Dow Jones Business News
April 10, 1997

Clinton Admin. Calling On Germany To Cut Econ Ties To Iran

WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration is calling on Germany and other European governments to cut their economic ties to Iran in light of a German court ruling that the 'highest state levels' in Tehran ordered the assassination of an Iranian opposition figure.

The judges convicted two men of murder and two others of complicity in the 1992 killing of Iranian-Kurdish leader Sadiq Sarafkindi and three colleagues.

Germany and other European Union countries have pursued a policy of 'critical dialogue' with Tehran the past four and a half years, raising issues of terrorism and human rights while continuing relations and profitable trade.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said that German authorities should draw 'their own conclusions' and that the U.S. would take up the verdict with other European governments, as well.

'There is no evidence that the 'critical dialogue' has made a difference,' Burns said.

'We would be very pleased if the European governments moved to choke off trade with Iran,' he added.