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Annalena Baerbock: »Open, unambiguous and clear«

Photo: IMAGO/Bob Daemmrich / IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock spoke on the phone with Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian. The Federal Foreign Office announced on platform X, formerly Twitter, that it had dealt with a number of topics on which "different attitudes" had been discussed. The exchange was open, clear and unambiguous.«

The particular focus of the conversation by Baerbock, who is currently traveling to the United States, was on "German consular cases," it is said.

Death sentence against Djamshid Sharmahd

Several Germans are imprisoned in Iran. These include German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi, who was arrested in October 2020 and then convicted of "propaganda against the state".

Another German-Iranian, Djamshid Sharmahd, was sentenced to death on terrorism charges. It is feared that Iran will actually carry out the death penalty. His relatives vehemently deny the allegations made against Sharmahd. The German Foreign Minister had called on Tehran to reverse the "absolutely unacceptable" and arbitrary verdict.

Sharmahd, who had last lived in the United States for years, was arrested and abducted by the Iranian secret service in Dubai in the summer of 2020, according to his family. Since then, the 68-year-old has been in prison in Iran. The family has also repeatedly accused the German government of not doing enough to secure Sharmahd's release.

U.S. negotiating prisoner exchange with Iran

The U.S. has recently taken another significant step to prepare a prisoner exchange with Iran. The U.S. government has granted an exemption for banks so that they can transfer frozen Iranian assets without fear of U.S. sanctions. This was reported by the Reuters news agency on Tuesday with reference to a US document and the Washington Post, citing government circles. The U.S. Congress was informed about it on Monday, it said. The money was to be transferred from South Korea to Qatar.

It has been known for several weeks that the United States and Iran are negotiating a prisoner exchange. In August, Iran's judiciary released several U.S. citizens from custody and initially transferred them to house arrest. A total of five people with U.S. citizenship are to be allowed to leave the Islamic Republic as part of a prisoner exchange. In return, Iran is demanding around six billion US dollars (5.58 billion euros), which were frozen in South Korea due to international sanctions. Iranians imprisoned in the United States are also to be released through the deal.