A congratulatory telegram to the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German head of state in Trouble. Steinmeier had to 40. The anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on 11. February a greeting message to Tehran sent the “image”newspaper (paid content) and the “daily mirror” reports. “The national holiday of the Islamic Republic of Iran I convey to you, on behalf of my compatriots, I warmly congratulate you,” wrote Steinmeier, therefore, the Iranian President Hassan Ruhani.

The Problem: The national day in Iran marked the seizure of power by the spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had prepared from his exile in the French municipality of Neauphle-le-Château, from the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. With the Islamic Revolution, a reign of terror began, political opponents imprisoned, and executed, be tortured, and the rights of women are heavily restricted. Moreover, Tehran is supporting the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Israel’s enemy, Shiite Hezbollah militia and also even the right to existence of Israel into question.

human rights activist Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s letter shocked

From the FDP, there was also criticism of Steinmeier’s congratulations: The critical dialogue with Iran is important, but that do not belong to it definitely, “that a German Federal President, the Regime for the 40. Anniversary of his seizure of power congratulated,” said the foreign policy spokesman of the liberals in the Bundestag Bijan Djir-Sarai of the “image”.

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And the Germany Director of human rights organisation Human Rights Watch, Wenzel Michalski, called the congratulations from Bellevue in the newspaper “shocking”: “With all due sympathy for cooperation on different levels – this goes much too far,” said Michalski. Even if such wishes belong to the diplomatic customs, which one must follow, one must practice in such a letter, at least criticism.

Steinmeier had explained in his Letter to Rouhani, according to the “daily mirror” that they wanted to maintain “the dialogue between Iran and Germany and the European partners more intensively”. Only with the “joint, constructive efforts of all Parties“ could crises and conflicts to be overcome. At the same time, the Federal President of Tehran have pledged that Germany will do what is in his Power to secure the preservation and further implementation of the nuclear agreement with Iran.

office of the President is relying on “years of practice”

The Green of the Bundestag, Omid Nouripour, told the “Tagesspiegel” on the occasion of the greeting was not the anniversary of the Revolution, but the national holiday. It is customary in diplomatic practice, to congratulate such an occasion. But you can argue about the choice of words: “The preservation of the nuclear agreement is a proper claim, the criticism of the precarious human rights situation in Iran but it also,” said Nouripour of the sheet.

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Steinmeier was noted, according to the report, at the end of his writing simply: “on the Occasion of this for the Islamic Republic of Iran to such an important day, I encourage you to do this, the critical voices in your country to listen to and engage with you in an open dialogue about your concerns and Worries.”

The office of the Federal President explained the criticism of Steinmeier’s message: congratulations corresponds to “the year-long state of practice of the Federal Republic of Germany”. The tone of such telegrams was generally positive.

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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