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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Open Letter to the Friedrich Ebert Foundation: STOP the Cooperation with the Iranian lobby organization CASMII

April 22nd, 2012

Dear Mr. Hajo Lanz,
Dear Sir or Madam,

In February this year Sebastian Mohr (STOP THE BOMB) contacted the Friedrich Ebert Foundation to request information about the cooperation noted on your website with the Iranian IPIS Institute which has organized the Holocaust denial conference in Teheran 2006. [1]

You have disclosed in February that the state of the FES website is “terribly outdated” and that a cooperation with organizations of the Iranian regime like the “Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) of the Iranian foreign ministry […] is not acceptable for the time being”.

In view of your conference “Iran, Israel and the West: Is there a way out of the threat spiral?” [2] which is scheduled for April 23, 2012, we are asking ourselves if the announcement in your reply is not valid anymore.

The reason is that the FES invited Ali Fathollah-Nejad to participate at the conference. Fathollah-Nejad is no official representative of the Iranian regime; however he is a professional apologist thereof. On the website of the organization “Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran” (CASMII) Fathollah-Nejad is listed as a member of the “Board of Advisors”.[3] 

You won’t hear any criticism from him against the Iranian regime, because it is part of the official politics of CASMII founder Abbas Edalat to not even seemingly criticize the Islamic Republic. [4] CASMII’s “peace activities” among others consist of organizing meetings between the terrorist Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Western so-called peace activists. [5]

In February 2004 the FES had already organized the conference “The Islamic World and Europe: From dialogue towards understanding” with the German Orient Institute and on initiative of a think tank of the Lebanese Hezbollah in Beirut for which it faced severe criticism. [6] 

According to their self-portrayal the Friedrich Ebert Foundation advocates “to promote the political renewal of social democracy”, “to justly form the economic and the social system” as well as “to deepen the dialogue between trade unions and politics”.

We ask you for a comment to our letter and for an answer to the question if you see the objectives of the FES achieved by the invitation of an apologist of the anti-Semitic, misogynist and anti-union regime in Teheran. We will publish your statement on our website.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Spaney




Answer of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

April 23rd, 2012

Sehr geehrter Herr Spaney,

haben Sie Dank für Ihr Schreiben vom 22. April 2012.

Die Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) tritt dafür ein, einen Beitrag zu Frieden und Sicherheit zu leisten. Angesichts der konkreten Gefahr eines weiteren Krieges in der Region des Nahen/Mittleren Ostens schließt das die Debatte über den Themenkomplex Iran und Israel ein.

Bei der Veranstaltung "Iran, Israel und der Westen: Gibt es einen Ausweg aus der Bedrohungsspirale?" kooperiert die FES mit der deutschen Sektion von Internationale Ärzte zur Verhütung des Atomkriegs / Ärzte in sozialer Verantwortung (IPPNW), jedoch nicht wie von Ihnen beschrieben mit der "Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran" (CASMII). Darüber hinaus bestand und besteht keine institutionalisierte Partnerschaft der FES mit iranischen Institutionen innerhalb oder außerhalb Irans.

Wir erachten eine Auseinandersetzung mit den Gedanken, Argumenten und Überzeugungen von Personen, deren Meinung wir NICHT uneingeschränkt teilen als notwendigen und wichtigen Bestandteil einer politischen Debatte. Wir gestehen Ihnen jedoch gerne zu, dies anders zu sehen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Hajo Lanz.


Open letter to the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, April 22, 2012

Answer of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation April 23, 2012 (only German, see German page)

Second Open Letter to the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, May 5, 2012 (only German, see German page)