June 22, 2009 / 5:13 PM / 10 years ago

Germany rejects Iran claims of political meddling

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany rejected on Monday Iranian claims that it was interfering in the Islamic republic’s internal affairs, and summoned Iran’s ambassador for talks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called at the weekend for a recount in Iran’s June 12 election. Tehran then stepped up allegations of foreign interference and accused the West of supporting “rioters” in the widespread unrest.

A German government spokesman denied Merkel’s comments amounted to meddling.

“This is to do with compliance with international law,” he said. “It is to do with basic human rights, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and religious freedom as well as the right to take part in a general and secret ballots.”

Official results handed hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory, sparking mass street protests by his opponents.

Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, moderate politician Mirhossein Mousavi, says the vote was rigged, a charge the authorities deny.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said officials were calling in the Iranian ambassador to discuss claims of interference.

“We will again ask him for clarification — clarification about comments that so far we have only learnt about through news reports,” he said.

At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in demonstrations in Tehran on Saturday, state television said.

Reporting by Marc Jones

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