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Netherlands Expels Two Members Of Iranian Embassy Staff

Two Iranian Embassy staff members have been expelled from the Netherlands, the Dutch intelligence service said, although it did not give a reason for the action.

"Two workers from the Iranian Embassy [in The Hague] were expelled from the Netherlands on June 7,” a spokesman for Dutch intelligence AIVD told the AFP news agency on July 6.

"Unfortunately, I cannot divulge any details of the matter," he added.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

A senior Iranian official told Reuters that "all these arrests and expulsions are part of our enemies' attempts to harm efforts to salvage the nuclear deal."

The foreign ministers of Iran and the five world powers still party to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal met in Vienna on July 6 to discuss ways to preserve the agreement in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the sides had agreed to continue talking over how to save the deal after no breakthrough was reported at the meeting.

The expulsions appeared to precede recent moves by other European countries against Iranian citizens. It was not known if the moves are related.

The governments of Belgium, France, and Germany on June 30 said they had detained six people over an alleged plot to bomb a weekend rally of the opposition People's Mujahedin of Iran in a Paris suburb.

Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat in Germany, was detained on July 1 by Belgian authorities on a European arrest warrant because of his suspected involvement in the alleged bomb plot.

Iran said it had nothing to do with the plot and protested Assadi's detention and Belgium's threat to strip him of diplomatic immunity.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AFP