Denmark summons Iranian ambassador over controversial divorce reports

Danish media reported that imams are forcing Iranian women in Denmark to accept divorce terms, and Denmark's foreign minister thinks Iran may be involved.

al-monitor Denmark's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod at his office in Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 24, 2020. Kofod has summoned the Iranian ambassador to Denmark. Photo by IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images.

Topics covered

imams, women, divorce, denmark

Oct 7, 2020

Denmark has summoned Iran’s ambassador following local media reports that the Iranian Embassy is involved in controversial divorces in the European country.

The Danish government summoned the Iranian ambassador on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

The controversy arose from Danish media reports that Iranian women in the country are being forced to accept divorce papers drawn up by imams, according to The Copenhagen Post. The news outlet reported that one imam in the city of Odense mandated that divorced women who remarry or move farther than 80 miles away must lose custody of their children.

Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod referred to “rumors” that the Iranian Embassy in Copenhagen was involved in pressuring women to accept such divorces.

“The kind of religious control that we have heard about in the media does not belong in Denmark,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Iran and Denmark have had diplomatic rifts before. In 2018, Denmark accused Iran of being behind an attempted plot to assassinate an Arab separatist from Iran in the city of Ringsted. Iran denied the allegations and summoned Denmark’s ambassador to Tehran over the issue.

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