Iran is not making matters easy for the Europeans.
[Middle East News]: Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guards have declared the death sentence on British author Salman Rushdie is still valid - 16 years after it was issued. The military organisation said the order was "irrevocable" on the eve of the anniversary of the 1989 fatwa.
The religious order was issued following the publication of Mr Rushdie's novel "The Satanic Verses" which was condemned as blasphemous. . .
The fatwa, which was issued by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, disrupted Iran's relations with the EU though the 1990's.
The guards' statement comes a month after Ayatollah Khomeini's successor Ayatollah Khamenei said he still believed the British novelist deserved to die.
"They talk of respect for all religions but they support an apostate worthy of death like Rushdie," he said.
Clearly, the Germans will not let such a small matter stand in their way.
"Schroeder says Iran’s legitimate security concerns should be addressed." The Teheran Times happily reports.
Germany is desperate to continue to trade with Iran. I watched on Deuche Welle a chart demonstrating that Iranians buy enough German goods to more than compensate for the oil it sells Germany. Indeed, Germany enjoys a positive balance of trade with Iran. Hence they act as its advocate vis a vis the US.
To help unseat the Mullas, the US wants the EU to put economic pressure on the Mullahs. Germany is just as unwilling to help as it was in the Eighties when Reagan asked for it.
Had it been up to the West Germans, the East Germans would have remained Russian vassals. But, then, who said they really wished to assume the burden?
But I should not be too nasty. the Armenian Genocide has been returned to the German curiculum.