11 July 2024

The Thai Foreign Ministry and the Royal Thai Police issued separate statements today (Wednesday) denying a local press report that Iranians in Thailand are being watched by Thai police and that the police have been put on alert after a suspected Iranian spy was recently arrested in Indonesia.

According to a Bangkok Post report of June 6th, the suspected spy entered Indonesia more than ten times using fake passports. Eleven mobile phones, a tablet, several SIM cards and a substantial amount of cash were found by Indonesian police.

The names of some Thai Muslims were found in some of the phones, according to the report.

The Thai Foreign Ministry said that it has checked with the Royal Thai Police and has been told that they have not issued any secret directive alerting police across the country to watch out for suspected Iranian spies or ordered the monitoring of the movements of Iranian nationals in Thailand, as reported in the media.

The ministry said that Thailand and Iran have enjoyed cordial and friendly relations for a long time, based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty. It also said the Iranian government has offered an assurance that it would not allow the good relationship and trust between Iran and Thailand to be undermined.

In its own statement, the police denied a claim that they had been contacted by the Indonesian police on the matter, saying the force takes security threats seriously, especially ahead of the 2022 APEC Summit, to be hosted in Thailand in November, and that the report by Bangkok Post, and any other similar media reports, will be investigated.

On June 6th, the Iranian embassy in Bangkok issued a statement, rejecting and denouncing as baseless, the allegations in the Press report.

The embassy said that it had pursued the issue through diplomatic channels and found no evidence to substantiate the claims, adding that, since becoming an Islamic republic, Iran has been attacked with such smear campaigns.