Official German statement on Iran situation

Translation of German statement on ties with Iran 02:02 p.m. Apr 10, 1997 Eastern

BONN, April 10 (Reuter) - The following is a translation of the German Foreign Ministry's statement on relations with Iran following a Berlin court's verdict on Thursday that the Iranian leadership ordered the 1992 killing of four dissidents in Berlin. The text was translated by Reuters staff.

The federal government has with great consternation taken note of the conclusions, contained in the verdict of the Berlin court in the so-called Mykonos trial, on the participation of Iranian state agencies. These conclusions of an independent German court must play an important role in evaluating relations with Iran. The participation of Iranian state agencies, as found in the court verdict, represents a flagrant violation of international law. Such behaviour cannot be accepted in the field of international relations.

The federal government calls upon the Iranian government in the strongest possible terms to respect strictly the rules of international law.

In the light of this situation, the federal government has decided upon the following measures:

  1. The German ambassador in Tehran, (Horst) Baechmann, is being recalled to Bonn today.
  2. Four members of the Iranian diplomatic staff in the Federal Republic of Germany are being ordered to leave the country.
  3. The Iranian ambassador in Bonn, (Hossein) Moussavian, was called in to the Foreign Ministry by state secretary (Peter) Hartmann on the orders of Foreign Minister (Klaus) Kinkel. The political significance of the current situation was conveyed to the Iranian ambassador at this opportunity.

The ambassador was also told at the same time that in the federal government's opinion it would be in the interest of both states that the situation not escalate further. In the view of the federal government, it should be made clear that responsibility under international law lies with Iran as a state and not its religious institutions.

The federal government has confidence in the assurances of the Iranian government that the security of German nationals and German facilities in Iran will be guaranteed. At the same time, the federal government has done the same for Iranian nationals and Iranian facilities in Germany.

4. The federal government has been and remains in the closest contact with its partners in the European Union. They have declared their solidarity with the federal government from the outset.

The European Union is at the moment discussing in Brussels appropriate measures towards Iran. Among steps being considered are the recalling of ambassadors for consultations and the suspension of the critical dialogue, which was agreed by the European Union in 1992 in Edinburgh.

The government is certain that it will not be taking part in this critical dialogue for the foreseeable future.

The government regrets this development, especially since the Iranian and German peoples have enjoyed friendly relations for well over 100 years.