US President Donald Trump thanked Albania for expelling the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten Albania’s security.
Trump’s letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, dated December 14, thanked him “for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe.” His letter said the expulsion “exemplifies our joint efforts to show the Iranian government that its terrorist activities in Europe and around the world will have severe consequences.”
The US Embassy in Tirana published the letter on its Facebook page today.
Albania’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday the two diplomats were expelled for “violating their diplomatic status” following talks with other countries, including Israel.
Iran blamed the United States and Israel for the expulsions. The official IRNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying that “Albania has become an unintentional victim of the United States, Israel and some terrorist groups.”
Private Top Channel television reported that the Iranians were suspected of illegal activities related to a World Cup qualifying match between Albania and Israel two years ago.
Earlier this year, a court in neighboring Kosovo sentenced nine Albanians for planning a foiled attack against the Israeli soccer team during the match in Albania.