German Foreign Minister Discusses Prisoners With Iranian Counterpart

Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock discussed the fate of Germans held in Iran Friday with her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian, her ministry said. 

The two ministers held a telephone call with a “particular focus… on German consular cases,” the ministry wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Jamshid Sharmahd, a German citizen of Iranian descent, was abducted in late July 2020 by the Iranian authorities and sentenced earlier this year to be hanged for “corruption on earth.” 

Iran’s Supreme Court in April confirmed the death penalty. 

German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi, in her late 60s, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in jail in August 2021 after being arrested at her Tehran apartment in October 2020.  

Taghavi was convicted on national security charges. 

Germany came under pressure over its Iran policy last week after a prominent women’s rights campaigner stormed out of a government meeting and accused officials of helping Tehran “silence dissidents.” 

Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad said she had walked out of the meeting at the German foreign ministry after she was told the talks had to be “kept secret.” 

Sharmahd’s daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd, wrote a post on X in support of Alinejad. 

The families of German prisoners in Iran have been told by the German government for three years that “talks behind closed doors are better because publicity endangers the hostages,” she wrote. 

“But what has this public silence and confidential dialogue brought us?” 

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry responded that Germany’s “stance toward the Iranian regime is very clear and we condemn where it violates human rights.” 

Baerbock and Amirabdollahian on Friday also discussed “their different perspectives on regional issues,” the foreign ministry said. 

Baerbock “called on Iran to contribute to de-escalation,” it added. 

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