Netherlands posts military attache to Iran, angering coalition partner
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Netherlands posts military attache to Iran, angering coalition partner

Citing Tehran’s anti-Israel views and human rights record, lawmaker Joël Voordewind ‘dismayed’ Amsterdam seeking closer defense ties

Dutch lawmaker from the Christian Union party, Joël Voordewind, speaks in a campaign video uploaded online October 17, 2016. (screen capture: YouTube)
Dutch lawmaker from the Christian Union party, Joël Voordewind, speaks in a campaign video uploaded online October 17, 2016. (screen capture: YouTube)

AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands posted a defense attache to Tehran, angering a senior Dutch politician who asked why the government would seek military cooperation with a country that calls for Israel’s destruction.

Joël Voordewind of the Christian Union party said he was “dismayed” by the posting, which was first revealed by the NIW Dutch Jewish weekly. In addition to developing missiles capable of reaching Europe, “Iran oppresses its own population and seeks to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth,” said Voordewind, whose party is a coalition partner.

“I assume we don’t want military cooperation with Iran,” Voordewind told the weekly.

His Party for Freedom and the Reformed Political Party are formulating a parliamentary query for the foreign and defense ministries, Esther Voet, the editor in chief of NIW, told JTA.

According to NIW’s expose, the initiative for posting a military attache in Tehran came from the Foreign Ministry, which is currently led by Sigrid Kaag. Kaag, a former employee of the UNRWA aid agency for Palestinians and the wife of a Palestinian Authority former ambassador to Switzerland, visited Iran last month.

She came under criticism in the Dutch media for covering her head, as required by Islamic laws, while meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a time when Iranian women were being jailed for protesting laws that require them to cover their heads in public.

The Dutch ambassador to Iran, Susanna Terstal, met last month with Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami, NIW reported. Iran’s Mehr News quoted her as saying that “The Netherlands is interested in starting military relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Earlier this month, the chief commander of the Islamic Republic’s regular army, Abdolrahim Mousavi, said “We will finish off Israel’s life within less than 25 years.”

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