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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 11, 1985

MEETING BETWEEN THE AMBASSADOR OF IRAN AND THE EAST GERMAN MINISTER FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Iranian Ambassador to the GDR Hamed Reza Assefi discusses the nature of the Iran-Iraq War and the East German position in it. East German Minister Hoffman then responds that the GDR's position, though it is to promote peace, is chiefly to resist the NATO arms build-up. The Ambassador also requests military training assistance from Germany.
    "Meeting Between the Ambassador of Iran and the East German Minister for National Defense," September 11, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, ZA, HA I, 13558. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114453
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114453

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Ministry for State Security

Main Department I

Head

Berlin, 11 September 1985

[To:]

Main Department A

Deputy Head

Comrade Major General Prosetzki

Information

In the context of a visit by the extraordinary and plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the GDR, Dr. Hamed Reza Assefi, on 30 August 1985 to the Minister for National Defense [of the GDR] the following issues were discussed:

  1. Ambassador Assefi informed about the domestic situation in Iran and in particular about the armed conflict between Iran and Iraq. He stated the position that his government considers the Republic of Iraq as the potential adversary and aggressor. From the Iranian side the war will be fought until the overthrow of the President of the Republic of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. Based on these parameters, Iran views itself as fighting a defensive war.
  1. In response to the remarks by Ambassador Assefi, Minister [of National Defense Heinz] Hoffmann explained the principled policy of our party and government for the preservation of peace and the struggle against the arms build-up by the United States and its NATO allies, in particular with regard to their efforts to expand the arms race into space and to strive for an achievement of military superiority over the states of the Warsaw Treaty.

At the same time he stressed the principled position of the GDR about the conflict between Iran and Iraq. He emphasized that for our party and government there only exists the option of a political solution of disputed issues through negotiations based on the principles of international law.

  1. During the course of the visit the Iranian ambassador issued two requests to Minister Hoffmann:

- Reviewing the option of training Iranian military aircraft pilots in the GDR

- Training of [Iranian] repair specialists in the areas of tank and other military technology

The Iranian side would take care of the funding for this training.

In a first response to these requests Minister Hoffmann told the ambassador that training of fighter pilots is not possible. With regard to training repair specialists he promised to order a review of existing [GDR] capacities in this regard.

The General Secretary of the SED Central Committee, Comrade Erich Honecker, was informed about this visit.

[Signed]

Dietel

Major General