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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Open Letter To German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Protect citizens from the Iranian regime and change the policies towards Iran!

Berlin, 7 February 2018

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

According to press reports, 10 more suspected agents spied on institutions and persons in Germany on behalf of the al-Quds Brigades, the external operations arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Among the targets were the American Jewish Committee in Berlin (AJC) and a kindergarten of a Jewish community center in Berlin. The AJC Berlin has therefore called for the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador from Germany. This demand was supported from Iranians in exile.

There are good reasons to be worried about terror attacks by agents of the Islamic Republic abroad. We therefore support the call for political consequences and the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador from Germany. The regime in Tehran has shown in the past that it endangers German citizens as well:

·        In the summer of 2016, a Pakistani citizen operating on behalf of the Iranian al-Quds brigades was arrested for spying on Reinhold Robbe, a politician of the Social Democratic Party and then President of the German-Israeli Friendship Society. The agent shot more than 900 photos and dozens of videos and explored targets for possible attacks against politicians in Germany with ties to Israel.

·        Iranian opposition members living in Germany are being threatened from Tehran: Fatwas has been issued against musician Shahin Najafi in 2012 because of critical lyrics. The fatwas calling the musician an apostate, which is considered punishable by death under the country's sharia law. Najafi needs protection from the police in order to perform in Germany. An employee of the Iranian Consulate General in Munich has disseminated the fatwa in Germany.

The history of the Iranian regime is characterized by a bloody trail of terror attacks abroad:

  •  Murder in Berlin: On September 17, 1992, four Iranian Kurds were killed in the Berlin restaurant Mykonos, including the leader of the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Sharafkandi. A Berlin court found that the killings were ordered by the "highest state levels" in Tehran.

  • Antisemitic attack in Buenos Aires: In July 1994, a bomb attack destroyed the Jewish Community Center “Amia”. With eighty-five dead and hundreds injured, this attack was one of the worst antisemitic crimes outside Israel since the end of World War II. The Argentine Prosecutor General's Office blamed the Iranian authorities for the attack.

  • Terror against tourists in Europe: On July 18, 2012, a suicide bomber attacked an overland bus in Bulgaria. The bus driver and five Israeli tourists died while 30 others were injured. Investigators of the Bulgarian government blamed Hezbollah and its sponsor Iran for the attack.

The Iranian regime must face consequences for its policy of terror abroad. There must be a strong response by the German government: The Iranian activities must no longer endanger security, democracy, and the lifes of citizens in Germany.

We therefore call for a change in Iran policy:

  1. Stop the policy of cooperation with Iran! Expulse the Iranian ambassador and end the courting of representatives of the Iranian regime in Germany and the EU. Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif was invited to Brussels in January and is scheduled to come to Germany in mid-February on the occasion of the Munich Security Conference. Particularly fatal was the granting of a visa for Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, the Iranian “death jugde” who visited a hospital in Germany in December 2017. Shahroudi is responsible for at least 2,000 death sentences, among them many minors.

  2. Support the protest movement in Iran! Today, the Iranian people demonstrate to the world that they have enough of the Islamist dictatorship. Protesters also condemn the terrorist activities of the Islamist leadership abroad, and some of the slogans are directed against the Iranian interventions in Gaza and Syria. The protests continue despite brutal repression. More than 4,000 people have been arrested and at least 27 killed. This movement against the clerical and antisemitic dictatorship deserves the support of the Federal Government. We urge you to express your support to the people of Iran who fight for freedom, as the governments in Israel and the US have already done.

  3. Stop the financial and political support of associations in Germany that are close to the Iranian regime! The Federal Government has supported the IGS (Islamic Community of Shiite Communities) since 2016 with a total amount of more than 410,000 euros from EU and federal funds. The Federal government supports the association despite of the fact that they know that the chairman of the organization belongs to the "political-religious establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran". It is a scandal, that the Iranian regime in this way has the possibility to systematically expand its influence in the Federal Republic.

  4. Support the sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards and stand up for a ban on Hezbollah.

The last weeks have shown that an antisemitic dictatorship, which has lost legitimacy among the Iranian people, a regime that plans attacks against opposition members and Jews in Germany, must not be a partner of the Federal Government. A change in Iran policy is urgently needed.

 

Yours respectfully,

Ulrike Becker and Fathiyeh Naghibzadeh, STOP THE BOMB Campaign

Links

January 1st, 2018: STOP THE BOMB demands political support for protesters in Iran