German vice chancellor Snubbed By Iranian Officials Over Suggestion for Tehran to recognize Israel

Sigmar Gabriel, who also serves as Germany’s economy minister, arrived in Tehran on Sunday as part of Berlin’s efforts to renew business ties with Iran following last year’s nuclear deal between Tehran and the six world powers.

However, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani snubbed the vice chancellor following comments made to Der Spiegel ahead of his visit, Fars news agency reported.

Those comments included stating that Iran must acknowledge Israel's right to exist before a full normalization of ties could take place between Tehran and Berlin.

“A normal, friendly relations with Germany will only be possible if Iran accepts the existence of Israel,” Gabriel told the German magazine.

Zarif and Larijani weren't the only Iranian politicians upset by Gabriel's remarks. Iran’s judiciary chief, Sadeq Amoli Larijani, said he would have banned the German vice chancellor from entering the country if he had the power to do so.

“The German economy minister has made incorrect and illogical comments and said that if Iran wants to open way for trade interactions, it should recognize Israel. Apparently, he is asleep and doesn’t know that Iran has tolerated abundant pressures for the sake of its beliefs for over 30 years to resist against such demands,” the judiciary chief said.

“Were I in the place of the government and the foreign minister, I would not allow this minister to visit Iran,” he added.

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