Iran rejects return of German envoy Content-Length: 3199


LONDON, April 30 (UPI) -- The Iranian government says the German ambassador is not welcome to return to Tehran. Speaking a day after European Union foreign ministers decided to send their ambassadors back to Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said the German ambassador would not be allowed to return. According to Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency, Velayati told a news conference, ``We will not be upset if the German ambassador never returns to Tehran and we may even be pleased.'' The report was monitored in London. IRNA reported Wednesday Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said he had told the foreign ministry ``there should be no hurry for Iranian envoys to go back to european capitals.'' The 15 member states of the European Union recalled their ambassadors, prompting a tit-for-tat recall by Iran, after a German court found that Iran's top political leaders had been involved in the assassination of four Iranian Kurd dissidents in Berlin in 1992. On Tuesday, EU foreign ministers decided in Luxembourg that ambassadors could return, but severance of the ``critical dialogue'' with Iran would be reinforced by an arms embargo, a ban on ministerial visits to and from Iran, and the expulsion of Iranian intelligence attaches. Velayati blasted the EU's statement in Luxembourg, saying it stemmed from ``political immaturity and baseless claims.'' The German news agency DPA said Iran had also made clear the Danish ambassador would not be welcome, but this could not be confirmed. Iran, in a deluge of statements by top leaders, attacked the European Union -- which on Tuesday decided to halt ministerial ties with the Islamic republic -- for ``childish games'' and ``unfair, ill-intentioned and shameless'' policies. The state news agency IRNA said spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ``ordered the Iranian Foreign Ministry not to allow the German ambassador to Tehran to return for a period of time.'' ``The leader also instructed the Foreign Ministry not to rush in sending back Iranian ambassadors to their respective missions in the EU member states,'' it added. President Akbar Hashemi Rafsan ?'jani accused EU states of ``childish games'' and said Tehran as an achievement by Europeans, had been suspended before this at the instigation of Iran,'' he said without elaborating. The EU had said it suspended its policy of critical dialogue -- talks with Tehran while trying to get Iran to move closer to the West -- following the verdict. ``The Europeans have engaged in propaganda intrigues, indulged in stubborn and childish games, have become ashamed of themselves and have quickly put their hands up in the air; this is a sign of Iran's real strength,'' Rafsanjani said. Iran's Foreign Ministry in a statement carried by IRNA said Tuesday's EU decisions were ``a grave breach of international law and the norms governing the conduct of inter-state affairs, and is therefore invalid and unjustifiable.''