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Iran plays down Dutch row over alleged mistreatment of lawmaker Farah Karimi

Tehran, May 15, IRNA-Iran on Sunday described as insignificant a recent row with the Netherlands, which broke out after the latter demanded an explanation from Tehran over alleged mistreatment of a lawmaker at the Tehran airport.

Farah Karimi

The Dutch government summoned Iran's ambassador Tuesday over allegations that soldiers at the Mehrabad airport had harassed Farah Karimi, an Iranian-born Dutch member of parliament.

Speaking to reporters, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi explained that Karimi had been travelling with an Iranian passport to the country, where she had been subjected to an ordinary security check like any other Iranian citizen.

"Ms Karimi had come to the country with an Iranian passport and like all travellers had to go through security check at the airport.

This however has caused some misunderstanding which is not very important," he said.

Karimi's Dutch Green Left party had accused Iran of 'threatening and intimidating a Dutch citizen', alleging that soldiers at the airport had seized her diary and copied phone numbers of Iranians whom she had met in Iran.

But Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman Bart Jochems had to tone down the rhetoric.

"We need to know what happened first," he said. "If threatening did take place, it shouldn't have. But if this was an ordinary security check at an airport, well, that happens in a lot of countries," he was quoted as saying.

Asefi also played down Iranian ambassador Bozorgmehr Ziaran's summons to the foreign ministry, saying the Dutch officials had 'ambiguities' over the incident, which had been clarified by the embassy.

... Payvand News - 5/16/05 ... --

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