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Outrage over German delegation visit to Iran
Holocaust denier Javad Larijani, left. Photo: DPA

Outrage over German delegation visit to Iran

Published: 27 Oct 2012 12:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Oct 2012 12:10 GMT+02:00

German politicians are due to arrive in Iran on Saturday for a controversial visit that has prompted outrage from Israeli and US politicians as well as the German Jewish community, who fear Tehran will exploit the trip for propaganda purposes.

The politicians, members of the German-Iranian parliamentary group, claim they will use the visit to address human rights violations, but critics say this is a cover to strengthen trade links between the two countries.

"For us it is important to make our position very clear once again, especially in regard to the striking human rights abuses in Iran," head of the delegation Bijan Djir-Sarai, an Iranian-born member of the German pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), told Associated Press news agency on Tuesday.

Djir-Sarai will be accompanied by Thomas Feist from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), Angelika Graf of the Social Democrats (SPD) and a five-member delegation from the European Parliament.

The German politicians have outraged Jewish groups by agreeing to meet the head of the Iranian human-rights council Mohammad Javad Larijani, a known holocaust denier who has called for Israel's destruction, according to a report by Israel's Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Dieter Graumann described the move as “a brazen piece of being on the wrong political and moral way, that of all things to visit a regime that continues to build its nuclear programme and threatens the destruction of Israel and continues to deny the Holocaust,” wrote the Israeli newspaper.

One critic, Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, described by the paper as an expert on German-Iranian relations, said the Germans - who are also due to meet with the German-Iranian chamber of commerce - were using statements on human rights as a cover for advancing economic ties between the two countries.

"While the German-Iranian FDP politician speaks about human rights intentions, there are reports of Iran's state news agency that clearly articulate economic objectives,” Wahdat-Hagh told the paper.

The unusual diplomatic move, which the European Parliament has said is designed to “build bridges,” has also caused a stir in the US, despite receiving little coverage by the German press.

Earlier this month US Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Ben Cardin sent a letter to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, urging him to reconsider the trip “given Iran’s continued human-rights offenses and failure to suspend its nuclear programme,” according to the report.

"The decision to go ahead is unfortunate," Cardin told the Jerusalem Post.

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Your comments about this article

14:38 October 27, 2012 by wpfaeffle
Letters by two US senators to a foreign newspaper can hardly be described as an outrage in the United States!
16:08 October 27, 2012 by Englishted
Will German be at all surprised if a permanent seat on the U.N. security council isn't just round the corner ?.

There is only one language these people will understand and it is coming sooner or later with or without Germany's say so.
16:26 October 27, 2012 by marimay
Always hilarious when jews and israel complain about a country potentially building nukes "illegally". Hypocrites..
18:03 October 27, 2012 by Englishted
@marimay

Hypocrites.. true but who wants these looneys to get the bomb?
20:23 October 27, 2012 by marimay
There is no difference between their loonies and our loonies.
20:59 October 27, 2012 by raandy
I doubt that this is a trade mission and Germany is under no obligation to shun the Iranians.
22:25 October 27, 2012 by bernie1927
Why shouldn't Germany try to find common ground with Iran? So far the Israelis assassinate Iranian scientists in broad daylight, commit cyber war against Iran and stockpile nukes. I just don't get it. Who is the war monger? Unless the Israelis give up their stolen territories and their nukes and sit down for some serious talks, there will always be terrorism. How would we like it if we were treated like that?
01:09 October 28, 2012 by sonriete
It's one thing if the Israeli's and their friends in America want to impose boycotts, its another when they pressure others to join them

Germany has a history since the second world war of supporting peaceful dialogue, and I think it is a good policy.

Ad it is not like German leaders are alone, I seem to recall that last summer the non aligned movement, which represents more than half of humanity and the UN secretary general held meetings in Teheran.
06:37 October 28, 2012 by 2utoo
Frack all those Jewish-Israeli - Germany has stopped the Ass-kissing long ago !
11:33 October 28, 2012 by soros
In many ways, why the surprise. German businessmen are as amoral as any other. In fact, wasn't it German companies who supplied poison gas to Sadam Husein? The fact that Merkel's government is in support of this kind of visit says much about opportunism and little for ethics.
12:07 October 28, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
While it would definitely be quite correct to say that the leaders of Iran cannot be trusted, dialogue remains certainly better than war can ever be. It is sad to see how the Central Council of Jews , in Germany, repeatedly misuse their position within the community, in order to have a political influence to which they have no democratic right.

In the Middle East there are more than enough people being killed everyday, without the USA and Israel, both of whom already have nuclear weapons, stirring up yet more trouble.

Iran and Iraq were countries which were in the past supplied with weapons from the USA. It would appear to be a standard part of USA foreign policy, to turn on friends when these choose to go their own way. The reason for this is however, not to protect democratic freedom, but world markets. German politicians are also ready to grab all they can from these markets, albeit with peaceful methods and this is really what upsets the capitalists in Israel and the USA.

No true democrat would do trade with China, but that country unlike Iran, could fight back if attacked. There nobody seems worried about what they can do with their Atomic facilities, western businessmen queue up to get a foot in the door.

We all have the right to see the horrifying holocaust crime for what it was, but when one looks around the world of today, little has changed apart from the ethnic groups which now suffer. To use the victims suffering for business reasons, is to my mind almost as disgusting as the crimes themselves.
20:26 October 28, 2012 by JOHNATAN
2UTOO

ISRAEL AND GERMANY HAS A VERY GOOD FRIENDSHIP RELATION,AND GERMANY IS THE BEST ISRAEL SUPPORTER IN EUROPE.

IF YOU LIKE IT OR NOT THIS IS THE REALLITY SINCE 1960.

AND YES THE PAST HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT.

THE COOPERATION INVOLVED ALL FIELDS:ECONOMY,SCIENCE. TOURISM,EDUCATION AND ANTI TERROR ACTIVITY.
05:50 October 30, 2012 by Ludwig von America
The supreme hypocrites EU and US have terrorized the world more in the last 10 years than all other countries combined. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and now Syria by their war machines, drones and proxy subsidized terrorists. To the EU and US, killing 30 innocent people to get one "bad guy" is acceptable collateral damage.

Iran hasn't started a war with anyone in about 200 years. The EU and US can't even make it 2 years. These warmongers, WHO HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN DOING THE KILLING try to justify more killing based simply on what an Iranian leader SAYS. They don't like the things SAID about Israel so that outweighs what might or might not be DONE.

Iran is a highly developed and civilized country with a long and proud history dating back to biblical times. The people are well-educated, refined and cared for by their government. IF they are building a nuclear weapon, the last thing they would ever do is use it because they know it would bring IMMEDIATE AND TOTAL ANNIHILATION of their country and themselves. Anyone who proclaims otherwise is either a liar or an ignoramus.

The EU and US have already waged war on Iran with their crippling sanctions. People, including children have already been dying due directly to these sanctions as certain medicines are no longer available. The common people are suffering and more will die from the EU and US actions.

And you ask, who are the civilized countries of the world and who are the terrorists?
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