German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has refused to meet his Iranian counterpart, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, over his role in mass executions in Al-Ahwaz (Khuzestan) during the 1980s, according to Germany's Focus magazine.
As the province's head prosecutor, Pour Mohammadi was responsible for the killings of more than one thousand opposition activists in trials that often lasted less than five minutes. Children were among victims of Pour Mohammadi's reign of terror in Al-Ahwaz. Since he became Interior Minister in September 2005, he has overseen the imprisonment of thousands of Ahwazi Arab activists and the execution of scores of Ahwazis. The children of dissidents, including a new-born baby, are among those currently in prison as Pour Mohammadi seeks to step up Iran's ethnic cleansing of Ahwazi Arabs from their homeland.
German police have also accused Pour Mohammadi of masterminding the assassination of four leaders of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Vienna in 1992, during peace talks with the Iranian government. Austrian politicians have also claimed that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was responsible for logistical support for the assassinations. Grand Ayatollah Hassan Ali Montazeri also names Pour Mohammadi in his autobiography as one of the politicians who ordered the execution in 1988 of 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition.
Germany is also protesting against Iran's refusal to free a German citizen, Donald Klein, who was arrested with a French citizen, Stephane Lherbier, in November 2005 while fishing in the Arabian Gulf. Iran has accused them of espionage and has sentenced them to 18 months imprisonment for entering Iranian waters.
Nasser Bani Assad, spokesman for the British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS), said: "We applaud Germany's principled position on its dealings with Iran. The best way to deal with the Iranian regime is isolate the human rights abusers from international diplomacy and minimise contact. The policy of appeasement chosen by most European governments has not worked. Instead, the regime's abuses and defiance of the international community have worsened as European governments have bent over backwards to please the Ahmadinejad administration.
"Herr Schaeuble realises that the people in the Iranian regime are some of the world's worst mass murderers and supporters of terrorism. His stance will be welcomed by the Ahwazis and the people of Iran working for democratic change, the protection of human rights, liberty and equality.
"It is interesting to note that the only Germans - and indeed the only Europeans - who want Ahmadinejad present at the World Cup are neo-Nazis due to his Holocaust denial. The Ahwazis, like all Iranian groups, have no problem with Jews and condemn the regime's historical revisionism. We also believe that Ahmadinejad has no right to predicate Palestinian statehood on the elimination of Israel, just as we believe that Ahwazi rights do not entail the destruction of Iran. Ahmadinejad and members of his government represent the forces of division, violence and hatred, forces that drove the Nazis into power in Germany. Germans know better than anyone the perils of Nazism and this is why they overwhelmingly reject the fascist regime in Iran."