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BREAKING NEWS

Iranian dissident attacked in Berlin by masked assailants - police

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BERLIN (Reuters) - An Iranian dissident in Berlin told German police that he was attacked by three men who called him by name and threatened him in Persian before beating him and stamping on him.

If linked to Iranian government agents, the attack could further strain Iran's ties with the European Union, which last month imposed sanctions on an Iranian intelligence unit. The Netherlands has accused Iran of two killings on its soil.

France and Denmark have also accused Iran of plotting assassinations of dissidents in Europe. Iran denies the allegations.

The German federal police's anti-terrorism unit has taken over the investigation into the attack last Wednesday in the south-western neighbourhood of Steglitz, which left the 47-year-old Iranian man with minor injuries.

The attack in the German capital occurred one day before France, Germany and Britain opened a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran to avert U.S. sanctions.

The United States reimposed punitive measures on Iran after President Donald Trump last year abandoned the 2015 deal, under which international sanctions were lifted in return for Tehran accepting curbs on its nuclear programme.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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