Iran dismisses German official’s call for recognizing Israel

TEHRAN, July 20 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday dismissed visiting German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel’s call for Iran to recognize Israel, Iranian media reported.

“For some issues in the Middle East, we have quite different policies from those of Germany, and we have made it clear over the past 35 years,” Afkham said in response to recent remarks of Gabriel.

If Iran wants to establish closer economic ties with Germany and other western powers, it should improve its relationship with the Jewish state, Gabriel, also Germany’s economy minister, said at the start of his three-day visit to Iran’s capital of Tehran on Sunday.

During Gabriel’s stay in Tehran, Iran will explain its concerns about ongoing situation in the region and will discuss Israel’s threats, Afkham said.

Gabriel is the first western economic official to visit Iran following the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers last week to curb Iran’s sensitive nuclear program in return for the removal of international and western economic sanctions.

Gabriel arrived in Tehran on Sunday to discuss his country’s economic relations with post-sanctions Iran.

He met Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zangeneh, on Monday and is also scheduled to meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and some other Iranian senior officials.

By Xinhua