Berlin-Tehran ties in new era of Germany’s Social Democrats (IRNA)

Following a long-awaited victory by Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), which led to departure of Chancellor Angela Merkel from power after 16 years, observers are of the opinion that top politicians in new government will show more balanced view towards relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Germany experienced one of the most different and unprecedented elections in its contemporary polls, where several political factions competed and at the end the Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaded by Olaf Scholz succeeded in overtaking other parties with a narrow majority.

Germans participated in federal elections on September 26 to elect the members of the 20th Bundestag. With 25.7% of total votes, the SPD recorded their best result since 2005, and emerged as the largest party for the first time since 2002. The ruling party CDU/CSU recorded their worst ever result with 24.1%, a significant decline from 32.9% in 2017 election.

Scholz believes that the new government should be a combination of three parties, including Social Democratic Party (SPD), Free Democratic Party (FDP), and Green Party.

The day after the election, the leader of the SPD underlined that he wants to have good relations with the United States, while guaranteeing on Germany’s interests. He further called for pursuing a strong relationship with the European Union.

As to Scholz’s foreign policy when it comes to Iran, he has not yet announced any official stance. However, his party’s historical relation with the Islamic Republic shows that Gerhard Schroder, former German chancellor, opposed military aggression against Iran over nuclear standoff. Schroder argued that nuclear dispute with the Iranians can be solved through a peaceful negotiation.

The former leader of the SPD visited Iran in March 2010, when he was no longer Germany’s chancellor. He was invited by Professor Majid Samiei, Iranian neurosurgeon and medical scientist, to participate in two inaugural ceremonies in Tehran and Rasht. Some German investors and business representatives accompanied Schroder in the trip. They reviewed potential economic cooperation opportunities especially in gas extraction and export fields.

In January 2016, Schroder heading a high-ranking delegation visited Iran, holding talks with the then Iranian authorities, including former President Hassan Rouhani.

A look at stances taken by SPD politicians enhances the expectation that Scholz would take more balanced stance towards the Islamic Republic and is expected to support the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.