Iran lambastes German minister for linking Ahmadinejad with terrorism    Tue. 19 Jul 2005


Iran Focus

Tehran, Jul. 19 – Iran reacted sharply on Tuesday to a statement by German Interior Minister Otto Schily linking President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with terrorism.

“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 against terrorism.

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 wrote.

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