Germany Says Iran Meeting Necessary to Free Journalists
New York Times / JUDY DEMPSEY
21-Feb-2011 (6 comments)

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office on Monday addressed criticism of her foreign minister’s decision to meet the Iranian president over the weekend, saying that it was the price to pay for the release of two German journalists and that it did not change Germany’s criticisms of the Iranian government.

“In that kind of a situation it is always a question of weighing the pros and cons,” said Steffen Seibert, the chancellor’s spokesman. “We are still absolutely clear about the fact that the situation in Iran concerning human rights and political freedoms is unacceptably bad.”

Iran has faced sanctions and political isolation by the United States and European nations because of its nuclear program and its crackdown on political opponents.

The German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, traveled to Tehran on Saturday to bring home two journalists for the newspaper Bild am Sonntag who were released after being arrested in October, when they were trying to interview family members of a woman who had been sentenced to death by stoning on adultery charges.

German Foreign Ministry officials said that after weeks of negotiations, the Iranians reached out last week to discuss the release of the pair, the reporter Marcus Hellwig and the photographer Jens Koch. A condition of their release was that Mr. Westerwelle meet with Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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by yolanda on

Wow! Fake avatar & 18 posts in 4 hours......someone needs to check into rehab!
Do you have a day job?

Joe L.

IRI seems to crave attention!!?

by Joe L. on

this line should be quoted as one of the most intelligent topic discussion of entire website. to me it shows understanding of world politics. crave attention? so when israelis come to my country to switch american policy for the benefit of israel, forgo all my rights as a citizen and promote my country to go to war and kill american lives in unnecessary battles, they are just showing their beautiful suites and ties? which one craves attention that kills and hurts the world? what would have you said if iran did not respond to german official? IRI is doesn't care about what the world thinks? no winning either way right? get real.

Soosan Khanoom

SOS ..... you scared the

by Soosan Khanoom on

SOS ..... you scared the hell out of me ...... i clicked on the link and wow ,,, Shah showed up !    R u THE ghost talking ?


Obama Demand the Islamic Regime Dictators to Step DOWN


Obama, Demand the Islamic Regime and its dictators to step down. Release Iran from the grip of these genocidal blood sucking dictators. End all negotiations with this rapist barbaric islamic regime. Call for their surrender. Send them to death or exile to U.K. or the moon where they came from.

One way economic/political sanctions are a failure. The Europeans must collaborate and also embargo trade with Islamic Regime. It;s like closing the door to a house with two doors. Ok. the american door is closed but the european door is open. So, the Islamic regime continues to thrive.





Good Observations Yolanda

by IranFirst on

Good Observations Yolanda. Wired way for IRI to get attention. They are
probably holding the 2 American hostages to trade them for something they
need (any concessions in sanctions). IRI has no incentive to release
them for no other reason than they are innocent hostages. Those two
Hostages were actually kidnapped from Iraqi Kurdistan



by yolanda on

Thank you for the interesting article.......the whole thing reminds me of the incident that 2 American TV reporters were held in N. Korea a couple of years ago.......Bill Clinton had to go to N Korea and meet Kim Jong Il before the 2 reporters were released!

IRI seems to crave for attention! All the European leaders shun them, so they use these 2 reporters as hostages and pawns in order to force German foreign minister to meet AN!

I was wondering why IRI has not released the 2 American hikers yet?

Does Obama have to meet AN before the 2 hikers are allowed to come home? I recall that AN wrote Obama twice and wanted to debate Obama in UN........Obama ignored him!  AN feels rejected and slighted by Obama!