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EU gets slap on face in diplomatic row with Tehran over Berlin court verdict

Waseem Shehzad

Just as the European Union (EU) announced that its members were sending their envoys back to Tehran after a 20-day hiatus, the Rahbar (Leader) of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatullah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, delivered a powerful slap on their collective face. He said on April 30 that they were not welcome. In particular, he ordered the foreign ministry not to allow the German ambassador to return to Tehran for now, nor send back Iranian envoys to the European States.

‘The supreme leader ordered the Iranian foreign ministry not to allow the German ambassador to Tehran to return for a period of time. The leader also instructed the foreign ministry not to rush in sending back Iranian ambassadors to their respective missions in the EU member States,’ the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported the same day.

Foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying that Tehran ‘will not be upset if the German ambassador never returns to Tehran and we may even be... pleased.’

The latest row between Tehran and the EU erupted when a court in Berlin on April 10, accused the Iranian authorities of ordering the murder of four Kurdish dissidents in 1992. The Islamic Republic vehemently denied the allegations, considering them contemptuous and designed to cast apersions on the honour and credibility of the leadership of the Islamic Republic.

The Berlin court verdict was clearly influenced by US/zionist pressure who have led a shrill propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic. EU member States have refused to toe this US/zionist-crafted policy. In fact, while the US, at the instigation of the zionists, has been crying hoarse accusing Iran of all kinds of wrongdoings, the Europeans have done brisk business with Tehran. EU-Iran trade was more than US$11 billion last year.

In an ironic twist, while the US State department issued its annual report accusing Iran of all kinds of terrible acts without offering a shred of evidence, EU States said they were sending their envoys back to Tehran. The American allegations were thus dismissed by its own allies in Europe.

Some American commentators have noticed this lacuna in US policy. They have pointed out that far from isolating Iran, the American policy has led to fraying the trans-Atlantic alliance. It has instead isolated the US from its European allies.

The EU, too, does not operate as a monolith. Greece, for instance, refused to recall its ambassador from Tehran after the Berlin court verdict, clearly indicating that it did not agree with it, nor with the decision of its EU partners. France and Germany have, until now, done brisk business with Tehran while the British have been largely left out in the cold.

In condemning western governments, the Rahbar described them as ‘unfair, ill-intentioned, shameless and brazen because of their baseless accusations against the Ummah in Iran and other parts of the world.’ President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also condemned the EU States for indulging in ‘childish games’ and said Tehran had halted ‘critical dialogue’ with Europe prior to a similar European move.

The allegation by the Berlin court, clearly designed to embarrass the Islamic Republic, is motivated by other than justice. There is no evidence to prove - since none exists - that the killings were inspired by Tehran, much less ordered by the leadership in the Islamic State. But since western governments indulge in such behaviour, they views others also as behaving in a similar manner.

Even if the allegations against Iran were true, a big if, is Iran the only country guilty of such practices? The west’s favourite regime, the zionist State of Israel, routinely indulges in extraterritorial crimes. The most recent example was the assassination of Dr Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta on October 26, 1995. The zionist State has not denied its involvement in that gruesome crime against the leader of the Islamic Jihad. In fact, it was the Israeli cabinet that had approved this act of coldblooded murder. There was no hue and cry in any western capital. There was not even a whimper at such a heinous crime.

The zionist State has indulged in other similar crimes. In April 1988, Israeli commandos flew all the way to Tunis and assassinated Abu Jihad, head of the military wing of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, in his house. The Israelis openly boasted about their exploit. They were assisted by the Americans. Did any western government protest this crime or recall their ambassador?

The zionists are not alone in this. In April 1986 - April seems to be their favourite month, remember Qana? - American bombers, taking off from British bases, bombed Tripoli in Libya killing 92 civilians and injuring hundreds of others. The target was supposed to be colonel Mu’ammar Qaddafi. Such gangsterism was described by one television commentator in the US as ‘playing well in Peoria, Illinois.’ Presumably, if the crime is applauded in rural America, then that is justification for its validity. The lynch-mob mentality is still at work.

It is clear that the Zionists, and indeed the west, can continue to commit horrible crimes against humanity but their crimes are sacred. Others must be punished on mere allegations.

While some, even in the Muslim world, would merely have protested the unfair treatment to which they are subjected, the leadership in the Islamic Republic, committed to the principles and values of Islam, do not care about such matters. By rejecting the Europeans’ silly games and calling their bluff, the leadership in Iran has served notice that they will not allow the west to get away with such things anymore.

It appears that international diplomacy has entered a new phase.

Muslimedia - May 16-31, 1997

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 26, No. 6

Safar 10, 14181997-05-16

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