X-Status: Unsent X-Mailer: Juno 1.15
X-Status: Unsent X-Mailer: Juno 1.15
TEHRAN - Iran condemned the Berlin court, dubbed its verdict `biased' and said it commanded no legal value. The Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi here on Thursday termed statements made by a German district court judge against Iran as "biased" and categorically denied accusations leveled against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The spokesman said the statements made by the German judge were unfounded and influenced by political propaganda campaign launched against the Islamic Republic of Iran. "We are awaiting a detailed and official account of the court procedures in order to scrutinize the issue," Mohammadi said. Iran has recalled its ambassador to Germany Hussein Musavian for some consultations, he said.
"The reality is that the statements of the Berlin court judge have been made in an unjust and biased manner based on the false claims of counterrevolutionary elements and hostile political propaganda of the Zionists, and thus are rejected and condemned by us," Mohammadi reiterated. The presiding judge of the Berlin District Court Frithjof Kubsch without offering any evidence, Thursday accused the political leadership of Iran of ordering the assassination of four exiled Kurdish opposition leaders in Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in 1992.
The court gave life imprisonment to one Iranian national and a Lebanese and sentenced two other Lebanese to long prison terms on charges of assassinating the four Kurdish dissidents. Meanwhile, German Ambassador to Tehran Horst Beshmann was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday to give explanations about the baseless allegations made by German Judge Kubsch. In Bonn, Iran's Ambassador Hussein Musavian in a meeting with German deputy foreign minister Thursday and conveyed Iran's official protest over the baseless accusations made by the judge of the Mykonos affair. Musavian categorically denied any Iranian government involvement in the Berlin accident and called the accusations leveled by the German judge against Iran as politically motivated and baseless. The ambassador said that the German government had already been officially informed by Iran about the influence of foreign services and terrorist groups in the court's procedure and its verdict on the case. He added that the judge of the Mykonos affair has based his accusations merely on remarks made by certain armed terrorists and a runaway hijacker, a fact which vindicated the information presented by Iran in this regard. In Tehran, security measures have been intensified around the German Embassy. Meanwhile, the Iranian government on Thursday ordered the expulsion of four German diplomats from Bonn's embassy in Tehran. The measure followed a decision by Germany and Iran to recall their ambassadors. In related news, Mohammadi yesterday rejected and described as "unprincipled" the stance of the European Union President Has Van Mierlo. Mohammadi added that the stance is based on unfounded remarks of the Berlin court judge and pressure exerted by those who are against Iran-E.U. relations. He described as "unrealistic" and rejected connecting Iran, a country which itself has been a victim of terrorist acts, to acts of terrorism by countries which on occasions have provided safe sanctuary for terrorists. which on occasions have provided safe sanctuary for terrorists. "The Islamic Republic of Iran while respecting international laws and regulations in its foreign policy, does not allow the critical dialogue with E.U. to be used a pressure lever against Iran," he said. "The Islamic Republic of Iran based on its principled policy and goodwill has welcomed the critical dialogue with E.U. in the past years with the aim that both sides could openly raise their criticism. But unfortunately (the IRI) has always been a witness to biased provocations and sabotage of some of the members." The Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed, "It could be said that the European Union has been unable to come up with an honest policy in its talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran." There is no doubt that as long as the European Union is unable to demonstrate an independent attitude based on goodwill, the Islamic Republic of Iran will consider such talks as useless. He concluded by saying that Iran in its relations with other countries has the right to counteract.
------------------------------------------------------------------ Islamic Hardliner Threatens Suicide Attack on German Embassy ------------------------------------------------------------------ TEHRAN (AFP) - An Islamic fundamentalist group holding a demonstration in front of the German Embassy here yesterday vowed to launch a suicide attack on the mission if Bonn continues "hostile" policies against Iran.
"One of our followers will strap a bomb to himself and blow up the embassy if Germany continues its accusations and hostile attitude against our leaders," said Hussein Allah-Karam, leader of Ansar-e-Hizbollah (friends of the party of God), which usually spearheads anti-Western protests in Iran. He made the remarks to a crowd of around 2,000 people gathered in front of the mission to protest a German court ruling implicating the Tehran regime in the murder of Iranian Kurd opponents. The court accused Iranian leaders on Thursday of ordering the murder of four Kurds in a Berlin restaurant in 1992. In a resolution read to the crowd here yesterday, the demonstrators called on the Iranian government to severe ties with Bonn if it failed to apologize for the charges. They also warned other European governments not to follow Germany's suit in relations with Iran, before dispersing peacefully. Earlier several demonstrators threw stones at the embassy building, which was heavily guarded by Iranian police and elite revolutionary guards, and in front of which were placed large portraits of Iran's paramount Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The demonstrators converged on the embassy from midday prayers at Tehran University brandishing banners denouncing Germany, Israel and the United States and shouting "Allah Akbar" (God Is Great) and "Down with Fascist Germany". Placards held up by the crowd described the German mission as a "Second Spy Nest" after that of the former U.S. Embassy here, while others said "Down with the Fascist German Regime" and "We Condemn the Berlin Verdict." Iranian radical students stormed the former U.S. mission in 1979 and took its staff hostage, after describing it as a "Nest of Espionage." As more protesters began to arrive, police reinforced security around the mission with the elite revolutionary guards replacing some policemen. There was also a heavy police presence in streets nearby and along the route where the protesters were moving, witnesses added. The embassy remained closed with policemen in riot gear preventing anyone from approaching the compound, surrounded by a tall fence. Iran and Germany decided to recall their ambassadors and each expelled four of the other's diplomats in reaction to the verdict. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Rafsanjani Quotes Mykonos Trial a Disgrace for German Judiciary ------------------------------------------------------------------ TEHRAN (IRNA) - President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in his Friday prayer sermons here yesterday denounced the decision of the German court in the so-called Mykonos trial as "politically motivated" and called it a "historical disgrace for the German judicial system."
Hojjatoleslam Rafsanjani's remarks that "it was a scandalous event for the Westerners, especially for the Germans," were greeted with deafening applause and cries of God's majesty (Allah-o Akbar) by the tens of thousands of the faithful who had assembled at the Tehran University campus. He said it is interesting to note that the political ruling of the German court was timed with the admission by the United States State Department that the so-called Middle East peace process had reached the dead end. "After two years of deceitful efforts they admitted their defeat in the `peace process', and since they knew that their announcement was sure to meet the strong wave of criticism from the media, they created another situation so as to keep the press busy for a few days," said the Iranian President referring to Thursday's wild allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran by Judge Frithjof Kbusch in the so-called Mykonos trial. "They needed to create such a big wave. However, it does not have any force or contents for the West, and is similar to a passing thunder and lightning after which the sky becomes clear," he added. Rafsanjani, who is also the head of the Expediency Council, deduced that in order to reduce the effects of the scandalous failure of the so-called Middle East talks, the Western propaganda machine decided to exploit the Mykonos court as a scapegoat in order to buy time and distort the fact of their failure in the Middle East. "Indeed, it was a political move, since from the start it (the German court) behaved like a propaganda agency. There are numerous examples of such courts in Europe, where scores of terrorists, bribetakers and smugglers of chemicals to Iraq are condemned in Britain, Germany and the United States...", said Tehran's substitute Friday prayer leader. He said some middlemen had approached the Islamic Republic of Iran to extract some concessions and that British and German officials, prior to the political decision of the Mykonos court, had indicated that Iran would be condemned. "It is a disgrace for a court to be influenced by political trends. This is not something usual but concerns a country and its (judicial) system," he added. President Rafsanjani continued: "Those who had proposed a deal for help in the fate of (Israeli pilot) Ron Arad were not Germans, although the German government has failed to safeguard its interests and we had on all occasions in our meetings with German officials told them that the matter of the (Mykonos) court would be detrimental to German interests." He said: "It is humiliating for a government (Germany) not to control situations which could backfire on itself." "The Germans are fully aware of the cost they will have to bear in the Muslim world as well as in the Islamic Republic of Iran because of this scandalous ruling." "It is almost a hundred years since the establishment of the warm relations between Iran and Germany but the German government being forced to weaken the century-old relations with a country like Iran, which is in the heart of the geography of the world, is a matter of unmanliness which the people of Iran are not likely to forget for at least a hundred years." He regretted the inability of the German government to understand a determined nation like Iran and said that such a move in the name of defense of human rights will neither mar the progress of the great Islamic Revolution nor the power of the economic center of the East that Iran is. Rafsanjani, referring to the publicity stunt that the Mykonos trial was turned into in coordination with the propaganda of the anti-revolutionaries, said the German government has ignored the interests of its own people under political pressure from the United States and the Zionist entity. Tehran's substitute Friday prayer leader dismissed this recent plot of global arrogance to undermine the Islamic Revolution as yet another grave blunder and was confident that it will fade into oblivion as the other futile conspiracies against the Islamic Republic since its foundation 18 years ago. He compared the current scenario of some European ambassadors being recalled from Tehran similar to what happened in 1989 following the father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini's historical verdict against the apostate Salman Rushdie, the author of the blasphemous novel `the Satanic Verses'. "In those days our treasury and warehouses were almost empty. We had numerous difficulties. There was virtually no industry. But today this is not the case. Every day a new leaf is being turned over thanks to reconstruction.
Our progress and ingenuity is being displayed, and no one feels whether they (Western ambassadors) are here on not," said the Iranian President. Islamic Iran, he said, is politically independent and has its economic clout to wield, "They (the West) need Iran, and any country which does not have good relations with Iran would perpetually jeopardize its interests in the Persian Gulf. In the Caspian Sea also, no one can live without Iran." Hojjatoleslam Rafsanjani called it a "historical error" of European states to threaten Asian countries with the severance of ties, and said most Asian countries believe that it is better not to have these bonds with Europe at all since it is possible to procure all their needs outside Europe. In part of his second sermon, he said the nature of the so-called Middle East peace process was a "tyrannical plot" and was not different from a real war. Rafsanjani said the rights of the Palestinian nation and the fate of the refugees were totally disregarded and the United States which had assumed the role of a mediator was not the least impartial, and was in fact more Zionist than the Israelis in its concern for preserving the interests in the Middle East of the Israeli entity. He described the establishment of the Zionist entity as a "dagger to the body of Islam," saying that Israel is vital to the interest of the arrogant powers. The matter has now come to such a state that Washington can no longer pretend as an impartial mediator and the Arab nations have realized that they have been deceived, he said. "Their recognition of Israel after almost fifty years was a great great achievement in favor of the Zionist regime, added Rafsanjani. He pointed out that things have finally changed recently and the Arab League meeting in Cairo and the speeches of Palestinian Authority Leader Yasser Arafat and Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa at the Islamic Conference in Islamabad were loud cries against American policy. President Rafsanjani concluded: "Arabs at this stage have come to realize the good intention of Iran and found out that both the United States and Israel for no particular reason were trying to pit them against Islamic ------------------------------------------------------------------ EU Backs Away from Tough Action on Iran ------------------------------------------------------------------ BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (AFP) - The European Union yesterday began assessing the future of its relations with Iran after the Tehran regime was implicated by a Berlin court in the 1992 murder of Kurdish dissidents on German soil.
As Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani warned that Germany would "suffer" for Thursday's German court ruling, diplomats in Brussels said the EU was unlikely to break off diplomatic relations with Tehran or impose any form of sanctions.
EU governments agreed on Thursday to suspend the bloc's five-year-old "critical dialogue," with Iran, a policy of engagement that has been repeatedly criticized by the United States, and to recall their ambassadors in Tehran for consultations on possible further measures.
Yesterday however the united front around even these initial steps began to crumble, casting doubt on the chances of a "firm" response, as Britain in particular has demanded. Diplomats from Germany and Italy, the strongest backers of the policy of engagement, stressed that the critical dialogue had only been suspended, not abandoned definitively and ruled out any moves to downgrade diplomatic relations with Tehran. "If Germany does not want to take any tougher measures it will be difficult for other countries to make the case for them," said a Scandinavian diplomat. The situation was only likely to change if anti-German protests in Iran spilled over into direct attacks on EU citizens there, he added. Austrian Foreign Minister Wolgang Schussel insisted: "The critical dialogue is finished." But he added: "It would be a mistake to break off diplomatic relations." Economic sanctions would only hurt the people of Iran not the regime, Schussel argued. Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm Wallen called for a fundamental rethink of how the EU can put pressure on Iran to respect human rights and stop promoting terrorism. "By its flagrant breach of international law, Iran has demonstrated that no progress can be made under the critical dialogue," she said. Greece meanwhile broke ranks with its EU partners by saying it had no plans to recall its ambassador. "This decision will only serve to further isolate Iran rather than helping her to rejoin theinternational community," said a Foreign Ministry official. Germany's determination to maintain links with Iran is seen as being linked to its significant trading ties with the regime. German exports to Iran were worth $1.4 billion in 1995, more than twice the level of any other country. An economic boycott would do nothing to achieve the goal of promoting change in Iran, said Herbert Riedel of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce. "In economic affairs it is normal to make a distinction between morals and politics," he said. Christoph Wolf of the German Chambers of Commerce predicted that the current row will be nothing more than a "temporary irritation," in German-Iranian trade relations. A weak EU response to the Berlin court ruling is likely to exacerbate tensions with the United States over how to deal with "rogue" states like Iran and Libya.
The EU remains firmly opposed to U.S. legislation that threatens sanctions against oil companies that make new investments in these two countries. Diplomats admitted however that the Berlin verdict had vindicated U.S. claims that Iran was involved in sponsoring terrorism. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Paris Rules Out Trade Sanctions Against Iran ---------------------------------------------------------------- PARIS, FRANCE (AFP) - France yesterday ruled out imposing trade sanctions against Iran, despite the European Union decision to suspend dialogue with the Tehran regime after it was implicated in the 1992 murder of Kurdish dissidents on German soil.
Paris, however, warned Iran against any "inappropriate reaction" against Germany or Europe. "For France, what's at stake is not an economic or commercial consideration. France is a secondary trading partner for Iran," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jacques Rummelhardt said. A
Berlin court on Thursday alleged that senior Iranian leaders were behind the murder of four Iranian Kurd dissidents in a Berlin restaurant in 1992.