Nouakchott – A Kenyan court has decided to deport two Iranian citizens who have been accused of plotting a terrorist attack in the capital Nairobi.
The two men were arrested on November 29 while being transported by a Kenyan driver in an Iranian diplomatic vehicle. They faced charges of filming the Israeli embassy.
The decision to deport Sayed Nasrollah Ebrahimi and Abdolhosein Gholi Safaee on Wednesday came in a deal that stopped the judicial proceedings against them following the interference of Iranian authorities which denied the charges against the two suspects.
Tehran said that the two men were university professors residing in Tehran.
Their arrest took place when they were returning from a prison outside Nairobi to visit two Iranians, Ahmad Mohammed and Sayed Mousavi, who are serving a 15-year term after being convicted in 2013 of possessing explosives.
During their questioning, Ebrahimi, Safaee and the Kenyan driver denied filming Israel’s embassy for the purpose of committing a terrorist act.
Public prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told Reuters he had successfully applied to the court for the case to be discontinued and the two Iranians to be deported immediately.
The driver, an employee of the embassy, was released, the prosecutor said.
The Kenyan media said the Iranians “were plotting to blow up the Israeli embassy in Nairobi.”
Their arrest caused tension in relations between Tehran and Nairobi.
Iranian Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said the two men were “official lawyers of the justice ministry… who travelled to Nairobi on behalf of the families of two Iranian prisoners in Kenya for a legal follow-up.”
This is the second such incident for Iranians in Kenya. In 2013, a Kenyan court jailed the two Iranians, Mohammed and Mousavi, for life on terrorism-related charges, including possession of explosives. The sentence was reduced to 15 years on appeal.