Farhad Jan:

For distribution on DNI associate List and iran-mail. Is it possilbe for me to do this directly? Or you would have to do it every time?




1. Reuter: Mykonos Trial Verdict & response from all sides 2. Reuter: US reaction to the Mykonos Trial Verdict 3. Reuter: IRI's reaction to the Verdict 4. Reuter: IRI expells foour German Diplomats 5. Reuter: Official German statement on Mykonos Trial

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1. Mykonos Trial Verdict & IRI-Germany-EU's reaction to the Mykonos Trial Verdict

BERLIN (Reuter) - Germany ordered four Iranian diplomats out of the country Thursday after a court accused Iran's leaders of ordering the killing of exiled Kurdish dissidents in Berlin and indicated Iran's highest leaders were involved. Accusing Iran of a ``flagrant violation of international law,'' Germany called its own ambassador home for consultations and said it would no longer take part in a ``critical dialogue'' with Iran which it previously stubbornly defended against criticism from Germany's allies. The European Union's presidency in the Hague, Netherlands, said it was inviting all member states to recall their ambassadors from Iran. Iran quickly dismissed the German verdict as political, said no evidence had been presented and it withdrew its own ambassador for consultations. Presiding Judge Frithjof Kubsch said in his ruling that the assassination of four Kurdish Iranian leaders in 1992 was ordered by a secret Special Operations Committee whose members included Iran's president, its religious leader, Intelligence minister and the head of foreign policy. He stopped short of explicitly naming Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who were accused by prosecutors of ultimate responsibility for the attack in Berlin's Mykonos restaurant. The verdict marked the first time that a European court clearly attributed political responsibility for any of the dozens of assassinations of Iranian opposition figures abroad since the Islamic revolution in 1979. As evidence, Kubsch cited the fact that a pistol used in the attack came from the arsenals of the former Shah's army, and the fact that Iranian forces in the country's Kurdish region were put on alert two days before the killings. ``This accusation is not true,'' Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri told reporters during a visit to Moscow. ``We have asked the German leadership many times if there is any evidence and if so to present it to us. But until now they haven't. The trial had a political tinge.'' Bonn's Foreign Ministry called in Iranian Ambassador Hossein Mousavian to tell him it held Iran responsible for its actions but that it hoped the situation would not escalate. It said senior European Union diplomats meeting in Brussels were considering ending the ``critical dialogue'' with Iran EU-wide. That dialogue has been attacked in particular by the United States, which shuns Iran as an alleged perpetrator of international terrorism. Bonn warned German citizens not to travel to Iran in the next few days because of possible security risks. Last November, after prosecutor Bruno Jost accused Iran's leaders of ordering the assassinations, an angry mob marched on the German Embassy in Tehran, hurling eggs and stones and calling for Jost's death. rling eggs and stones and calling for Jost's death. The Berlin daily Tageszeitung said Iran had already pulled out several secret agents working in Germany to anticipate possible expulsions, and that others were on the way out. Outside the courtroom, sealed off to traffic and guarded by heavily armed police, including rooftop snipers, more than 1,000 Iranian exiles rejoiced when they heard the verdict. ``The Iranian political leadership ordered this crime,'' Kubsch said in his four-hour judgment. ``This is an official liquidation measure ordered without a verdict.'' ``Decisions on such operations lie in the hands of the secret 'Committee for Special Operations' which operates outside the constitution .... There can be no lenience for state terrorism.'' Kubsch handed down life sentences on Kazem Darabi, an Iranian, and Abbas Rhayel, a Lebanese, for the murders of Sadegh Sharafkandi, exiled leader of the Iranian Democratic Party of Kurdistan, and three other dissidents. Two Lebanese received sentences of 11 years and five years and three months for complicity. A fifth suspect was cleared. Of the Iranian leaders, Kubsch mentioned only one by name -- Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahiyan. Fallahiyan asked Bonn to postpone the trial when he was received here just before it opened. He is now being sought on murder charges.

Kubsch cited a television interview that Fallahiyan gave in August 1992 in which he boasted of Iran's success in making ``decisive strikes'' against opposition groups. Kubsch said the committee delegated Fallahiyan to execute the plan and his agents recruited a hit squad in Berlin led by Darabi, a former member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Outside the court, Kurds and other opposition groups demonstrated separately. Massoud Rajavi, leader of the Iranian National Council of Resistance exile group, sent a message. ``For years, there has hardly been any doubt about the role of the criminal mullah regime's leadership in terrorist acts,'' he said. ``Now a European court has for the first time named Khamenei and Rafsanjani as the masterminds of the attack in Berlin and Tehran's state terrorism.'' Residents in the Iranian capital said dozens of riot police were posted Thursday evening around the German Embassy compound in central Tehran. The embassy was closed all day, even though it was usually open Thursdays, they said. Iranian analysts said they believed Iran would issue strongly worded protests against the court's ruling but doubted it would jeopardize its vital ties with Germany. German companies exported some $1.3 billion worth of goods to the Islamic state last year, while Germany imported $650 million in goods from Iran.


2. U.S. reaction to the Mykonos Trial Verdict

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The United States hailed a German court finding Thursday that the Iranian leadership ordered political killings of Kurds in Berlin and said Germany should draw its own conclusion about its ties with Tehran. ``The United States commends the courage of the German prosecutor, the German judges and the witnesses ... We are confident that the verdict was based on the court's objective evaluation of the evidence,'' said State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns. ``The court's verdict corroborates our long-held view that Iran's sponsorship of terrorism is authorized at senior levels of the Iranian government,'' Burns told reporters. The German court avoided names but said the country's political leadership ordered the killings of a group of Iranian Kurdish leaders in Berlin's Mykonos restaurant in 1992. ``The German authorities will now have to draw their own conclusions about how they wish to do business with Iran after this strong and unambiguous verdict,'' Burns said. ``The United States will maintain its own sanctions on Iran and we strongly encourage our European partners to do the same.'' Iran has been a major bone of contention between Washington and its European allies. The United States has dismissed the value of a ``critical dialogue'' that Germany and other European countries have said they favor with Tehran.


3. IRI's reaction to the Trial verdict

DUBAI, April 9 (Reuter) - Iran said on Wednesday the verdict in a trial in Germany of men accused of killing Kurdish dissidents on Tehran's orders could damage ties with Bonn but denied German nationals in Iran were at risk. ``These are nothing but baseless allegations...We support human values and German nationals will have full security,'' said Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, quoted by the Iranian daily Kayhan. He was reacting to reports that pro-Iranian groups might attack German interests or that the lives of German nationals in Iran were under threat if the court on Thursday backed charges by German prosecutors that Tehran ordered the 1992 killings in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin. ``But a negative verdict by the the Mykonos trial will have a negative impact on political and economic ties between Tehran and Bonn,'' Velayati said. ``We will react to the verdict based on...Islamic dignity, the interests of the Moslem nation and wisdom,'' said Velayati, quoted by state-run Tehran radio. Iran said on Monday court proceedings would begin shortly against 24 German companies accused of having helped Iraq produce chemical weapons during its 1980-88 war with Iran. The Iranian parliament's foreign relations commission on Tuesday night discussed the court case against the firms and ties with Bonn but delayed decision until later, IRNA said. Germany said on Monday it was ready to review its relations with Iran, depending on Tehran's reaction to the court ruling. The moderate daily Tehran Times said a verdict against Iran would only help Israeli and U.S. efforts to isolate Iran. ``It will be neither in Iran's nor in Germany's interest to allow the court to mar bilateral relations by issuing a biased verdict which will only appease the Zionist regime and the White House,'' the English-language daily said.


4. IRI expells four German diplomats

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuter) - Iran Thursday ordered four German diplomats to leave in a tit-for-tat move after Germany expelled four Iranian diplomatic staff. ``The Iranian government on Thursday ordered the expulsion of four German diplomats from Bonn's embassy in Tehran,'' the official Iranian news agency IRNA said without giving further details. Iran said earlier it had withdrawn its ambassador to Bonn, Hossein Moussavian, for consultations after a court in Berlin accused Iranian leaders of ordering the murder of four Kurdish Iranian dissidents in Germany. Iran's moves came as Germany announced it was recalling its ambassador from Tehran and expelling four Iranian diplomatic staff. Bonn also said it was ending its policy of ``critical dialogue'' with Tehran for the foreseeable future. In its Thursday ruling, the court avoided citing names but gave the positions of the Iranian officials it believed were behind the murders as members of a committee which included the state president and Iran's religious leader. Iran's ties with Germany, Tehran's main trade partner, were strained by German charges that spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ordered the murders. Iran has denied being involved.


5. Official German Statement

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.


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