German antisemitism commissioner calls on Merkel to exit Iran nuke deal

Uwe Becker wants Germany and EU to impose sanctions on Iran.

By
October 2, 2019 04:58
3 minute read.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (photo credit: REUTERS/WOLFGANG RATTAY)

One of Germany’s leading commissioners tasked with combating antisemitism has urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal to protect Israel’s security and instead impose sanctions on Tehran.

“The current escalation with Israel should be reason enough for Germany to advocate the.... Iran nuclear agreement, which has been undermined by Iran... [as] dead, and for the necessary sanctions against Tehran to become effective again in their entirety,” Uwe Becker, commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Becker said Germany’s national interest in a secure Israel is “above possible economic interests” rooted in the Iran deal.

“If Germany takes its reason for state [raison d’État] seriously, it must immediately freeze its relations with Iran and thus send a clear and unequivocal signal to the Iranian leadership,” Becker said. “It is not a question of a policy against the Iranian people, who are even deprived of important freedom rights by their own government, but of a clear position towards the political leadership in Tehran.”

Becker, who is a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, is the first antisemitism commissioner in Germany to urge the chancellor to pull the plug on the accord and re-impose economic sanctions against Iran.

Merkel delivered a speech to the Knesset in 2008 in which she declared Israel’s security interests to be part of Germany’s raison d’État.

At the time, the chancellor said that Israel’s security is “non-negotiable” for her government.

She has faced criticism over the last years for her administration’s aggressive support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal that was supposed to curb Iran’s atomic program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The US classifies Iran’s regime as the leading international state-sponsor of terrorism and announced its withdrawal last year from the accord because it claimed it did not stop Tehran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

On Monday, the Iranian regime-controlled Tehran Times outlet reported that Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami, head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said the Jewish state “should be wiped off the world’s [map] and this is not an ideal or dream anymore.”

Germany’s government has not responded to Salami’s statement of genocidal antisemitism targeting Israel.

“The European Union is still holding fast to the mistaken idea that there is still something like a treaty to which the Iranian regime would feel bound,” Becker said. “Europe is already negligently putting its own security at risk, for it is not only the increased number of missile tests in 2018 with medium-range weapons that can reach the territory of the EU that show just how fire-threatening European naivety can be. Even the recent escalation in the Middle East makes Tehran’s true intentions shine through the peace mask that has been put on to the West.”

The EU is “being cheated by the Iranian leadership,” according to Becker.

“The Iranian medium-range missiles are only really effective... if they can also be equipped with nuclear weapons,” Becker said. “Those who have put all their energy into the nuclear deal, which basically did not contain any false intention on the part of the Western world, seem paralyzed by their supposed ‘success in negotiations’ and obviously do not want to admit reality.”

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal did not cover Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

When the Post asked about Becker’s comment, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert did not respond.

Seibert refuses to answer Post queries about criticism directed at Merkel about her alleged appeasement toward Iran. Seibert’s predecessor Ulrich Wilhelm previously reached out to the Post to provide information about vital security matters affecting Israel-German relations. Wilhelm went as far as apologizing to the Post when a Post media query was not answered in a timely manner. It is unclear what is motivating Seibert’s lack of transparency.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Efraim Zuroff, accused Merkel last month of appeasing Iran’s regime by promoting business with Tehran in Berlin.

Zuroff told the Post that the German government’s foreign policy recalls “Shades of Munich 1938, only this time it’s the Germans who think that they can achieve ‘peace in our times’ by appeasing a totalitarian, fundamentalist regime intent on genocide of Jews.”

Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas – who has said that he “entered politics because of Auschwitz” – promoting business ties between Iran and Germany make their pronouncements “ring embarrassingly hollow,” Zuroff added.


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