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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Protests against the German Business Association BVMW and German-Iranian Business Congress in Berlin

STOP THE BOMB Press Release, November 8, 2011

A conference to promote German-Iranian business relations took place under protests today in Berlin. The Congress with the title "Iranian Business Women Power" was attended by the Iranian ambassador Sheikh Attar. The event was promoted with the support of the Association of Medium-Sized Companies (BVMW).

The BVMW published a press release yesterday and rejected any responsibility for the event. The association claimed that the BVWM was neither the promoter nor the organizer of the conference. The European campaign STOP THE BOMB, which is directed against the Iranian nuclear program, criticizes the BVMW: "The press release of the BVMW is a shameful statement. The association does not act according to its responsibilities. The connections between the BVMW and the conference organizer EIVENT are very close and well documented. While the most recent IAEA report shows that the regime in Tehran is building the atomic bomb and is active in all essential areas of the construction of nuclear weapons, the German middle-sized companies with the BVMW at the top continues to expand its business with the Iranian regime. This is irresponsible, and German politicians must finally find an effective strategy to prevent its medium sized companies from supporting the Iranian regime." [1]

In a letter to the members of the political advisory council of the BVMW, STOP THE BOMB had urged the politicians to take steps to prevent the event. Members of the political board of the BVMW are Wolfgang Gerhard (Liberal Party FPD), Dagmar Wöhrl (Christian Democrats, CSU), Brigitte Zypries (Social Democrats, SPD) and Cem Özdemir (Green Party) and others.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also issued a press release critical of the conference. "Every German politician who visited the congress violates the sanctions against the Iranian regime, which were established by Germany, the EU, the United States and the United Nations," the Center said. Seminars such as this conference aim at promoting closer business ties with Iran, particularly in the energy sector, an area targeted by EU sanctions. This became evident in a recent event with the Iranian ambassador in Berlin, which took place at the German Foundation on Foreign Relations (DGAP). STOP THE BOMB had protested against this event, too.

About 40 people demonstrated at the conference in front of the Seminaris Hotel in Berlin and demanded tougher sanctions against Iran. STOP THE BOMB urged the Board and the Advisory Council of the BVMW to cut its ties to lobbyists like Mir Durandish and the organization EIVENT immediately and stop advertising business with Iran.

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[1] The newspaper of the BVMW called "Der Mittelstand" stated in its most recent edition 4.2011: "The BVMW and Iran's ambassador Ali Reza Sheikh Attar want to strengthen economic relations." Compare: www.eivent.de/pdf/bvmwanz1.pdf. The article also states: "The BVMW with four employees in its Tehran office supports interested companies with information and free initial consultation, explained Mir Durandish." EIVENT organizer Mir Durandish is speaking at various events for the promotion of business in Iran speaking for the BVMW, see for example an event in September 2011 in the German city Senftenberg http://www.bvmw-lausitz.de/de/veranstaltungen/2011/september/rh0709/info.html

 

German business alliance cooperates with Iranian regime, event covered as women empowerment

STOP THE BOMB press release November 4th, 2011

Next Tuesday the Seminaris Campus Hotel in Berlin will host the „Business Congress - Iranian Business Women Power” aimed at initiating new Iran business. [1]

The event is organized by the business association European-Iranian Ventures (EIVENT) in cooperation with the Federal Association of Mid Tier Business [Bundesverband mittelständiger Wirtschaft] (BVMW). [2] Among the members of it’s political board of advisers are the leading German politicians Wolfgang Gerhardt (FDP), Brigitte Zypries (SPD) and Cem Özdemir (Green Party).[3] The BVMW represents ca. 55.000 small and midsize companies and freelancers and calls itself the biggest organized force of the German mid tier business. A key figure for the promotion of Iran business is Mir Durandish, head of the Iranian representation of the BVMW. He also maintains close ties with EIVENT.[4]

„The congress is about initiating new German-Iranian business despite sanctions“, says Jonathan Weckerle, spokesman of the campaign STOP THE BOMB. „The propagandistic title ‚women-power‘ is used to whitewash the situation of women in the Islamic Republic and the ruthless business interests of German companies“, Weckerle continues.

The BVMW counters the international efforts to raise the pressure on the regime. Last week officials from the US treasury tried to convince European governments of sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran. [5]

The ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, is expected as a guest of honor at the congress. Attar is a confidant of Ahmadinejad, a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and a long time regime functionary. According to Iranian opposition circles, Attar during his time as governor of the provinces Kurdistan and West-Azerbaijan was personally responsible for the terror against the opposition. [6] The press reported that ambassador Attar is also involved in proliferation activities for the Iranian nuclear program. [7]

The exiled Iranian cultural scientist Nasrin Amirsedghi comments: „Using alleged achievements in womens’ rights to advertise this event is a humiliating mockery for the women in Iran. The Islamic Republic stands for coerced headscarves, gender apartheid and a legal system where women count only half. Iran does certainly not stand for ‘women power’.”

STOP THE BOMB will hold a protest rally against the congress on November 8th, 8.15 am, at the Seminaris Campus Hotel in Berlin, Takustr. 39.

[1] http://www.eivent.de/wp.html
[2]
http://www.eivent.de/pdf/anmeldU.pdf
[3]
http://www.bvmw.de/der-bvmw/politischer-beirat.html
[4] See Factsheet: http://de.stopthebomb.net/d-iran/eivent.html
[5] http://www.handelsblatt.com/politik/international/usa-draengen-europa-zu-sanktionen-gegen-iran/5713620.html
[6]
http://jungle-world.com/artikel/2009/23/35188.html
[7]
http://daserste.ndr.de/panorama/archiv/2009/panoramairan106.html

 

German companies are undeterred by Iran sanctions

STOP THE BOMB, October 7, 2011

Despite international sanctions, there will be two events next week initiating German Iran-business. In Dresden the governor of the oil-rich Iranian province Khuzestan will promote investments and technology transfer for the energy sector, while representatives of the sanctioned EIH bank will “help in word and deed” at a business diner in Hamburg. Considering the progressing Iranian nuclear weapons program [1], the massive Iranian support for the crackdown on the Syrian opposition and a wave of executions in Iran [2], the activities of the German-Iranian business lobby are cynical.

The Struppen (Saxony) based EIVENT (European Iranian Ventures) organizes a business congress at a disclosed venue in Dresden on October 10, 2011. Seyed Jafar Hejazi, governor of the Iranian province Khuzestan, together with a high-level Iranian business delegation will initiate German deals with Iran. Khuzestan is a center of the Iranian oil industry, vast new oilfields are being developed, and obviously, they count on technology made in Germany. The invitation to the congress promises “high credit-worthiness and big opportunities for cooperation and investments” in the fields of oil, gas, refinery and petrochemistry, despite the fact that the Iranian energy sector is sanctioned since autumn 2010. [3]

Four days later, on October 14, the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce [4] invites to a business diner with three “honored guests” from the European-Iranian Tradebank (EIH), who will “help in word and deed”. The EIH, a bank in Hamburg in the hands of the Iranian regime, has been put on the EU sanctions list in May 2011 after massive international pressure and protests from the campaign STOP THE BOMB. In August 2011, the bank went to the European Court of Justice against this decision. [5]

Michael Spaney, spokesperson of the campaign STOP THE BOMB: „The activities of the business lobby are ridiculing international sanctions efforts against the Iranian regime. German Iran deals are openly initiated in cooperation with representatives of the regime. Especially German technology transfers and investments for the Iranian energy sector, which is the economic pillar of the regime, are obviously still not effectively restricted by the German government.”

[1] www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,790042,00.html

[2] www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/human-rights/11317-iran-international-call-to-stop-hundreds-of-planned-executions

[3] www.eivent.de

[4] www.dihkev.de

[5] de.stopthebomb.net/de/d-iran/eih.htm

 

 

Press

Financial Times Deutschland - "Wir sind wie Wasser - wir finden immer einen Weg" (Nov. 9, 2011)

Die Achse des Guten - Mittelstand im Bett mit den Mullahs (Nov. 9, 2011)

Audiatur Online - Das Geschäft mit dem Iran: Geld vor Ethik? (Nov. 8, 2011)

haOlam - Berliner Polizei behindert Protest gegen Deutsch-Iranische Wirtschaftstagung (Nov. 8, 2011)

Jerusalem Post - German-Iranian business forum sparks outrage (Nov. 6, 2011)