AP NEWS
Related topics

European ambassadors and Iranians consult on French-Iran dispute With AM-Gulf Rdp

July 20, 1987

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Three Western European ambassadors met with Iranian officials Monday on the French-Iran diplomatic conflict and were told Iran would follow a blow-for- blow policy against any country.

Iran’s Tehran radio said the statement was made by Deputy Foreign Minister Ali-Mohammad Besharati at a meeting in the Iranian capital with the ambassadors of Denmark, Belgium and West Germany representing the European Economic Community.

France and Iran severed diplomatic relations Friday and their security forces strengthened police cordons around the Iranian Embassy in Paris and France’s embassy in Tehran.

The dispute began early this month after an Iranian sought for questioning about terrorist bombings that killed 11 people in Paris last fall took refuge in the Iranian Embassy.

Tehran radio said the Danish ambassador to Iran asked Besharati to lift the blockade of the French Embassy in Tehran and allow a meeting with the besieged diplomats.

It quoted Besharati as saying, ″We will not submit to pressure and blackmail under any circumstances and we will implement the policy of a blow against a blow toward any country that wishes to violate our rights.″

The broadcast reported he also said, ″Any time that we witness a move by the French government regarding the implementation of the guidelines of the Vienna Convention (on diplomatic missions) and the removing of the restriction imposed upon the embassy and the diplomats of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Paris, we will also reciprocally show a positive reaction.″

In other developments:

-Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency said President Ali Khamenei declared Iran will not back down on its demand for the return of all its diplomats from Paris and for the trial in Tehran of the first secretary of the French Embassy, Paul Torri, on charges of spying.

The agency quoted Khamenei as saying Sunday, ″We will not retreat even one step.″

-A similar stand was taken by France. French Foreign Minister Jean-Bernard Raimond said Sunday that France’s demand that Wahid Gordji, now listed by Iran as a translator at the Iranian Embassy, turn himself in for questioning is ″not negotiable.″ Gordji is the man police want to question about the bombings.

-There was an indication in Paris that preparations might be under way for a departure of the Iranian diplomats.

Police allowed an Iranian commercial attache to leave the embassy. Antenne 2 television showed the attache leaving the embassy under police escort and visiting the offices of the Iranian Basnk Melli and Iran Air.

-The French Foreign Ministry said talks were being held for the return home of diplomats from both sides, but a ministry spokesman said the repatriation of embassy personnel ″does not concern Mr. Gordji.″ France insists Gordji does not have diplomatic immunity.

-French news reports quoted Ministry of the Sea officials in Paris as saying French commercial ships have been warned against going to the Persian Gulf region. Iran and Iraq have been at war since September 1980, and both countries have attacked neutral shipping in the gulf.

The reports did not identify the officials, but noted France broke relations with Iran five days after Iranian gunboats attacked and crippled the French cargo ship Ville d’Anvers. Raimond, in a television interview Sunday night, called that attack ″an act of war.″

Agence France-Presse reported a Ministry of the Sea official said French ships were not being prohibited from going to the Persian Gulf, but they do so ″at their own risk and peril and without (French naval) escort.″

-West German Foreign Ministry spokesman Hans Schumacher said in Bonn that West Germany is delivering food and other suppplies to the French diplomats in Tehran. ″So far there hasn’t been any interference″ by Iranian police, he said.

-In Brussels, Belgium, Foreign ministers of the European Economic Community pledged Monday to give France ″humanitarian and material″ aid.

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, the Danish foreign minister who was chairman of the meeting, said France asked its fellow Common Market partners for support for its diplomats in Tehran and for diplomatic pressure on Iran to abide by the Vienna Convention. ″That’s what they asked for, that’s what they got,″ Ellemann-Jensen told a news conference.

AP RADIO
Update hourly