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Monday, September 26, 2022

Protest in Bayreuth on January 12: No deals with the Iranian Regime!

Freedom for Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch!

January 12, 2011, 12.00 pm (Noon)

Bayreuth, IHK-Bildungszentrum, Friedrich-von-Schiller-Str. 2 a


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STOP THE BOMB calls for protests against two Iran seminars of the Chamber for Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Bayreuth. [1]

The aim of the seminars is to show companies how to do business with Iran despite the UN and EU sanctions that have been passed after great efforts in summer 2010. While major German companies like Siemens or the two big insurers Munich Re and Allianz are increasingly pulling out of Iran business, especially German mid-tier companies keep on doing business with the regime. Despite of that both seminars are announced on the website of the Chamber for Industry and Trade in Oberfranken [2] and on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology. [3] This again shows the gap between rhetoric and reality of Germany's Iran policy.

Seminars like the ones announced in Bayreuth are undermining the international policy of sanctions against Iran. They are encouraging the Iranian regime and are providing it with important resources for the regime’s internal and external terror.

In a situation when the Iranian regime gets ever closer to a nuclear weapon, when it is openly threatening and agitating against the West and especially Israel and when it is oppressing and terrorizing the Iranian population, such events are a scandal. The fact that they take place while the Iranian regime holds the two German journalists Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch as political hostages, because they tried to interview the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who is threatened to be stoned, is a fatal political signal. The rulers in Tehran are thus encouraged to continue their aggressive policy without having to fear consequences.

Thus, STOP THE BOMB calls for protests against the Iran seminars of the IHK in Bayreuth:

  • No deals with the Iranian regime!
  • Freedom for Marcus Hellwig, Jens Koch and all political prisoners in Iran!
  • For a free, democratic and secular Iran!


The events titled "Export control Iran" and “Inspection and certification for the export to Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and Syria“ take place on the same day in Bayreuth and promote business with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

[2] Update Jan. 10, 2011: After the announcement of the STOP THE BOMB protests, the IHK Bayreuth removed the events from it's online calendar.




Press Statement: German Business Seminars Undermine International Pressure on Iran

Berlin, 11 January 2011

The campaign STOP THE BOMB is protesting against two seminars of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in Bayreuth which takes places Tuesday, January 12. The event is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. [1]

The two seminars with the titles “Export Control Iran” and “Inspection and Certification for Exports to Iran, Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria and Syria” are not neutral information events about how to comply with sanctions. The aim of the seminars is the promotion of Germany's business with Iran, as the description of the seminars reveals: “The markets in the Near- and Middle East have been expanding over the last years and are still highly interesting for German exporters.” While this announcement has been removed from the website of the IHK Bayreuth after STOP THE BOMB called for protests, it is still online on the iXPOS website of Federal Ministry of Economics. [2]

The seminars of the IHK Bayreuth are only two examples of a high number of other seminars and events with the same aim, which are organized by Germany's most important associations and chambers of commerce, partly with the support of the Federal Ministry of Economics. Particularly the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and it’s executive director Michael Tockuss, who in the Austrian parliament just recently has been named to be one of the most important lobbyists against sanctions [3], are promoting business with Iran. STOP THE BOMB therefore publishes a list of activities promoting business with Iran. [4]

STOP THE BOMB calls for a stop of all events promoting trade with for Iran and particularly the support for these events of the Federal Ministry of Economics. This kind of promotion for German-Iranian trade is undermining the pressure that the international community imposes on Iranian over its nuclear program. Germany has a seat in the United Nations Security Council since January 1st, and must not act against the interests of the international community.

„The fact that the seminars of the IHK are being promoted by the internet portal iXPOS of the Ministry of Economics shows the unwillingness of the federal government to effectively restrict trade relations with Iran, which have increased in 2010”, says Michael Spaney, spokesperson of STOP THE BOMB.

German exports to Iran increased in 2010. Until October 2010 German exports to Iran amounted to 3.2 billion Euros (4.2 billion USD), among them 16 dual-use goods with potential military usage. [5]

List of Activities Promoting Trade with Iran

Who is promoting trade with the inhuman Iranian regime? Germany's most important business associations, chambers of commerce, partly supported by the German Ministry of Economics. "Whoever is looking for a single event of the German government to support Iranians who are arrested, tortured and murdered, is looking in vain ", commented Irangermany blog, which provided us with details on some of the events listed here. This list will be updated. Please not that many events take place without public knowledge.

The list can be found here.


Die Achse des Guten - Kayhan freut sich (Jan. 18, 2011)

Kayhan (Jan. 17, 2011)

Wall Street Journal - The Italo-German Double Game in Iran (Jan. 17, 2011)

Jerusalem Post - 'Germany is encouraging trade with Iran' (Jan. 16, 2011)

Nordbayerischer Kurier - Demonstration vor der IHK gegen Geschäfte mit dem Iran (Jan. 12, 2011)

Kammerspartakus - IHK-Seminar für IRAN-Bomben? (Jan. 10, 2011)

Factum Magazin - Demonstration gegen Iran-Seminar der IHK (Jan. 10, 2011)