Tehran Sacks Envoy In Bucharest After Ceausescu Visit With PM-Romania, Bjt
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Iran dismissed its ambassador to Romania for having failed to report the revolt against President Nicolae Ceausescu, who visited Tehran the same week he was ousted, the Foreign Ministry announced today.
Mohammad Jamshid Gowhari was sacked on orders of Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted the ministry’s director-general for press affairs, Mohammad Hassan Qadiri, as saying.
IRNA, monitored in Nicosia, said the dismissal ″was due to Gowhari’s failure to furnish the Foreign Ministry with a comprehensive report on the internal situation in Romania″ before Ceausescu flew to Tehran for a three- day visit Dec. 18.
Also today, the Foreign Ministry announced recognition of the new Romanian government, reported Tehran Radio monitored in Cyprus. Iran joins the United States, the Soviet Union and a host of other Eastern and Western nations in recognizing the country’s new leadership.
Gowhari’s dismissal reflected what appears to be mounting embarrassment in Tehran stemming from Ceausescu’s visit at a time when his countrymen were in open revolt against him. Two days after Ceausescu’s return to Bucharest, he was overthrown by the uprising that began a week earlier.
Bucharest Radio reported that Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed Monday after they were found guilty during a secret military trial of genocide and ″grave crimes″ during his tyrannical 24-year rule.
Gowhari was dismissed only three months before he was due to return to Tehran, IRNA reported.
Ceausescu was given a red carpet welcome in Tehran. Romania was Iran’s second-biggest trading partner in Eastern Europe, and during his visit Ceausescu signed an agreement to buy 1 million barrels of oil a year.
After Ceausescu left and reports from Romania underlined the brutality of his regime as the mass graves of victims of his secret police were uncovered, Iranian newspapers demanded an official explanation why the Romanian leader had been allowed to visit Tehran.
Velayati responded Sunday by saying the visit had been arranged after frequent requests from Bucharest. But he stressed that Iranian leaders repeatedly advised Ceausescu to ″bow to his people’s demands″ while he was in Tehran.
During Ceausescu’s visit, however, IRNA praised Romania as ″the sole east European country rigidly adhering to its past government.″
IRNA reported that legislator Hojatoleslamn Sadeq Khalkhali ″strongly objected to Ceausescu’s visit.″
Khalkhali was president of the revolutionary courts in the early days of the 1979 Islamic revolution and was notorious for sentencing thousands of ″counter-revolutionaries″ to death, often on the flimsiest of pretexts.
Iran has also hotly denied European reports that Iranians were fighting alongside Ceausescu’s security police against rebel forces and that Ceausescu had stashed a fortune in gold in Tehran banks.