Turkey helps secure release of German journalists in Iran
Following President Abdullah Gul's personal appeal during a visit to Tehran last week, Iran has freed two German journalists arrested four months ago in connection with a highly publicized stoning case. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle went to Tehran on Saturday to bring the reporters home, in a rare top-level visit by a Western government representative. An Iranian court threw out the journalists' 20-month prison sentences on Saturday, commuting them to fines of $50,000 each and clearing the way for their release, state media reported. Westerwelle thanked his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, for his "commitment to the relations between our countries." Sources from Gul's office said that German President Christian Wulff telephoned Gul before his visit to Iran last week and asked him to bring up the journalists' release in talks with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.