BERLIN, Germany — The European Union will invite Iran’s foreign minister for talks about the recent anti-government protests that have hit the country, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday.
“Together with the EU’s foreign policy chief (Federica Mogherini), we agreed to invite the Iranian foreign minister (Mohammad Javad Zarif), if possible next week,” Gabriel told German public broadcaster ZDF, without giving further details.
21 people have died and hundreds arrested since December 28 as protests over economic woes turned against the Iranian regime as a whole, with attacks on government buildings and police stations.
“We very quickly affirmed that we support the freedom to demonstrate and that the state should support this,” Gabriel said.
At the same time, Gabriel said Berlin will not follow the lead of US President Donald Trump, who pledged to help Iranians “take back” their government.
Trump also seized on the recent unrest to again slam a multiparty nuclear deal with Iran as deeply flawed.
Germany, as well as France, has “warned against attempts at instrumentalizing the domestic conflicts in Iran,” said Gabriel.
The US on Friday took the Iran protests to the UN Security Council, where deep divisions emerged over the issue, with Russia arguing the demonstrations posed no threat to international peace and security.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.