'AIVD Tapped Iranian Ambassador’
THE HAGUE, 30/07/13 - The AIVD secret service tapped the Iranian ambassador’s phone from end-2010 for months, NRC Handelsblad newspaper writes based on those involved in the intelligence world.
The service wanted to collect information via the tapping on Dutch nationals in Iran, including Zahra Bahrami. She was in jail on suspicion of drugs smuggling at the time that the tapping operation, for which equipment was installed, was set up.
Via the tapping of Ambassador Kazem Gharib Abadi, the Netherlands tried to discover the intentions of the Iranian regime. This was only partly successful, as the ambassador turned out not to be well informed.
Bahrami was eventually given the death penalty for drugs smuggling. Her execution at end-January 2011 came as an unexpected shock to the Dutch authorities.
Former Foreign Minister Ben Bot is not surprised that the Iranian ambassador was tapped. “Of course the Netherlands does that, especially in a case that is so sensitive. They would conversely also not hesitate to do the same to us.”
For the tapping by the AIVD, Dutch law requires the permission of the Home Affairs Minister. At the time, this was Piet Hein Donner. It is not known whether he gave permission for this. Because an embassy is foreign territory, the AIVD can argue that Dutch law does not apply.
The AIVD and the foreign ministry declined comment to the paper. The Iranian embassy says it will give its reaction later.