Germany slammed for honoring ‘barbaric’ Iranian regime ambassador

Translator indicted for spying on behalf of Iran in Germany

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August 18, 2019 04:59
3 minute read.
Soldiers of the German armed forces Bundeswehr hold the Iranian flag

Soldiers of the German armed forces Bundeswehr hold the Iranian flag. (photo credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)

Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier faced a new wave of criticism for glorifying the Iranian regime in a ceremony on Friday in Berlin that welcomed the new ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Great honor for a barbaric regime,” read the headline in Bild, Germany’s top-selling newspaper, about the welcome of Mahmoud Farazandeh.

Steinmeier was embroiled in an alleged appeasement scandal in February because he sent a telegram to Iran’s rulers congratulating the regime on the 40th anniversary of its Islamic revolution.

The US classifies Iran’s clerical regime the leading international state-sponsor of terrorism.

According to Bild, a spokeswoman for Steinmeier said that “It is constitutionally regulated that the Federal President accredits and receives envoys.”

The German government held a flag raising ceremony, with the Iranian regime’s flag, at the president’s residence at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

Bild asked: “Should the ambassador of a murderous regime really receive such a welcome like every other ambassador?”

Ulrike Becker, a spokeswoman for the NGO Stop the Bomb, told Bild: “It is depressing, with what perseverance the federal government and federal presidency ignore the catastrophic human rights situation in Iran and the terrorist and antisemitic policies of the Iranian regime and repeatedly fool their own public” in order to mainstream the regime in Tehran.

She said that  Germany’s government pretends that there can be a “diplomatic normalcy” with Iran’s regime. Becker added that  Germany’s government should reject business as usual with a  regime “that forces homosexuals and religious minorities to be executed, forces women under the veil and whose goal is to destroy Israel.”

Becker noted that “As long as the regime is rewarded with dialogue, receptions and conferences, it will stick to its policy of achieving foreign policy goals with blackmail and terror.”

She said the regime has targeted with attack plans “Iranian dissidents in exile and representatives of Jewish and pro-Israel groups.”

Becker said, “The president should honor the struggle of the Iranian opposition for democracy and freedom and invite its representatives to Bellevue.”

Julian Reichelt, the editor-in-chief of Bild, tweeted that “Bellevue Palace raises the Iranian flag in honor of the new ambassador. You can call that protocol. I call it kowtowing to an antisemitic terror regime that wants to wipe out Israel, oppress women and hang homosexuals.”

Germany’s alleged pro-Iran foreign policy has faced near daily criticism from human rights groups, journalists and politicians.

The associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, told The Jerusalem Post that “With all due respect, it is time for the German foreign minister to drop his assertion that it was the lessons of Auschwitz that propelled him into public life. He clearly has not applied any of the lessons to the current situation. Instead of weakening the tyrannical, genocidal regime in Tehran, he is doing everything to strengthen Iran. His instructions to the German UN ambassador are not those of a friend of a Jewish state.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, a Social Democrat, announced last year that he went into politics “because of Auschwitz.”

Cooper said “Before he [Maas] invokes Auschwitz again, he should go back and reread history. We expected much more from Foreign Minister Maas. Unfortunately, we find him on the wrong side of the tracks on the existential threats that Israel are facing every day.”

Meanwhile, on Friday, German prosecutors indicted a German-Afghan named Abdul S., who worked as  a translator and adviser to the German armed forces, for providing confidential material to Iran’s intelligence agency. The prosecutor’s officer said Abdul engaged in treason.


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