Dow Jones Business News
April 18, 1997

Iran Extremist Threatens Suicide Bombings Against Germany

TEHRAN -- The leader of a hardline pressure group warned Friday he would unleash a string of suicide bombings against Germany if it did not apologize for a German court's ruling that blamed Iran's top leaders for 1992 political assassinations in Berlin.

'We will confront insults to Islam and our religious leadership wherever in the world they occur. We are even ready to strap a bomb around our waists and go for martyrdom,' said Hossein Allah-Karam, head of the extremist Ansar'e Hezbollah group.

Ansar'e Hezbollah is not believed to have the power or means to carry out such threats. Nevertheless, while Allah-Karam was addressing a demonstration outside the German Embassy, several people signed up on the spot to become suicide bombers.

Allah-Karam claimed that hundreds of others had already volunteered for suicide attacks against Germany.

'Right now our government won't allow such actions, but we are negotiating with it. Once our deadline passes, then Germany will be confronted with the explosion of the Hezbollah,' said Allah Karam. He did not say when that deadline would expire.

Allah-Karam's group is not associated with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon.

Tehran and the European Union have been locked in a diplomatic row ever since the court ruled that Iran's top leaders had ordered the 1992 assassinations of Kurdish-Iranian dissidents in Berlin.

All 15 E.U. nations have recalled their ambassadors from Tehran, as have Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Finland. It is Iran's worst diplomatic crisis since 1989, when Tehran called on Muslims to kill British writer Salman Rushdie for allegedly insulting Islam in his novel, 'The Satanic Verses.'