The European Union (EU) envoy for nuclear policy talks with Iran, Spanish diplomat Enrique Mora, said Friday that he was briefly held by German police at Frankfurt airport on his way back from Tehran.
An EU spokesman minimized the incident and stated that everything was “quickly resolved”, although in a message on Twitter Mora had indicated that what happened “seems to be a violation of the Vienna Convention” on diplomatic protection.
“Stopped by German police at Frankfurt airport on my way to Brussels, back from Tehran. Not a single explanation,” Mora tweeted.
“An EU official on an official mission with a Spanish diplomatic passport. They have withheld my passport and my telephone numbers,” he added.
A short time later he announced that he was “released together with my two colleagues, the EU ambassador to the UN in Vienna and the head of the EEAS working group [la diplomacia de la UE] in Iran.”
“They kept us separated. They refused to give us any explanation for what appears to be a violation of the Vienna Convention,” the experienced Spanish diplomat complained.
Meanwhile, the German federal police reported that it was an operation related to the flight, coming from Iran, and not to the people, who were held for about 40 minutes before being released.
For his part, the spokesman for the German Ministry of the Interior, Maximilian Kall, pointed out that the controls “were only on the route of travel, on the indications that existed on this flight but that were not related in any way to the three diplomats.”
The Vienna Convention grants legal privileges to diplomats and missions, and is one of the treaties that underpins all international relations.
Mora had been in Tehran on Wednesday for talks with Iran’s chief negotiator about efforts to salvage the international agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Mora has played a key role as a broker between the United States and Iran during a year of on-and-off talks in Vienna to restore the pact, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).