Iran protests German ministry remarks
Iran has lodged a protest with the German Foreign Ministry for the way in which it presented to the media the account of a meeting between its deputy foreign minister and the Iranian ambassador to Berlin, Press TV reported.
A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday that the meeting between Iranian envoy to Berlin Alireza Sheikh Attar and German deputy Foreign Minister Wolf-Ruthart Born took place after the former was summoned to the ministry over issues pertaining to two German nationals held in Iranian custody.
The German spokesperson said the ministry declared Berlin's dissatisfaction with Iran's refusal to allow a meeting between the German detainees and their families.
"This meeting was in the context of a routine and pre-arranged meeting and the protocols regulating official summons did not apply to it," the Iranian embassy in Berlin told the German Foreign Ministry in a letter, Tabnak news agency reported.
"Otherwise, the embassy would have been informed about the nature of the meeting," it added.
The letter criticized comments by the German Foreign Ministry and expressed regret about questions and criticisms raised by the publication of false information in the German media.
The Iranian embassy emphasized that the Tuesday meeting between the German inmates and their relatives was a goodwill gesture and out of humanitarian considerations on the part of the Islamic Republic and not under pressure by Berlin.
The two German nationals, who traveled to Iran with tourist visas, were arrested in October for attempting to interview relatives of convicted murderer and adulterer Sakineh Ashtiani, without press credentials.
The Iranian embassy said it expected the German Foreign Ministry to rectify the misinformation.