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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Successful Protest: The Fireside Chat with the Iranian Ambassador has been cancelled

Successful protest! A party spokesperson of the CDU/CSU called STOP THE BOMB and declared that the "fireside chat" was planned without the knowledge of Volker Kauder. The spokesperson stressed that Kauder would not participate in the event. Other members of parliament dissociated themselves from the invitation, too.

Finally, the "fireside chat" with the Iranian Ambassador and German Members of Parliament has been cancelled. Thanks to all who supported our protests!

You can find a report about the cancellation in the German tabloid BILD (sorry, German only).



Open Letter of STOP THE BOMB to Members of the German Parliament

Berlin, May 28, 2014

Dear Members of the German Parliament, *

We hereby protest against the invitation of the Iranian Ambassador Alireza Sheikh Attar by representatives of the German Bundestag.

On behalf of the non-profit organization “Stiftung für Grundwerte und Voelkerverstaendigung” (“Foundation for Basic Values ​​and International Understanding”) you are announcing a "fireside chat with a guest of honor" for June 4, 2014 at the “Parlamentarische Gesellschaft” at the German parliament.

Your "guest of honor" is Sheikh Attar, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to information by dissidents Attar was personally involved in massacres in Iranian Kurdistan. Moreover, Attar is a personal confidant of the former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and was appointed Iranian ambassador in 2008 during his presidency. [1]

Markus Potzel, head of the Middle East department at the German Foreign Office will hold a welcome speech. According to the invitation, the subject of the fireside chat will be the "agreement" in the talks on Iran's "nuclear energy program". Germany and Iran had a "long history of good relations which could benefit from further deepening."

This invitation text is a distortion of reality since there is no "agreement" with the Iranian regime yet. The term "nuclear energy program" for the internationally sanctioned nuclear weapons program could have been taken directly from a propaganda script of the Islamic Republic.

According to the statutes of the “Stiftung für Grundwerte und Voelkerverstaendigung” your foundation is committed to “international understanding" and to helping "the poor, the disadvantaged and those at risk, the starving and the refugees”. However, the dramatic situation of human rights in Iran isn’t even mentioned in your invitation.

As you might certainly know the number of executions in Iran has increased dramatically under the new president Rohani. [2] In today’s Iran one can be easily arrested for a harmless music video [3] or executed for a poem. [4] Besides the oppression of women, ethnic and religious minorities are persecuted in a particularly brutal manner as the case of the American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini shows. [5] Members of the Baha'i faith have reported that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are destroying the cemetery of Shiraz where among others those Bahai have been buried who had been killed as ‘Zionist spies’ in the 1980ies. The only reason for their execution was that they followed a religion that is hated by the Islamic despots in Tehran . [6]

On your website there is no information to be found on a current or a past event on Iran. In contrast to this, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic reported in detail on an event that took place in cooperation with your foundation last year which it considered a propaganda success. In a classical conspiracy theory and anti-semitic manner the website reports that the meeting had been an opportunity for the Islamic Republic to counter the ‘baseless news of Western media’ which are allegedly controlled by ‘Imperialism and Zionism’. Furthermore, it spreads the brazen lie that there are no persecutions of “Bahai’i and followers of other official religions”. Yet, the Bahai are clearly considered enemies as the webpage contains the statement that the Bahai are “a political party, founded by the British government in Iran and later supported by the American government.” [7]

With such a meeting, you, the democratically elected representatives, repeatedly offer a propaganda platform to the officials of the Iranian dictatorship for their repressive policies, the justification for the persecution of dissidents and minorities and their anti-Semitism.

STOP THE BOMB demands the cancellation of the event and urges all parliamentarians to publicly distance themselves from this invitation.

Sincerely,

Ulrike Becker, spokesperson STOP THE BOMB campaign

 

* The names of the following members of the German parliament are noted on the invitation: Volkmar Klein, Dietmar Nietan, Friedrich Ostendorff, Steffen Bilger, Klaus Brähmig, Siegmund Ehrmann, Karin Evers-Meyer, Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Frank Heinrich, Anette Hübinger, Dr. Franz Josef Jung, Josip Juratovic, Volker Kauder, Hartmut Koschyk, Andrea Nahles, Thomas Rachel, Karl Schiewerling, Christian Schmidt, Johannes Selle, Johannes Singhammer, Jörn Wunderlich.

 

[1] jungle-world.com/artikel/2009/23/35188.html

[2] www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000225-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2013.html and  www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/1000000425-ihrdc-chart-of-executions-by-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2014.html

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ6X8AD5Chc 

[4] www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/11/the-poet-iran-executed.html

[5] www.nydailynews.com/news/world/saeed-abedini-yanked-hospital-beaten-back-prison-report-article-1.1801087

[6] news.bahai.org/story/993  and www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/05/12/iranian_regime_still_fears_girl_hanged_30_years_ago.html

[7] www.iranembassy.de/de/wichtige-themen/765-teilnahme-des-vorsitzenden-des-haushaltsausschusses-und-der-abgeordneten-der-religi%C3%B6sen-minderheiten-im-iranischen-parlament-an-der-bundestagskonferenz-%C3%BCber-verst%C3%A4ndigung-und-werte

 

 

Press Release: Senior German MPs shoulder to shoulder with Iranian terror

STOP THE BOMB campaign criticizes fireside chat with the Iranian ambassador and invitations of the German Foreign Ministry

Press Release, May 30, 2014

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014 senior members of the Bundestag, the German Parliament, invite the Iranian Ambassador Alireza Sheikh Attar to a fireside chat in the "Parlamentarische Gesellschaft" opposite the German Parliament building in Berlin on behalf of the foundation "Stiftung für Grundwerte und Völkerverständigung“ (“Foundation for Basic Values ​​and International Understanding”). Secretary of Labor Andrea Nahles (Social Democrats) and party whip Volker Kauder (Conservative Party, CDU) and 19 others are among the inviting Members of Parliament.

According to information provided by dissidents, the announced “guest of honor”, Iranian Ambassador Sheikh Attar, was involved personally in massacres in Kurdistan-Iran.

The German Foreign Office is supporting the event with a greeting of the Head of the Middle East Department Markus Potzel.

The invitation text defines the purpose of deepening German-Iranian relations on the basis of an alleged "agreement" in the conflict over Iran's "nuclear energy program".

STOP THE BOMB spokeswoman Ulrike Becker comments: "The inviting MPs and the Foreign Office suggest that there is no threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons program any more. This is a deliberate deception of the public and the German Parliament. We also criticize that the Foreign Office has repeatedly participated in the invitation of the Iranian ambassador. German diplomacy is apparently working feverishly on the intensification of German-Iranian relations. While executions under Rohani have increased dramatically, the terror of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria continues and the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program are stuck, the German Foreign Office and the MP’s are eager to prepare new business deals and the normalization of relations. "

In an open letter to the inviting MP’s, STOP THE BOMB calls for the cancellation of the event. The letter states: "With such a meeting, you, the democratically elected representatives, repeatedly offer a propaganda platform to the officials of the Iranian dictatorship for their repressive policies, the justification for the persecution of dissidents and minorities and their anti-Semitism."