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Author Topic:   Schroeder not planning to visit Iran, govt says
Vatandoost
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posted January 15, 2001 09:40     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BERLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder does not have concrete plans to visit to Iran following President Mohammed Khatami's state visit to Germany last year, a spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on a report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel saying Schroeder had cancelled for the time being a proposed trip to Iran in the spring because of a controversial trial in
Iran against pro-reform activists.

"There are no concrete plans at the moment," the spokeswoman said when asked about the report.

Following Khatami's visit to Germany in July last year, Schroeder said he planned to reciprocate with a visit to Tehran.

Der Spiegel said Schroeder's return visit was being put off because the chancellery did not see "a positive political environment" in Iran.

An Iranian court on Saturday sentenced a top pro-reform journalist and six other activists to up to 10 years in prison for their part in a Berlin conference on change in Iran, the official IRNA news agency said.

It said maverick newspaper editor Akbar Ganji had been sentenced to 10 years.

The Berlin conference last year, organised by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, which has close ties to Germany's Greens party, was called to discuss Iran's reform process under Khatami.

The meeting was frequently interrupted by banned Iranian opposition groups. Television pictures from Berlin included one man taking his clothes off and a woman dancing, outraging many in Iran's conservative
establishment.

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