Perhaps nostalgic for a bygone era – when Hassan Rouhani and Joschka Fischer were best pals – media reports are conveying an unmistakable message: “Rouhani hopes Germany plays a constructive role in Iran-P5+1 talks” (and beyond).
Haven’t seen any similar headlines about the UK or France. A one-sided Iranian fantasy?
Well, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was unequivocal in his UN address in pressing Tehran for actions, not words:
The new words coming out of Tehran must be followed by deeds. Not at some unspecified time in the future, but right now.
Assuming Westerwelle reiterated the point in his personal meeting with Rouhani, why did he then send his deputy to attend a Rouhani-hosted dinner with the likes of controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (a VIP guest at the event)? Mixed messages?
We looked to Germany itself for the answer.
Meanwhile, the German-Iranian Chambers of Commerce in Hamburg will host a workshop in late October to critically discuss US sanctions – and this, after the Social Democratic Party (SPD) made an inquiry into Germany’s export control methods and the reason it had failed to properly enforce bans on the sale of nuclear-usable products to Iran, such as special valves for the Arak heavy water reactor.
(This is the same chamber of commerce that a few months ago hosted Rouhani’s current chief of staff, Mohammad Nahavandian– who just accused “global Zionism” of promoting the sanctions against his country and called for its isolation.)
So maybe the Iranian president’s Germany wish isn’t a fantasy after all? For the answer, we suggest the media closely follow developments in the next few weeks.