Germany’s decision to celebrate the Iranian holiday comes weeks after it joined Britain and France in paving a way for possible sanctions to be re-imposed on Iran. The three European powers accused the Islamic Republic of continuing to back away from its international nuclear deal and triggered the “dispute mechanism” — which begins a process that could result in the U.N. restoring sanctions it previously lifted under the deal.

Benjamin Weinthal reports on human rights in the Middle East and is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal