German-Iranian economic forum ends in political repartee over Israel

German-Iranian economic forum ends in political repartee over Israel

Tehran, Iran, May 3

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Iran and Germany joined in Tehran in an economic forum today to discuss the ways and means of boosting ties and sign several cooperation documents, but the event at some point turned into a political repartee between officials from the two sides.

The dispute erupted when Uwe Beckmeyer, parliamentary state secretary at the German

Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, who was leading the German delegation, said Germany's long-term economic cooperation with Iran rests upon the "precondition" that Iran recognizes and acts in a friendly way toward Israel, Trend correspondent reported from the German-Iranian Business Forum held at the Iranian Ministry of Economy headquarters in Tehran's Grand Bazaar May 3.

"The Palestinian right to authority is nonetheless needed to be recognized," Beckmeyer observed, but went on to list a number of topics that he believed Iran needs to take care of if it eyes long cooperation with the European country.

"Human rights, juristic laws, the rights of minorities, and eliminating death sentences are areas in which you need to take serious and effective steps," the German official said.

A few minutes later, Iranian Ambassador to Berlin Ali Majedi speaking from the same podium made strong objection to the statements, calling for attention to a broader scope of affairs.

"If you are worried about human rights, you should pay attention to the many people in this region who are losing their lives because of terrorist acts.... If you are worried about security, the roots of insecurity lie in economic and cultural poverty. The security of many countries is at stake today. One cannot ignore one country and take another's side.... If Europe is looking for a solution to the refugee crisis, development and stability and security are needed. Improving life standards is needed in order to fight terrorism effectively. A regional center for production is needed where big international companies can come to and serve both that country's market as well as the regional market. If you know of any better place than Iran for that, show it to us.... We want development for the entire region," Majedi said.

"I thank Germany for its brilliant cooperation in the past. Germany has almost always been our first or second economic partner. I hope there is not a solely economic view in taking such measures as this, but rather a developmental outlook underlies them," he added.

But things did not happen only during the forum. A day before the event, there already existed in Iran speculations about a relation between Israel and the German delegation's trip to Iran.

The Iranian state-run TV in a news program on Monday raised the question if the reason why Sigmar Gabriel, the minister for economic affairs and energy as well as vice chancellor of Germany, cancelled his trip to Iran due to "Zionist lobbyism" rather than illness.

Initially, the German economic delegation had been scheduled to be headed to Iran by Gabriel, but later it was announced that he had a health issue and could not accompany the team.

Speaking on the sidelines of the forum, the Iranian ambassador expressed great surprise over Beckmeyer's statements, saying the German official had better raised the issue during a private meeting in the afternoon.

Mehdi Sepahvand is Trend Agency's Tehran-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter @mehdisepahvand

Nigerian troops kill 80 gunmen in July
Nigerian troops kill 80 gunmen in July
Ambassador Lee Litzenberger Visits Red Crescent Warehouse ahead of Delivery of Hygiene Supplies to 600 Households (PHOTO)
Ambassador Lee Litzenberger Visits Red Crescent Warehouse ahead of Delivery of Hygiene Supplies to 600 Households (PHOTO)
4.3-magnitude quake jolts Azerbaijan
4.3-magnitude quake jolts Azerbaijan
Loading Bars
All polling stations close in Belarus, vote count in progress
Azerbaijan plans to amend legislation to support local production
Greece registers highest daily tally of COVID 19 cases
Larsi border checkpoint employee tests positive for COVID-19 in Kakheti
Another 8 coronavirus-related fatalities registered in Kyrgyzstan
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falls in Iran
Turkey's domestic car project attracting global players' interest
2 civilians killed, 5 troopers injured as blast rocks western edge of Kabul city
Weekly review of key developments in financing, agricultural sector of Azerbaijan
Gov't allows 101 Georgian citizens to enter Turkey
Pandemic fuels e-commerce boom in Turkey
Kazakhstan's export to Poland slightly down amid COVID-19
Iran's South Pars Gas Company begin repairs
1 dead, at least 20 injured in Washington D.C. shooting
Weekly review of events in financial market of Azerbaijan
Presidential election in Belarus declared valid
Production of major Iranian steel companies up
Volume of wheat purchased in Iran's Markazi Province increases
Prime Minister of India to inaugurate submarine cable connectivity to Andaman & Nicobar Islands 10th August
India begins examination of plane's black box after deadly crash
Doctor infected with COVID-19 working in several clinics in Gori and Tbilisi
5 killed, dozens injured in Istanbul bus crash
Kyrgyzstan's total number of recoveries from COVID-19 surpasses 31,820
"TurAz Qartalı - 2020" exercises continue with participation of helicopters (PHOTO/VIDEO)
5.1-magnitude quake shakes west of Iran
Azerbaijan launches tobacco drying enterprise in Tovuz district (FOTO)
Iran declares amount of investment in Bushehr port
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for August 9
Azerbaijan reports 308 new COVID-19 recoveries
Samsung remains most-used mobile device in Azerbaijan
Iran's Shahid Salimi TPP boosts its production
US expert: Development of Amulsar mine causes tremendous pollution of fresh-water resources in Caucasus
Turkey reports 1,172 new COVID-19 cases
Georgia reports 9 new cases of COVID-19, 4 recoveries
COVID-19-like pneumonia affected over 1,000 more Kazakhstanis, killing 15
Turnout at Belarus presidential election reaches 45.33%
Iran discloses volume of wheat purchased in Ardabil Province
Azerbaijani government to support entrepreneurs in digital infrastructure dev't
Iran reveals value of exports via Kermanshah Province to Iraq
Special Forces Units also involved in first stage of Azerbaijani-Turkish tactical exercises (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Saffron to be auctioned in Iran
Azerbaijan reveals daily crude oil production for July 2020
Early voting turnout at 41.7% in Belarus
Iranian currency rates for August 9
Polling stations at Belarus presidential election open at 8:00
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 28 times
Export of steel from Turkey abroad in 1H2020 shrinks
Geostat reveals inflation rates in Georgia in June 2020
South Africa's COVID-19 death toll exceeds 10,000
EU Ambassador: Uzbekistan is one of key countries in Europe-Asia Connectivity Strategy
New COVID-19 cases detected in Kazakhstan in past day
Esper: U.S. will cut troop levels in Afghanistan to 'less than 5,000'
Law enforcers regain control of Beirut’s center, ministries captured by protesters
Chinese mainland reports 23 new confirmed COVID-19 cases
Ukraine president says Kyiv staying out of U.S. internal politics, elections
U.S. sets record as coronavirus cases top 5 million
Twitter, TikTok held preliminary talks about potential combination: WSJ
Brazil surpasses 100,000 deaths, 3 mln cases of COVID-19
Trump signs orders to extend certain COVID-19 relief after Congress fails to reach deal
Turkey reports 1,172 new COVID-19 cases, 239,622 in total
Czech apartment fire kills 11, including three children
Moscow's death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases rises by 12 to 4,572 - crisis center
WHO reports one-day surge in coronavirus cases by over 284,000
Plane crashes in Portuguese-Spanish joint fire operation, one killed
Lebanese PM says only way out of crisis is holding early elections: statement
Over 230 injured in Beirut protests - Lebanese Red Cross Society
Ireland reports highest number of new COVID-19 cases since early May
Beirut explosion death toll rises to 158, over 6,000 injured: Health ministry
Android goes on being most popular operation system in Azerbaijan
Turkey records decline in carpet export in 1H2020
Official: Epidemiological situation in Georgia is manageable and under control
Iranian mayors express readiness to help Beirut after blast
Kazakhstan sends military medical team to Lebanon after Beirut blast
Protesters storm Lebanon's Foreign Ministry
Oil spill threatens ecological disaster as Mauritius declares emergency
Belarus reports 124 new COVID-19 cases, total reaches 68,738
Azerbaijani president congratulates president of Singapore
Azerbaijani MFA: Armenia is making attempts to illegally resettle Armenians from Middle East to Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions
Iran declares amount of funds to be paid for construction of Ardabil-Mianeh railway
Iran Red Crescent delivers 15 tons of food to Lebanon Red Cross
Turkey to allocate Port of Mersin for Beirut's use, top Turkish official says
PM Gakharia: Georgia ready for NATO membership
Libya reports 200 new COVID-19 cases
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market (Aug. 3-7)
Iran announces balance of bank loans
Total COVID-19 recoveries number exceeds 30,000 in Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan's capital to establish co-op with Japan's Nagoya city
Georgia becomes net importer of apples in 2019/2020 season
Iran's parliament to review stock exchange, foreign currency rates
Ferrero to purchase hazelnuts from Georgian Hazelnut Producers Association
Number of trucks under repair in Iran announced
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's precious metals market (July 31-August 7)
Uzbekistan drills new well at gas field in country's Bukhara region
Turkmengas announces tender for purchase of electrical equipment
Turkmenistan’s Oil Refineries Complex opens tender for gasoline purchase
Kazakhstan, Switzerland trade turnover plummets during COVID-19
Azerbaijan's fund reveals amount of compensations paid to depositors of liquidated banks
Transit-oriented development centers to be established in Iran
France becomes main supplier of natural butter to Uzbekistan
Gasification of new settlements carried out in Turkmenistan's Lebap region
All news