Pro-Israel activists protest Iranian ambassador's appearance at Berlin school

November 19, 2009 01:44

Pro-Israel activists pro

The decision of a private school, Königin-Luise-Stiftung, to host the Iranian ambassador to Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, Monday for a German-Iranian Teacher's Conference prompted protests from groups critical of Iran's human rights record and its anti-Israeli policies. Attar delivered the opening remarks at the conference, which was held with the approval of German Foreign Ministry. Members of the political organization "Stop the Bomb" distributed on Tuesday protest letters to students and teachers of the school, which is situated across from the Iranian embassy. "Stop the Bomb" challenged the director of the school, Frank Olie, to reconcile how an institution whose curriculum commemorates Nazi pogroms against Germany's Jews in 1938 could also coordinate projects with an Iranian regime that denies the Holocaust and seeks to obliterate Israel. Iranian-Kurdish groups have accused Attar of responsibility for the massacre of Kurds during his tenure (1980-1985) as governor of the provinces Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan. Olie said the ambassador is "accredited" as a diplomat and he does not know if the human rights charges against him are true. According to school sources, Olie banned the publication of a teacher and student petition condemning Iranian human rights violations. After discussions with a Foreign Ministry representative, school sources said, Olie suppressed the dissemination of the document. Asked about the document, Olie said, "Those are confidential matters."

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