The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will break his country's diplomatic tradition and not send a message to his Iranian counterpart to congratulate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
"In light of the current developments in Iran in recent months, there will be no telegram from the Federal President this year," German daily Die Welt cited a spokeswoman for the Presidential Office as saying on Saturday, February 8, and disclosed the unprecedented decision for the first time.
Apparently, the widespread anti-Islamic Republic uprising last November, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) missile attacks on two U.S. bases in Iraq, and the downing of Ukraine International Airline's (UIA)passenger plane on January 8 over Tehran are the reasons behind President Steinmeier's decision to break the tradition.
Based on data collected by Reuters, the Islamic Republic security forces, supported by the IRGC and armed plainclothesmen, killed up to 1,500 protesters in 29 out of 31 provinces of Iran.
The four-day protests, triggered by a three-fold overnight increase in gasoline prices, soon turned into nationwide rallies against the rulers of the clergy-dominated country.
Meanwhile, the downing of UIA's Boeing 737 killed all 176 onboard.
The presidents of Germany have traditionally congratulated the Islamic Revolution that led to the overthrow of Iran's pro-west monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, on February 11, 1979.
"Last year, the German Foreign Ministry sent representatives to Iran's Embassy in Berlin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran – a regime that frequently urges the destruction of the Jewish state and spreads Holocaust denial," Israeli daily Jerusalem Post reported.
However, the recent deadly incidents in Iran have apparently forced the German President to refrain from sending a message of congratulation to his counterpart President Hassan Rouhani.
Earlier, on Thursday, February 6, the U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell had told Fox News, "Germany has a moral responsibility to say to Iran very firmly and clearly that it is unacceptable to deny basic human rights to your people, or kill protesters in the streets or push gay people off buildings. Celebrating the regime's ongoing existence sends the opposite message."
Grenell, a former Fox News contributor, had been urging German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration to end its support for the Iranian regime.
The Iranian community in Germany also made its voice heard, by contacting government officials and lawmakers, writing letters and appeals.
Nevertheless, the German Foreign Ministry told Fox News in a statement last Wednesday that the country's "usual practice in diplomatic relations also includes the celebration of national holidays in the other country."
"As the Federal Republic of Germany continues to maintain diplomatic relations with Iran, this also applies to the upcoming national holiday," the statement asserted.