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Berlin condemns Iran

AFP · 28 Dec 2009, 14:15

Published: 28 Dec 2009 14:15 GMT+01:00

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"I condemn the recent violent clashes in Iran in which people died due to the unacceptable actions of the security forces," she said in a strongly worded statement.

"I call on Iran to live up to its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," she said. "In particular, the right to free expression through peaceful demonstrations must not be restricted or suppressed by violence."

Merkel expressed her sympathies with the families of those killed in the anti-government protests, after Iranian state media put the death toll at eight, and called on Tehran to defuse the situation.

"The leaders are called on to avert further escalation and seek political dialogue for a peaceful resolution of these internal political disputes," Merkel said.

In a similarly sharp statement, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Iran was obliged as a signatory of the UN covenant to protect its people.

"I condemn the brutal reaction of the Iranian security forces against demonstrators in the strongest terms," he said.

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"Iran must live up to its duties to protect the civil and political rights of its citizens," Westerwelle's statement continued. "The international community will be watching and not look away."

In the bloodiest showdown between critics of the government and security forces in months in Iran, at least eight people were killed according to state television in clashes in Tehran and other cities.

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Your comments about this article

14:41 December 28, 2009 by petenick
A Government run by religious fanatics must be condemned. Basic human rights are non-existent there. Their elections are a joke! Stronger sanctions should be put in place against Iran. Yes, the people will suffer but I believe it is the only way in the long run for the good people in Iran to win against this evil now in power.
14:41 December 28, 2009 by Celeon
I agree with what Ajatollah Kadiwa said in a recent interview with Der Spiegel.

Instead of further sanctions which already hit the ordinary people in Iran harder than the government, the western countries should rather stop treating Achmadinedjad and the Mullah regime behind him as if they were the legitimate government of Iran.

Making clear that they do not fully recognize him as legitimate president of Iran anymore would greatly strenghten the Iranian opposition and encourage even more people to protest.

At least Kadiwa is already convinced that the "theocratical state" model has failed and that "The regime will fall" either through peaceful democratic reforms enforced by the protesting opposition or a bloody rebellion if they continue to crack down on the opposition.
16:31 December 28, 2009 by Jibzy
@Petenick: I dont know if you would argue the same thing if you were a protester on the streets of Tehran. You have no idea how difficult life is in the third world and you sit here saying..yeah they should sanction Iran. You're just one step below the people who justify military action against them. Sanctions, if they work, work after a very long time and have very bad effects also for very long times.

I utterly despire your sort. Try spending one month of your entire life at any time in a third world country... without the luxuries that the first world offers, and you'll understand all the dictatorships, terrorism and other misc bullcrap.

Anyway, I agree with Celeon here. The crisis cannot be ended without diplomacy.
18:29 December 28, 2009 by michael4096
Sanctions hit ordinary people and not the guilty - yeh, ok (Iraq)

Regime change kills more ordinary people than guilty - also true (Iraq)

Stimulating internal revolt condemns a potential future leadership to death by creating false hope (eastern Europe)

Stimulating internal revolt condemns ordinary people to death - the guilty always escape (Indochina)

So, any other solutions (for those insistant on playing a god role)?

Been there, done that, read Graham Green

Why not just illustrate to Iranians that the alternatives are not simply ahmedinejad or armageddon? They can decide, but only if they know there is an alternative
02:29 December 29, 2009 by wenddiver
Any assistance to the forces of Freedom on the part of the US will be seen as imperialism or CIA meddling. These are the same people who took the US embassy hostage for 444 days. The hell with them let them fight their own battles. They wanted an Islamic Republic and now they have one, let them stew in it. They put he Ayatollahs in power, tell them to take them out.
14:49 December 29, 2009 by Thames
Wow! A strongly worded statement. That works everytime.
18:14 December 29, 2009 by Frenemy

"Any assistance to the forces of Freedom on the part of the US will be seen as imperialism or CIA meddling."

...we already tried a "color revolution" here (Green). Sorry, no dice!

And why is it that whenever we let them "fight their own battles", it comes back to bite us in the @$$??!!
19:34 December 29, 2009 by Mike Logan
Why can't Angela and her governement for once mind their own business. This to me looks like political doublestandard where you condemn some countries because they stand up in your face and don't bend over and you look the other way for other countries just because they are "PRO western". You have enough issues in this country to keep you busy for decades so why stick your nose elsewhere?
21:22 December 29, 2009 by Frenemy
Mike, actually its not a double standard at all. Germany is a "Western" country, so such policies are actually foreign policy "best practices"/"lessons learned".

Foreign policy doesn't cease to exist (or require "due diligence") simply because there are domestic issues which ALSO warrant attention!!
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