Vienna Mayor Michael Haupl.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BERLIN – Israel’s top diplomat in Austria, Talya Lador-Fresher, took to Twitter to criticize Vienna’s Mayor Michael Häupl for his visit to Iran.
“For a high-ranking Austrian politician during an Iran visit Israel is ‘no issue,’” Ambassador Lador-Fresher wrote on her Twitter feed on Wednesday. Lador-Fresher’s tweet to denounce the mayor’s indifference to Israel’s security interests is a new form of reaching the public in Austria for the embassy.
Häupl also faced criticism from the anti-Iran regime group Stop the Bomb in Vienna. The group said “a Social Democrat (SPÖ), traveled to Iran to meet with high-ranking regime officials like Tehran’s mayor, although a Holocaust denial event is currently taking place in Tehran and despite the persecution of labor activists.
The Iranian regime on a regular basis threatens Israel and Vienna’s sister city, Tel Aviv, with annihilation.”
Stephan Grigat, Stop the Bomb’s research director, said: “According to human rights activists, Tehran’s Mayor Muhammad Bagher Ghalibaf was involved in massive human rights abuses as a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and took part in the crackdown on students. The organizer of the state-sponsored Holocaust denial exhibition, Massoud Shojai-Tabatabai, is the Tehran Municipality’s deputy director for culture and arts. Although Häupl regularly swears ‘Never Again!’ at Holocaust memorial ceremonies, he now seems to be keen on getting into business with Iran’s anti-Semitic ayatollahs.
We call upon Vienna’s governing municipal coalition of Social Democrats and Greens to immediately stop the collaboration with the Iranian regime.”
Häupl also met with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former Iranian president, who has enthusiastically discussed the idea of dropping a nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv. A Berlin court implicated Rafsanjani in the assassination of Kurdish dissidents in a Berlin restaurant in 1992. A warrant was issued for Rafsanjani’s arrest in 2006 for his role in the 1994 bombing of Buenos Aires’s Jewish center that killed 85 and wounded more than 300.
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queries to Häupl’s spokesman were not returned on Thursday.
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