13:30 GMT +317 January 2019
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    An Iranian woman holds her national flag as she walks past an anti-US mural depicting the Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran (File)

    Tehran Says US, Israel Behind Albania’s Decision to Expel Iranian Diplomats

    © AFP 2018 / BEHROUZ MEHRI
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday called the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Albania unacceptable, saying that the United States and Israel were behind the decision.

    "This move and scenario came about under the pressure of the US government and the Zionist regime [of Israel]’s security apparatus in cooperation with some anti-Iran terrorist groups on the basis of unfounded allegations … We regard this injudicious move, which has been imposed on this country (Albania), as part of a policy of disrupting and straining Iran’s foreign relations, especially with Europe," the ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by the ministry's press service.

    The Albanian Foreign Ministry has said that the diplomats had been suspected of carrying out actions that undermined Albania’s security. The ministry added that the decision to expel the Iranian diplomats had been made during consultations with Tirana's allies.

    Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that Albania had expelled the Iranian ambassador from the country.

    READ MORE: US Indicts Two on Allegations of Spying for Iran on MEK Members in US

    Earlier in the day, Albanian media reported that Tirana had expelled two Iranian diplomats over their involvement in the preparation of an attempted terror attack against an Israeli football team back in 2016.

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    Israeli 'Spy' Firm Reportedly Went After Obama Team on Hunt for Iranian Assets
    US Indicts Two on Allegations of Spying for Iran on MEK Members in US
    US Citizen Accused of Spying Temporarily Released by Iran
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    spying, Iran, Albania, United States
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