The president of World Jewish Congress has criticised a German minister for visiting Iran, accusing him of putting money before morals.
Ronald Lauder reacted to Tuesday’s meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, which he called “somewhat irritating”.
Lauder said: “It is somewhat irritating that he waited only five days before flying to Tehran with a delegation of German business leaders… It would have been much better to make new commercial relations with Iran dependent on a change in the regime’s stance toward Israel.”
German exports to Iran are expected to quadruple after international sanctions get lifted, contingent on Iran fulfilling its obligations under last week’s nuclear agreement and on the U.S. Congress not sinking it.
Gabriel is head of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), the coalition partner of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and said he urged Iran to improve ties with Israel and acknowledge its right to exist.