Iran says it will never drop support for the Palestinian cause after remarks by the German economy minister, who said the Islamic Republic should recognize the Israeli regime before Berlin would normalize ties with Tehran.
Germany’s vice chancellor and minister of economy and energy, Sigmar Gabriel, who is due in Tehran on Sunday at the head of a large business delegation, had earlier told the Germany weekly Der Spiegel that Iran could have normal, friendly relations with Germany “only when it accepted Israel’s right to exist.”
Bahram Qassemi, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, responded to the comments by saying, “The ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Germany are based on mutual respect and interests, and no precondition would be acceptable in this regard. In addition, we… deem the involvement of any third element [in the development of ties] as disruptive to bilateral relations.”
“The Islamic Republic considers defending the rights of the people of Palestine to be a fixed plank of its foreign policy and will never and under no circumstances forsake the Palestinian cause,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Gabriel had also told the German weekly that he would raise concerns about Iran’s human rights record during the upcoming visit.
Qassemi dismissed the German politician’s position as “irrelevant,” saying, “The Islamic Republic does not allow any country to interfere in its domestic affairs.”
He also praised the present status and the past record of the bilateral ties between Iran and Germany and warned about attempts by ill-wishers to harm them.