• Germany's news in English
 

Outrage over German delegation visit to Iran

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

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.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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?
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,382
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd