• Germany's news in English

Westerwelle summons Iranian ambassador

The Local · 3 Mar 2012, 13:13

Published: 03 Mar 2012 13:13 GMT+01:00

"At the request of Minister (Guido) Westerwelle, the Iranian ambassador was summoned yesterday (Friday) to the foreign ministry for the German government

to convey its deep concern over the fate of Christian pastor Yusuf Nadarkhani

and to demand his immediate release," a spokeswoman told AFP Saturday.

"According to several independent reports, (Nadarkhani) is to be executed soon. Instructions to that effect have been sent by the Iranian judiciary authorities to the central prison in Rasht," where he is being held, she said.

Nadarkhani, 34, converted from Islam to Christianity at the age of 19 and became pastor of a small evangelical community called the Church of Iran.

He was arrested in October 2009 and condemned to death for apostasy for abandoning his Muslim faith.

Islamic sharia law allows for such verdicts to be overturned if the convicted person "repents" and renounces his conversion, which Nadarkhani has refused to do.

Nadarkhani's conviction was upheld by an appeals court in September 2010, but overturned by Tehran's supreme court, which sent the case back to the lower court in his hometown of Rasht.

Its vice governor, who is responsible for security and political affairs in the province, has since said that Nadarkhani's religious belief were not at issue, but has charged that he is "a Zionist, a traitor and has committed security crimes."

Story continues below…

Human rights leaders fear that he can be executed at any time.

Several other Western countries including the United States, Britain, France and Poland have condemned the sentenced and called for his release.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:37 March 3, 2012 by Sastry.M
What about the German Christians who bear blame and shame down to grand children's era for their bad Nazi past? Also Mr. Julian Assange's fate in the prospect of handed over to the U.S for Wiki-leaks. I think the Iranians are prudent enough to spare the Christian Pastor in the best faith of their peaceful nuclear programs promised to the world.
16:01 March 3, 2012 by Pakistani
haha........"peaceful" nuclear program :).............. u really do want the world to believe that right?.............
16:44 March 3, 2012 by Sayer
Mr. Westerwelle, it would be more polite to 'earnestly request" and not "demand." Would you be so forthright about an Iranian intervention into German judicial affairs?

@Pakistani: (a) Please write properly, with the usual conventions of style and grammar if you wish to be taken seriously . And (b) if you are so cock-sure of the existence of an Iranian weapons progamme, please supply the evidence. So far all that has been proven, beyond a reasonable doubt by the IAEA, the Israeli intelligence services and 16 ( SIXTEEN) separate US Intelligence agencies in an official NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) in 2007, and again in November 2011, delivered to the US President's desk, is that Iran has not decided to pursue a nuclear weapons programme. That was reiterated by Meir Dagan, former Mossad Chief just a few weeks ago, and alluded to by former weapons' inspectors and a former IAEA chief. They can't ALL be wrong.

So Pakistani, the entire world awaits your irrefutable, scientifically based evidence to the contrary. Well? ..........Didn't think so.
17:01 March 3, 2012 by Eastard
I expect the conversation between Germany and Iran will be diplomatic and not military in nature... You are however mistaken in what tone Iran would take... From all I read they always threaten and huff-puff-your-house-down... One can read English version of their newspapers and you will not find allot of evidence to support their continuous rhetoric about the evil west... Talk about shooting bull...

Regarding Iran... they have declared to destroy Israel hundreds of thousands of times.. Would a reasonable person expect them to do this with a BB gun...? Does Iran/Syria/Lebanon have a real good reputation for on-the-table honesty...? If it look like a Duck, walks like a Duck, and quacks like a Duck... guess what...? It may be a Duck...
17:50 March 3, 2012 by hanskarl
A correction to this story. This Pastor never accepted Islam nor joined but rather was "born into" a Muslim family. He accepted Biblical Christianity as a young adult and going forward took on the responsibility of Pastoral leadership. So much for so for the repressive Sharia. It demands his death for making a personal choice.
19:29 March 3, 2012 by gunnyboy
Well, what Iran is doing is nothing new. This is the law of Islamic Sharia - anyone who refuses to believe should be killed.

Following verses from Koran tell more than what we can comprehend.

9:123 Oh ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers and let them find harshness in you.

9: 5 Slay the idolaters wherever you find them

9: 29 Fight those who do not believe in God and the last day... and fight People of the Book, who do not accept the religion of truth (Islam) until they pay tribute by hand, being inferior

3: 85 Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers.

5: 11 And as for those who disbelieve and reject Our Signs, they are the people of Hell"

9: 28 O you who believe! Verily, the Mushrikûn (unbeleivers) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year, …

2: 193 Fight them on until there is no more tumult and religion becomes that of Allah¦quot;

22: 19¦quot;As for the unbelievers for them garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowls and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods. ¦quot;

9: 23 O ye who believe! take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love Infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.

25: 52 So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them herewith with a great endeavor.

66: 9O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end.

47: 4 When you meet the unbelievers, strike off their heads; then when you have made wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives.

3: 28 Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah. except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (to fear) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.
19:37 March 3, 2012 by sunnyboyshines
@ Gunnyboy: Well pointed out! Shariah is the most religiously intolerant human made law. Such a law that imposes death on anyone who choses a faith other than Islam. I hope Europe and the Western countries do not, including Germany take note of this and do not encourage any politics or politicians that encourage imposing of such laws for the sake of Muslim minority votes
19:56 March 3, 2012 by Englishted

Yes agree with sunnyboyshines ,sadly this comment section will shortly be withdrawn because of who are being criticized .
20:03 March 3, 2012 by gunnyboy

True, political correctness is taking its toll. I too am sure that comments section will be cleaned up in the name of "containing hate", and some people including myself may get banned.

Innocents are trapped in a cult which spreads through indoctrination and sheer reproduction.

However, there is still hope. There are apostates that are helping others leave the cult. There is an organisation called Faith Freedom International that helps people liberate from the religion to which innocents do not belong.
20:16 March 3, 2012 by Paul Felix Schott
This is why the World needs Good Christian Leaders not more Barbarians.

At least Germany cares why dose the United States Of America. The Nation That Stands United In GOD We Trust, keep quite all Americans should cry out that the whole World will hear the Christians. The Day will come soon enough, when all on earth will cry out for our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Sad that for most it is written our Lord and GOD will say i know you not.

Tell all to get a Bible and read it while you are still alive.

May our Lord GOD and Savior Jesus Christ Bless all that do so.

The Lord's Little Helper

Paul Felix Schott
20:28 March 3, 2012 by osas1212
Pastor or Imam who cares another religious freak smoke his ass!!!!
20:59 March 3, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Summoned for coffee is about all.
22:15 March 3, 2012 by losenot@facebook.com
Jesus is coming soon, and he'll make sure that all nations are given a chance to accept and worship him. No one can stop christianity. If they kill him instead his dead seed will produce a million more. Actually thousand more will convert into christianity and that nation will not escape the wrath of God. The best thing for them to do is to release the servant of God unconditionally !!!
23:08 March 3, 2012 by tommy2shoes
losenot@facebook.com You are exactly right. As prophecy states " The king of the north" - EU with Germany leading will defeat "the king of the south" Iran, like a whirlwind....
02:05 March 4, 2012 by Bahraam
I am originally from Iran, and I must say that this is not the first case of such sentences. There have been several hundreds of people mostly not even exited Islam and been tortured or executed. Most of them were bahaists or zoroastrianists advertising their religions. Some years ago a number of photos were leaked showing what these people do to a former muslim's body even after killing him. Not to mention you would really be out of luck if you be woman and commit such "crimes".

You are hearing about this pastor in western media mainly because he is christian.

Lets not forget he is not the only one.

It is a shame, such monsters are ruling such peaceful people.
08:32 March 4, 2012 by derExDeutsche
what is up with all the Jesus/Bible Prophecy crap lately?
09:44 March 4, 2012 by Englishted
Hey Christians out there give it a rest it is Sunday.

The day to worship the sun .
21:17 March 4, 2012 by Den Maskin
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:18 March 5, 2012 by losenot@facebook.com
It is a high time that all humanity understand that Jesus is not a religion but a saviour of all humanity. Please read the story "Prepare to meet your God, Angelica Zambrano" in Utube, of a girl who died for 23 hrs, and probably you'll be more well informed.
02:30 March 5, 2012 by derExDeutsche
the TRUTH is that Germany already KNOWS where Iran has been testing its Nuclear capabilities.

03:50 March 5, 2012 by ProgandaLady
Youcef Nadarkhani is now DEAD. RIP
12:14 March 5, 2012 by michael4096

"Yes agree with sunnyboyshines ,sadly this comment section will shortly be withdrawn because of who are being criticized . "

Well, its 2 days and not withdrawn yet. Maybe it's not those criticized in this thread that keep causing comment sections to be withdrawn. :-)
20:19 March 5, 2012 by Englishted

Very true and I am thankful and am hopefully as open minded as most people.

But as you may or not know at least three comment section have been pulled in the last four weeks that is a editorial decision on the local's part as is their right but I would like to know why as all the subjects we along the same lines.
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