Call for Italy to close Iran embassy in Rome

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LONDON (Reuter) - An Iranian opposition leader called on Italy to close down Tehran's embassy in Rome and arrest the ambassador, saying they were behind the killing of an Iranian opposition figure in Rome yesterday.

Mohammed Hussein Nagdi, Rome representative of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, was shot dead by two gunmen as he was being driven to his office.

In Tehran, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mahmud Vaezi, warned yesterday that Iran would give Britain an 'appropriate response' to protest London's support for the author Salman Rushdie. He ruled out any improvement of ties with London, which earlier this month announced stricter controls on the sale of technology to Iran, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

London dismissed a call by Tehran last month to hand over Mr Rushdie, who faces an Iranian death sentence for alleged blasphemy against Islam in his novel The Satanic Verses.