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Tehran Ambassador to Denmark Accused of Forcing Islamic-Style Divorce on Women

Iran’s ambassador to Denmark, Afsaneh Nadipour,

On Wednesday, October 8, Denmark summoned Tehran's ambassador to Copenhagen, Afsaneh Nadipour, over reports that the Iranian Embassy had allegedly contacted Iranian women living in the Scandinavian country and pressured them to accept divorce terms drawn up by local clergies and Mosque Imams.

The summons follows recent reports in Danish media about Muslim women being forced to accept divorce deals made by imams in Denmark. A contract made by one imam said that a woman, among other things, had to admit that if she remarried, she would lose the custody of her children, Associated Press reported.

"I take the rumors extremely seriously that the Iranian Embassy, unsolicited, had contacted women living here to pressure them to have their Danish divorce papers religiously validated," said Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod. "That is also why we react as quickly and as clearly as we do."

Kofod added that the Scandinavian country would "in no way accept if an embassy is involved in cases that are contrary to Danish law — and contrary to our basic democratic values in Denmark."

"The kind of religious control that we have heard about in the media does not belong in Denmark," he said.

Tehran has not yet responded to the summoning of Nadipour to the Danish Foreign Ministry.

Wrapped in Islamic hijab, Nadipour presented her credentials to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark on Monday, February 8, 2020. She had earlier served in the Islamic Republic's representative offices in Tokyo, Geneva, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague (OPCW).

This is not the first case of summoning an Iranian Ambassador to the Danish Foreign Ministry.

Denmark announced in late October 2018 that the Iranian ambassador to Copenhagen, Morteza Moradian, had been summoned to the Danish Foreign Ministry following Danish security forces foiling an Iranian plot to kill an exiled Iranian dissident.

Earlier, a Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin was arrested on October 21, 2018 on suspicion of helping an unspecified Iranian intelligence service '"to act in Denmark" and allegedly becoming involved in an assassination plot, Danish security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said.

Denmark recalled its ambassador to Iran after the country accused Tehran of plotting to kill three Iranian dissidents living there.

Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen both called the alleged Iranian attack in Denmark "totally unacceptable."