March 17, 2019 / 5:37 PM / 5 months ago

Iran recalls ambassador to Kenya over court case

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran recalled its ambassador to Kenya because of a court decision upholding sentences for two Iranians in jail, foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Sunday, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency. 

Iran also lodged a formal complaint with the Kenyan ambassador in Tehran on Saturday because of the Kenyan court decision in the case of Ahmad Abolfathi and Seyed Mansour Mousavi. 

In 2016, a Kenyan judge reduced the life sentences given to the two Iranians convicted of planning bomb attacks to 15 years. The case raised concerns about possible Iranian plans to strike targets in the east African nation.

The two were arrested in June 2012 and convicted a year later of planning attacks and possessing 15 kg of military-grade RDX explosives.

The men may have had links to the Quds Force, the elite extra-territorial special forces arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Kenyan investigators have said.

The men were scheduled to be freed before the Kenyan court upheld their sentences on Friday, Qassemi said.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Ros Russell

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