1. Australia, New Zealand Ambassadors Return To Iran 2- Iran hails return of Australia, New Zealand envoys
  2. Iran hails return of Australia, New Zealand envoys
Dow Jones Business News
April 19, 1997

1- Australia, New Zealand Ambassadors Return To Iran

TEHRAN -- The Australian and New Zealand ambassadors have returned to Tehran less than two weeks after they were recalled home after a ruling blaming Iranian leaders for the killing of dissidents, the Iranian news agency reported Saturday.

All European Union countries except Greece recalled their ambassadors after a German court said on April 10 that Iranian leaders were behind the 1992 assassination of Kurdish Iranian dissidents in Berlin. New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Finland also called home their envoys.

Australia and New Zealand were the first countries to send their envoys back to Tehran. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi praised the return of the ambassadors.

'We can increase our ties with those countries which follow the principles of mutual respect and trust in their relations with Iran,' he was quoted as saying by Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran retaliated after the ambassadors were recalled by ordering its envoys home and canceling a visit to Tehran next month by an Australian business delegation. Iran was looking to buy up to $390 million in Australian grain.

Iran also threatened to cancel trade agreements with some countries, including New Zealand. Iran imports $120 million in meat, dairy products, fish and wool from New Zealand every year.

The Arabic-language al-Hayat daily quoted French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette on Saturday as saying that all the ambassadors who were recalled would return 'following the consultations they were called for.' He didn't specify a date.


2- Iran hails return of Australia, New Zealand envoys

DUBAI, April 19 (Reuter) - Iran has said the return to Tehran of the Australian and New Zealand ambassadors after their recall over a German court ruling implicating Iranian leaders in political slayings could boost future ties.

``We will take into account the steps taken by these two countries in determining their future relations with the Islamic republic,'' the official Iranian news agency IRNA on Saturday quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi as saying.

``Naturally, we can increase our ties with those countries which follow the principles of mutual respect and trust in their relations with Iran,'' he said.

European Union countries except Greece recalled their top envoys from Tehran after the April 10 court ruling accusing Iranian leaders of ordering the 1992 killings of four Kurdish dissidents in Berlin. Iran said it would reciprocate.

Australia and New Zealand also recalled their ambassadors, but later said the envoys would return to Tehran. Australia, which is exporting up to three million tonnes of wheat to Iran in the year to June 30, said on Thursday it would return ambassador Stuart Hume to Iran on Friday.

Australia has been considering its reaction to the ruling, including possible diplomatic and trade sanctions and the withdrawal of an unused line of credit with Tehran.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Don McKinnon said ambassador Daniel Richards would be back in Iran by April 19. He said on Tuesday he expected confusion over a reported trade ban imposed by Iran in response to Richards's recall to be resolved in days.