Germany summons Iranian ambassador


Germany’s foreign minister summoned Iran’s ambassador on Monday in protest at heavy-handed police action against demonstrators following the weekend’s disputed presidential election.
“The actions of the Iranian security forces are completely unacceptable,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on public television.
He also called on Iran to clear up “immediately and without delay” allegations of irregularities in the election, which according to official results was won by a large margin by the hardline incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“We condemn the arrests made during the demonstrations,” Chancellor Angela Merkel later told reporters, adding that she was concerned about reports of restrictions on press freedom and called for complete transparency in announcing the results of the poll.
A foreign ministry statement issued after the meeting with Iran’s ambassador said that under-foreign secretary Reinhard Silberberg expressed Berlin’s “great worry concerning acts of violence by Iranian security forces against demonstrators and the obstruction of peaceful protests.”
Authorities banned a nationwide rally by supporters of Ahmadinejad’s main challenger in the vote, Mir Hossein Mousavi, after two days of street protests and some of the worst rioting in Tehran in a decade.
But thousands defied the order Monday to join the mass opposition rally in Tehran.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told the top election supervisory body to examine Mousavi’s complaints about vote-rigging, state television reported.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2009

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