Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, attends the "Rally for Equal Rights at the United Nations (Protesting Anti-Israeli Bias)" aside of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 18, 2019.
(photo credit: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)
The US government’s highest-profile ambassador in Europe suggested in a tweet on Friday that the Bundestag resolution against the antisemitic BDS movement should also apply to Iran because it seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell wrote: “Fact: Iran regime calls for the destruction of Israel. No funding for Instex now?”
Instex, the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, is the finance mechanism set up by Germany, France and the United Kingdom in Paris to boost trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran and circumvent robust American sanctions on Tehran.
Grenell’s tweet was in response to Berlin-based Wall Street Journal correspondent Bojan Pancevski, who wrote on Twitter: “Germany parliament condemned the BDS movement as antisemitic, and it called on the government to withdraw funding for events or institutions affiliated to it.”
Grenell’s message appears to have been designed to highlight the German government’s hypocrisy toward the Iranian regime.
The Instex could face US sanctions if it trades with illegal Iranian entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. German banker Per Fischer will oversee the Instex.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration has ignored calls from Germany’s Jewish community to stop trade with the Iranian regime.
In August 2018, the president of Germany’s roughly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews called for an immediate end of Iranian-German business relations because the trade benefits Iranian-sponsored terrorism and contradicts Berlin’s pledge that Israel’s security is non-negotiable.
In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, Central Council head Dr. Josef Schuster did not mince words. “I endorse an immediate stop of any economic relation with Iran,” he said. “Any trade with Iran means a benefit for radical and terrorist forces, and a hazard and destabilization for the region.
He added, “The Central Council of Jews in Germany has been criticizing the German-Iranian trade relations for a long time. It seems paradoxical that Germany – as a country that is said to have learned from its horrendous past and which has a strong commitment to fight antisemitism – is one of the strongest economic partners of a regime that is blatantly denying the Holocaust and abusing human rights on a daily basis. Besides, Germany has included Israel’s security as a part of its raison d’etre. As a matter of course, this should exclude doing business with a fanatic dictatorship that is calling for Israel’s destruction, pursuing nuclear weapons and financing terror organizations around the world.
“It is high time to ask oneself where the money that Iran is earning by this trade is going. Furthermore, we witness demonstrations in Iran of people that are yearning for freedom and equality. We should stand up for these people who are risking their lives because they are asking for rights that we here can fortunately take for granted.”
Germany refuses to outlaw the pro-BDS terrorist entity Hezbollah that supports the destruction of Israel. According to 2018 German intelligence reports examined by the Post, there are at least 950 Hezbollah members operating on German soil. The members raise funds for the Beirut-based Hezbollah headquarters, spread antisemitic and jihadi ideologies, and recruit new members. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the US, Israel, the Arab League and Canada classify Hezbollah a terrorist entity.
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