US embassy says pro-Iran business event funds terrorism in Berlin

The US government classifies Iran's regime as the leading international state sponsor of terrorism.

By
September 17, 2019 20:34
3 minute read.
US embassy says pro-Iran business event funds terrorism in Berlin

Soldiers of the German armed forces Bundeswehr hold the Iranian flag during a ceremony for the diplomatic accreditation of the new ambassador of Iran to Germany in Berlin. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)

The US embassy in Berlin announced that a slated pro-Iranian regime business conference on Thursday in Berlin will fund terrorism. The event includes members of the German government and Klaus Ernst, a MP from the largely anti-Israel Left Party in the Bundestag.

"Thursday’s conference by the Maleki Corporate Group to promote trade with the Iranian regime is a dangerous move that will fund terrorism and undermine US sanctions, " the embassy tweeted on Tuesday.

Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, said in a statement that "Iran perpetuates gross human rights abuses against its own citizens, has planned and carried out terror attacks and assassinations on European soil, and is facilitating Assad's war crimes in Syria. Now is not the time to promote business deals that will only send euros to the regime's coffers at the expense of the Iranian people."

The European organization, Stop the Bomb, which seeks to end the Iranian regime's illicit nuclear weapons program, is scheduled to protest the business conference.

The Maleki Corporate Group GmbH is holding their 8th Banking and Business Forum Iran Europe on September 19 and 20 at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin.

Stop the Bomb wrote, "[b]esides German politicians like Klaus Ernst [Left Party] and representatives of the Federal Financial Supervisory authority, representatives of the Iranian regime will be present, among them the newly appointed Iranian Ambassador to Germany, Mahmoud Farazandeh. It’s the purpose of the conference to get accounts moving again between Germany and Iran despite the US-sanctions. As a coalition we strongly condemn the attempts to normalize relationships to this misogynist, antisemitic regime."

The US government classifies Iran's regime as the leading international state sponsor of terrorism.

The Frankfurt-based Volksbank is listed as the financial institution that receives registration fees for the conference. The conference costs 1,400 Euro for two days. It is unclear if the city of Frankfurt will ban business with the bank because of its ties to a pro-Iranian regime event. The City of Frankfurt outlaws business with banks that conduct transactions with the Boycott, Divestement and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel. Iran's mullah regime supports BDS.

The Volksbank did not immediately respond to a Jerusalem Post query on Tuesday.

Stop the Bomb sharply criticized the Left Party MP, Klaus Ernst, a former trade unionist, in a letter. 

Stop the Bomb wrote to Ernst:
"You are a former trade union representative. On your homepage it states the motto 'For a fair wage and social justice.' Where is your is solidarity with the workers protests in Iran?" Stop the Bomb listed examples of the Iranian regime's oppression of women and organized workers in the letter to Ernst.

When asked about the Stop the Bomb letter, Ernst told the Post he "rejects the criticism" regarding his participation as a speaker at the event. Ernst added that "I am convinced that Germany and the EU must do their utmost to fulfill their part of the [nuclear] agreement in order to persuade Iran not to re-launch its nuclear program. The efforts of the EU and Germany are insufficient. Trade and payments have virtually come to a standstill. This attitude has nothing to do with being friendly or critical of the Iranian regime."

The sub-headline for the conference is titled: “Change through Trade and Détente.”

The US government withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year because the deal, according to the Trump administration, did not prevent Iran's regime from securing an atomic weapon, stop its terrorism or ballistic missile program. When asked if Ernst took away the wrong lessons from the Holocaust, Ernst demanded a number of times an apology for raising the question.

Iran's supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, "[t]his barbaric, wolf-like, and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated."

When asked about the criticism of the Hotel hosting Iranian regime representatives, Harriet Eversmeyer, Director of Public Relations for the Maritim Hotel, told the Post that: "As a leading provider of conference and congress capacities in Germany, there are more than 30 Maritim hotels throughout Germany, in which large events of companies, associations, lobbyists, parties take place. As an owner-managed private enterprise, however, it is not our task to evaluate the content of these events or exclude customers from our hotel offer."

The Post asked Maritim about the statement of Iran's supreme leader Khamenei urging the destruction of the Jewish state.


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