Friday, July 22, 2005

Germany Tells Iran: Don't Lecture Us On Democracy

Khaleej Times Online:
Germany accused Teheran of impertinence on Wednesday for presuming to lecture it on democracy, an unusually sharply worded response to Iranian comments that were critical of Interior Minister Otto Schily. "It is tough to beat this kind of impertinence, considering it comes from a country where human rights are regularly violated, where women are flogged after dubious trials and where critics of the regime are taken into custody for months without legal recourse," a German Interior Ministry spokesman said.

"If there is a need to respect democratic principles, as our colleague from the Iranian Foreign Ministry says, then I would advise him to focus on his own country." The comments were unusual because Germany, alongside France and Britain, is currently in talks with Iran to persuade it to abandon its nuclear ambitions. European diplomats have grown pessimistic about their chances of success in the negotiations following the election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.