Minister of State Michael Roth visited Tehran on 5 and 6 August, where he represented the German Government at the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani, who was recently re‑elected President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On this occasion, Roth met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi. Minister of State Roth also used his visit to speak with civil society representatives.
“More openness, both at home and abroad”
Roth made the following statement to the German media: “It is the desire of a large majority of people in Iran for President Rouhani to stay the course and carry out his electoral promises; they want his second term to lead to more openness, both at home and abroad.”
The talks with Foreign Minister Zarif and Deputy Foreign Minister Takht-Ravanchi focused on implementation of the nuclear agreement, regional political issues and expanding bilateral relations. Minister of State Roth emphasised that Germany supports strict implementation of the nuclear agreement and urges all sides to fully comply with their obligations.
Roth also said that Germany has a strong interest in intensifying bilateral cultural exchange. He went on to underscore that human rights must be respected, also referring to specific cases, and said that ethnic and religious minorities must be protected, such as Christians and the Baha’i.
Exchange with civil society
While in Iran, the Minister of State had an opportunity to visit Golestan Palace in Tehran, one of the country’s many important cultural monuments, as well as to meet with civil society representatives from the spheres of art, the media and business.
These discussions showed that the young generation in particular pins great hopes on the opening of the country, and that it believes it will benefit from closer relations with Germany in particular.