Iran recalls EU ambassadors over German court ruling
April 13, 1997
Web posted at: 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT)
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran says it will recall its
ambassadors from European Union states that have summoned
their Tehran envoys home for consultation after a German
court's ruling that the Islamic republic ordered political
killings in Berlin.
EU members, except for Greece, recalled their ambassadors
after Thursday's court ruling that top officials in Iran had
ordered the 1992 killings of Iranian-Kurdish leaders at a
Berlin restaurant. Tehran's ambassador to Greece will remain
In Bonn, German officials called for Iran to respect
"We do not want an end to relations which have existed for
over 100 years," said Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel. "And, as
upset as we are, we do not want to pour oil on the flames."
Iranian officials, while rejecting the court's ruling, have
not called for a freeze to diplomatic relations. President
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani called the flap "a passing storm,"
but Iran's deputy speaker of the parliament,
called on the government to stop investment plans in eastern
Germany has been Iran's closest Western ally and biggest
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched in noisy
demonstrations across Iran Sunday, Tehran radio reported,
calling for the downfall of Germany over Thursday's court
ruling. Outside the German embassy in Tehran, protesters
condemned Germany as "fascist" and a "servant of Zionism."
Many of the protesters blamed the United States as well as
Israel for the verdict.
The protesters demanded that Germany apologize for the
ruling. The ruling implicated Rafsanjani and Iran's spiritual
leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Both men belonged to
Iran's Committee for Special Operations, which Presiding
Judge Frithjof Kubsch said ordered the gangland-style
killings of Iranian-Kurdish leader Sadiq Sarafkindi and three
of his colleagues.
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