefore Ms. Bahrami was considered as an Iranian national.”

“If we accepted to listen to the Dutch side, it was merely based on good will, not a legal commitment,” he added.

He described Bahrami’s trial as fair and pointed out that she enjoyed all her legal rights, including the right to choose lawyer and having contact with her family.

In recent weeks, some Western media have reported that Bahrami was arrested for participating in anti-government protests in 2009.

Last week, in response to such allegations, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast described the allegations as a pretext to exert pressure on the country.

“It is expected from the western countries to appreciate Iran’s efforts to combat drug trafficking and even cooperate accordingly,” he said.

“Unfortunately, however, we are witnessing their support for Zahra Bahrami and they have even called for her release,” he added.

Mehmanparast advised the West to realize that if the issue of combating drug trafficking is not taken seriously, it will directly affect their own youth who will be entrapped by drug traffickers.

More than 4,000 Iranian police officers have been killed in the fight against drug trafficking.

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