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Iranian official cancels trip to the Netherlands

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Deputy of Islamic Republic higher education, Bagher Khorramshad

Islamic Republic's Deputy of Higher Education, Bagher Khorramshad, has cancelled his trip to the Netherlands following protests by the Dutch-Iranian community.

The visit which was organized by Clingendael, Netherlands Institute of International Relations, and the Islamic Republic Embassy in The Hague was scheduled for September 17.

Anna Ganes, director of Clingendael external affairs told Radio Zamaneh: "The program for September 17 was cancelled by the Iranian embassy due to the current situation."

She added: "We had considered the sensitivity of Dutch-Iranian community from the very beginning, and in our visit with the embassy officials, we had informed them that during the meeting they might be presented with critical questions. However, they had stated that this issue presented no difficulty to them."

Anna Ganes also noted: "We are an independent foundation without any political or religious ties. Our activities are targeted toward creating a dialogue."

In the last few days, the Iranian community in the Netherlands had shown fierce critical reaction to the news of the joint news bulletin by Clingendael foundation and the Islamic Republic Embassy in The Hague.

Persian Dutch Network, in an announcement in both languages, rebuked the Dutch organizers of this program saying: "Such a program is a disgrace to The Hague, the city of justice and peace, the city where Iranian leaders will soon be tried for crimes against their own people."

It goes on to say that the program scheduled for September "is an affront to the Dutch citizens of Iranian origin who have fled to the Netherlands due to the horrific situation in their country; a situation that has been caused by the fundamentalist government that is known in the international community as one of the top violators of human rights."

Iranian Progressive Youth Network also issued an announcement in Dutch entitled: "Clingendael, Promoter of Dictators" condemning the invitation of a figure connected with Islamic Republic higher education whilst "the Islamic Republic has confronted university students with the utmost violence."

In the past year, presence of Islamic Republic figures in the Netherlands has been heavily protested by the Dutch-Iranian community. Most recently, head of Iran's national broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zarghami, cancelled his trip to visit a Dutch television network due to these protests.

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