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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Protest against Iran trip of Rainer Stinner (FDP)

Foreign policy speaker of Westerwelle's FDP wants to travel to Iran - Protests arise also in the FDP

STOP THE BOMB, July 30, 2010

The German member of parliament Dr. Rainer Stinner, foreign policy speaker of the FDP, has announced that he wants to travel to the Islamic Republic of Iran tomorrow (Saturday, July 31), to talk about the „nuclear program“ and the „situation in the region“. (1) 

„That the foreign policy speaker of foreign minister Guido Westerwelle’s party wants to travel to Iran is a fatal political signal. The just imposed UN- and EU sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran would be undermined und weakened by Germany. Instead of further isolating and pressuring the illegitimate and criminal regime in Iran, such a visit would strenghten the regime diplomatically and flatter it as a partner for dialogue. Stinners visit would also be exploited by the Iranian regime media in order to discourage the opposition. The visit has to be urgently canceled“, says STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Jonathan Weckerle.

Criticism of Stinners travel plans arises also in the FDP. Dr. Nikoline Hansen, head of the FDP Berlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, writes in a protest letter: 

„In my opinion your trip to Iran is in the long run not positive for the German economy, that tries every way to bypass the santions policy. Because someone who does business with the ardent enemies of Israel in the end acts against his own interests.“ (2)

In an answer to a protest letter from the German-Iranian publicist Saba Farzan, also a member of the FDP, Stinner writes: „Who denies talking, accepts shooting. I’m an independent parlamentarian and I draw conclusions on my own. I don’t rely on the Iranian propaganda, not on propaganda from elsewhere, and I don’t exclusively rely on your opinion.“ 

Saba Farzan states: „As a German-Iranian publicist and member of the Free Democratic Party I'm outraged about this planned trip. The critical dialogue with this regime is fortunately over now – actually it never really existed. This week Iran's largest trade partner, the European Union, has passed finally very tough sanctions. Travelling now to Iran and playing little Chamberlain is extremely dangerous and shows a lack of analytic expertise.“

Stinner self description as „transmission belt between politics and economy“ arouses the suspicion that for him the export interest of the German economy are more important than the dangers posed by the Iranian regime. Stinner in the end of 2009 already spoke out against putting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the EU terror list because of their economic power: „If you would put he Revolutionary Guards on the EU terror list, this would factically mean a broad economic embargo, which in this form is neither wished by Germany or the other EU member states.“ (4) 

After protests Stinner explained in an email that he wants to meet „among others“ UN officials in Iran, to talk with reference to Afghanistan about drugs, crime and refugees. But these topics don’t justify the visit of a regime that has no shared interests in Afghanistan and which instead arms the Taliban and maintains contacts to al-Qaeda, as the recently published documents on WikiLeaks show. (5)

Stinners trip, which would not take place without knowledge and approval of the German government, once again shows the German unwillingness to break with a regime that uses „dialogue“ only to gain time for its nuclear program, that continues to support Islamist terror worldwide, that steadily threatens Israel with destruction and which inmidst of its hardest internal crisis uses brute force against any opposition. Just a month ago an Iran trip of the head of the foreign affairs committee of the German Bundestag Ruprecht Polenz (CDU) has been canceled after protests, officially for health reasons. (6)

(4) Answer to an email request from Stephan Grigat, December 17, 2009.