Iran has called for a speedy probe into a “suspicious” attempt to launch a knife attack on the residence of Tehran’s ambassador to Vienna, saying the motive behind the incident remains unknown.
“The assailant is about 26 years old and apparently possesses Austrian nationality, and there’s no information on his identity and motivation for the act,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday.
Austrian media said the knife attacker was killed by police Sunday night outside the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Vienna’s Hietzing district as he tried to get past a security guard and enter the building.
Austrian police spokesman Harald Moeser said that the assailant “died on the spot” after the guard shot him four times, after pepper spray failed to stop him.
Qassemi added that Iranian authorities in Tehran and Vienna remain in contact with Austrian officials for more details on the incident.
A knife attacker is shot dead outside the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Vienna, police say.
“We hope Austrian police and government security authorities can reach the essential results in the investigation they have launched since last night and we can get a more precise report about the motivation and identity of the individual in the coming hours,” added the spokesman.
He further pointed to his communication with the Iranian ambassador to Austria, noting that no damage has been inflicted on the residence of the envoy as the result of the attack.
Qassemi also said there are rumors that the assailant was a foreigner with Austrian citizenship but reiterated that “we have asked the Austrian government to look into the matter as soon as possible and pay more attention to the safety of Iranian diplomatic sites in the country.”
The attack came several hours after Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad announced that he had been threatened with death by a member of an extremist religious group, which recently carried out an attack on the Islamic Republic’s Embassy in London.—Agencies