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Germany orders envoy to Iran to return home


Berlin : Germany has recalled its ambassador to Iran because a German diplomat attended a military parade in Tehran, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said Saturday.

The spokeswoman confirmed a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel that Ambassador Herbert Honsowitz has been told to report to Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Monday morning.

The magazine said the foreign minister was “very angry” that the embassy’s defence attache attended the parade after ambassadors from EU (European Union) member states had agreed to boycott it.

A banner reading “Israel should be erased from the world” was displayed at the event, which was addressed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the report said.

Der Spiegel said Monday’s meeting was intended to clarify whether the ambassador had failed to give proper instructions to his defence attache.

On Friday, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, warned that Iran presented a threat “to all democratic states” because of its nuclear ambitions.

The UN has imposed sanctions on Iran for refusing to cease uranium enrichment, a process some states fear is geared towards producing a bomb, but which Tehran says is needed to generate electricity from nuclear power.

Germany joined the five permanent members of the UN Security Council Friday in a resolution calling on Tehran to halt its nuclear activities.