Tehran, Jul. 19 – Iran reacted sharply on Tuesday to a
statement by German Interior Minister Otto Schily
linking President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
“Such unfounded accusations against the President-elect are an affront to the
Iranian people’s vote”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza
Assefi told journalists during a briefing.
“I advise this German official to remove himself from being under the
influence of Zionists”, he said.
Assefi said his government would be asking the
German government for explanation. He said the German minister had “linked
President-elect Ahmadinejad to terrorism”, without
further elaboration. He did not say where or when the remarks were made.
Germany’s Interior Minister is responsible for the
country’s security services and is the chief government official in the fight
Prior to becoming Interior Minister, Otto Schily
was one of the main lawyers representing the victims’ families in the
high-profile trial of four men in Berlin accused of assassinating Iranian
dissidents in September 1992. The three-and-a-half year trial ended in April
1997 with a ruling that found Iran’s senior leaders, including the
Supreme Leader and the President, responsible for ordering the assassination
of Iranian dissidents abroad.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Joschka
Fischer has been a firm supporter of close ties with the theocratic regime in
Iran, but the consolidation of power by the
ultra-conservatives in Tehran is bound to impact relations
between Tehran and Berlin.
As the mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
showed his enmity towards Germany by ordering two memorial plaques in April
2004 to be installed in Tehran to blame Germany for supplying Iraq with
chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Ahmadinejad’s decision was in retaliation for the Berlin city council’s decision to place
a commemorative plaque in the neighbourhood where
the Iranian dissidents were gunned down.
On Sunday, Ahmadinejad replied to the message of
congratulation by German President Horst Koehler with an unusual reference to
the allegation that Germany provided Saddam Hussein’s
government with chemical weapons.
"Iran in the past three decades has
borne many victims incurred by the chemical weapons gifted to Saddam Hossein by some industrial nations”, Ahmadinejad