subj: iran/diplomacy (l) by laurie kassman/cairo

intro: protesters in tehran clashed with police for a second day (monday) in front of the german embassy. iranians are upset by a german court ruling linking iran's leadership to the assassination of iranian dissidents in berlin five-years ago. v-o-a middle east correspondent laurie kassman reports the rift between iran, europe, and other countries is deepening.

text: students threw stones at the line of riot police who were stationed in front of the german embassy to prevent the demonstrators from storming the compound. several protesters were arrested, several more were injured. the students were shouting anti-german slogans and trying to persuade police guards to let them tear down the german flag in front of the embassy.

tens-of-thousands of protesters were out sunday, but there were no reports of violence then.

iran's diplomatic problems appear to be spreading, as new zealand and australia joined the european recall of ambassadors for consultations. iran has cut off its trade with new zealand to protest what a statement calls -- new zealand's political show against iran.

sunday, iranian foreign minister ali akbar velayati warned he would recall ambassadors from european capitals if the diplomatic situation deteriorated. germany -- iran's closest european ally -- says it is not ready to cut diplomatic or trade links. france also says an embargo does not seem appropriate at this time.

the european union has followed germany's lead in maintaining what it calls a critical dialogue with tehran, despite u-s calls for politically and economically isolating the iranian leadership. washington argues the isolation is the best way to deal with what it calls the world's number-one terrorist-sponsoring state.

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iran's diplomatic troubles with europe erupted after a berlin court ruling last week linked iran's leadership to the 1992 assassination of iranian dissidents there. more than 60 iranian dissidents have been murdered in europe since iran's 1979 islamic revolution. iran's president calls the current diplomatic crisis a passing storm. (signed)


14-apr-97 10:44 am edt (1444 utc) nnnn

source: voice of america