Ministry of Foreign Affairs Outline of German Relations with Iran

October 20, 2003

Political relations

Diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been fraught with considerable tension at times during the past few years. The pronouncement of the judgment in the so-called Mykonos trial in April 1997, in which a court in Berlin found that Iranian authorities had been involved in murders committed at Berlin's Mykonos Restaurant in 1992, precipitated a lengthy crisis. Not until the year 2000 could a workable basis be re-established for bilateral relations. Following President Seyed Mohammad Khatami's successful visit to Germany in July 2000, the reciprocal exchange of visitors increased markedly.

Economic relations

After many years of decline, trade between Germany and Iran has been on the rise since the year 2000.


Exports to Iran

EUR 1,566.1 million

Imports from Iran

EUR 557.8 million


Exports to Iran

EUR 1,925.4 million (+22.9 %)

Imports from Iran

EUR 405.5 million (-27.3 %)


Exports to Iran

EUR 2,234 million (+16%)

Imports from Iran

EUR 320 million (-21%)

Cultural relations

German institutions in Tehran in addition to the German Embassy include the German Archaeological Institute, the German Embassy School Tehran and the Deutsches Sprachinstitut Teheran (DSIT). A Protestant Church congregation is headed by a German pastor. Cooperation between Germany and Iran in the area of scientific and academic exchange has traditionally been good. An entire generation of Iranian scientists and scholars were educated at German higher education institutions. One important milestone in 2003 was the signing of a partnership agreement between the Aachen-Jülich University of Applied Sciences and Tehran's Sharif University of Technology, which paved the way for the institution of a course of study by the University of Applied Sciences in Tehran. In September 2003 the 1st International Symposium-cum-Workshop of the German-Iranian Alumni Network (GIAN) was held in Tehran on the initiative of the universities of Göttingen, Kassel and Marburg with the support of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In 2003 Germany again actively participated in the annual International Fajr Festival (see Culture and education). The stand of the Frankfurt Book Fair was a magnet at the Tehran International Book Fair in 2003. A joint Franco-German production of the cultural channel "ARTE" in Tehran in the summer of 2003 attracted considerable public interest.