Top German lawmaker urges West to view Iran as partner


Berlin : The deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the German Parliament Hans-Ulrich Klose on Tuesday evening called on western countries to look at Iran as a partner and not an adversary.

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Talking at an open discussion round during a lecture by US Mideast scholar Kenneth Pollak at the Berlin-based American Academy think-tank, Klose said, “Trying to make Iran a partner is
probably worthwhile to at least think about it.”

Referring to the release of a recent book by a leading German expert on security and military issues, Christoph Bertram who had also advocated a partnership with Iran, the Social Democratic legislator added, “I think we should go a little bit along the line of Christoph Bertram who outlined in his book that we should make Iran a partner.” Klose, who has repeatedly visited Iran in the past, lambasted those western countries calling for imposing additional sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“I have to admit but I don’t believe in sanctions. I know only one example where sanctions may have worked and that was South Africa which was a very different case,” the 71-year-old MP said.

“The whole world was in favor of it and the whole South African population was in favor of it. I don’t think this is the case with Iran,” he said.

Klose also criticized the West for not aiding Iran in its anti- Afghan drug war.

“We should keep in mind Iran is a neighbor to Afghanistan and most of the drug-trafficking is going via Iran which is fighting the drug war. Iran has several times asked for western help and we refused because the US refused (to help),” the veteran parliamentary deputy said.

“I think, we will not be able to stop drug trafficking in Afghanistan without the assistance of the Iranians,” he stressed.

Klose has been a member of the German Parliament since 1983 and has been the vice-chairman of the foreign affairs committee for the last six years.