Iran unveils protest plaqueat German embassy
14 May 2004
TEHERAN – Authorities in Teheran unveiled a plaque Friday in front of the German embassy to protest German companies’ supply of chemical weapons technology in the 1980s to the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
The head of Teheran City Council, Mehdi Chamran, unveiled the plaque in a special ceremony attended by some 200 family members of Iranian chemical weapons victims.
“The export of chemical substances to Iraq was a very big crime by Germany, even bigger than those made by (Adolf) Hitler,” a city council spokesman said at the ceremony.
The inscription on the plaque claims the Germany supplied Iraq with chemical weapons technology which Baghdad used to kill thousands of Iranian soldiers in the final phase of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and some 5,000 Kurds in the notorious 1988 gas attack on Halabcha in northern Iraq.
“That was a massacre and the Iranian nation will never forget the participation and the role of the German government in this crime,” the text said.
The plaque was unveiled in a tit-for-tat action after Berlin authorities last month put up a plaque in the German capital commemorating four Kurdish dissidents killed in 1992 at the Mykonos restaurant by Iranian hit-men.
Chamran told the students’ news agency ISNA after the ceremony that the plaque should not be seen as a political statement.
It was not a political move but we just followed numerous demands by chemical victims,” Chamran told ISNA.
However, he demanded that the German government in charge in the 1980s should apologize at least to the families of the victims as it had supported the regime of Saddam Hussein over a long time.
The plaque had been put up so that “this matter will not be forgotten, he said.
In protest against the plaque in Berlin, Teheran had summoned the German ambassador to Iran’s foreign ministry and even ordered the closure of a German language institute which was then re-opened prior to a visit to Berlin by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi earlier this month.
Although the move by the Teheran municipality had been approved by the government of President Mohammad Khatami, Kharrazi stressed after his Berlin visit that Germany would remain a strategic partner of Iran and ruled out any crisis over the plaques.
Subject: German news