Iran Threatens Germany with Retaliation Over Arrest Warrant
Mar. 23, 1996
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Iran's chief justice has threatened the German government with unspecified retribution if it fails to revoke an arrest warrant for a top Iranian official.
In a Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University, Ayatollah Mohammad Jannati said the arrest warrant for Iran's intelligence chief was the result of pressures exerted on Germany by the United States and Israel.
German prosecutors believe Ali Fallahiyan sent agents to Berlin to carry out political assassinations. These agents are suspected in the Sept. 17, 1992, assassination of Sadiq Sharafkindi, head of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, and three other opposition figures.
An Iranian and four Lebanese are on trial in Berlin for the killings.
Iranian officials have in recent days warned of possible political and economic retaliations against Germany if it presses ahead with its efforts to arrest and try Fallahiyan.
Tehran's official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Jannati as telling worshipers that Iran ``would have no way but retaliation if such a problem went unresolved.''
Without elaborating, he said Tehran had many options for hitting back.
For example, he said, the judiciary possessed ``dangerous files'' implicating many American and European officials in ``numerous tyrannical acts'' before the overthrow of the Iranian monarch in 1979.
Iran would not hesitate to make the files public and start legal proceedings against those implicated, he said.
He warned Germany not to ``follow blindly the United States and the Zionist regime.'' He accused the United States and Israel of trying to tarnish Iran's image every time they felt Tehran was improving relations with the rest of the world.
The United States considers Iran a rogue state that sponsors international terrorism. Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres recently called Iran the ``capital of terrorism.''