Dow Jones Business News
April 17, 1997

Germany Parliament Accuses Iran Of Violating Intl Law

BONN (AP)--Germany's parliament passed a resolution Thursday blaming the Iranian government for a 'flagrant violation of international law' in the 1992 assassination of four Kurds in Berlin.

Relations between Western Europe and Iran have soured since a Berlin court ruled last week that Iranian leaders had ordered the killing of the Iranian Kurds at a Berlin restaurant.

The Iranian government must 'observe the rules of international law,' swear off 'carrying out ... or supporting terrorist activities,' respect human rights and 'refrain from hunting down opponents living abroad,' said the resolution of the Bundestag, parliament's lower house. It denounced 'official Iranian involvement' in the attack 'as a flagrant violation of international law.'

Ruprecht Polenz, a parliamentarian with Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrats, suggested that governments of the European Union consider 'sending home' Iranian intelligence officials posted to Iranian embassies in E.U. nations.

Polenz said the E.U.'s 'critical dialogue' policy toward Iran, which was suspended in the wake of the Berlin court ruling, should remain suspended until Tehran shows it intends to turn over a new leaf.

The Bundestag resolution, which was drafted by Kohl's coalition, expressed 'concern over demonstrations that have taken place outside the German Embassy in Iran' and called on Tehran to 'guarantee the safety of Germans' living there.

The resolution was passed on the strength of Kohl's majority. Opposition parties voted against it because they had wanted it to include specific punitive measures, such as reducing relations with Tehran to a minimum.

Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel told the Bundestag, 'We do not want to totally cut off the lines of communication with Iran.'

The resolution said Germany and its E.U. partners must 'draw up a new concept' for relations with Iran, while at the same time 'continuing level-headed behavior.'