German minister criticised by WJC president for ‘irritating’ Iran visit
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German minister criticised by WJC president for ‘irritating’ Iran visit

From left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. . (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)
From left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. . (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)
From left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats Tuesday declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions, an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world. (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)
From left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry (Joe Klamar/Pool Photo via AP)
Ronald S. Lauder, President, World Jewish Congress,  BRUSSELS - The President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder during a media briefing in Brussels, Tuesday June 26, 2007. IMAGEDESK PHOTO COPYRIGHT GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT voorzitter voorzitter jood joods organisatie portret  CREDIT: ImageDesk.be / Geert Vanden Wijngaert
Ronald S. Lauder, President, World Jewish Congress, 

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.

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