Top German newspaper: FM ‘shameful” for supporting Iran ‘terror’ event

Stritzel said the Iran business takes place “All with the blessing of the German Foreign Ministry. This is not only shameful, but a slap in the face of all freedom-loving Iranians.”

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September 22, 2019 05:43
3 minute read.
A satellite image showing damage to oil/gas Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais, in Saudi Arabia

A satellite image showing damage to oil/gas Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais, in Saudi Arabia in this handout picture released by the U.S Government September 15, 2019. (photo credit: U.S. GOVERNMENT/REUTERS)

Bild, Europe’s most-read newspaper (circulation over 1.5 million), described the role of the German Foreign Ministry as “shameful” in a blistering Friday commentary for its participation in a pro-Iran business conference in Berlin that the US government said supports terrorism.

The Bild article, penned by Björn Stritzel, noted that “Not even a week ago, Iran attacked one of the most important oil facilities in the world in Saudi Arabia. The attack cut global oil production by five percent and was the high point of Iranian terror against the global economy.”

He added that “While the Tehran regime plays with fire, Germany is also offering the mullahs a stage in Berlin! Yesterday, the Federal Foreign Office sent a business director [Miguel Berger] to a conference to give tips on how to cleverly bypass US sanctions against Iran. Every penny from the business deals that were initiated there [at the conference] flows directly into Tehran’s terrorist coffers, with which the mullahs oppress their own people.”

Stritzel said the Iran business takes place “All with the blessing of the German Foreign Ministry. This is not only shameful, but a slap in the face of all freedom-loving Iranians.”

US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, sharply criticized the German government on Tuesday, stating: “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.”

Grenell added, “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.”

Numerous Jerusalem Post press queries to German foreign minister Heiko Maas’s office and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, were not immediately returned.

Seibert’s office has declined to answer Post press queries over the last few weeks covering Merkel’s pro-Iranian regime foreign policy.

The Post reported on Thursday that the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Efraim Zuroff, termed statements from Merkel and Maas about their pledge to Israel’s security and having learned the lessons from Auschwitz as ringing “embarrassingly hollow” in light of the pro-Iran business conference.

The Post first reported on Wednesday that a recent German intelligence report from the state of Hesse outlined the Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction during 2018, as well as illicit espionage activities inside Germany.

Merkel and Maas have not commented on the report. Both the chancellor and her foreign minister are in favor of the Iran nuclear deal that aims to curb Tehran’s ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons.

The Hesse intelligence document ostensibly contradicts the Merkel administration’s statement that the Iran atomic deal is working.

“Against this background [of proliferation], weapons of mass destruction continued to be a powerful political instrument during the reporting period, which could shake the stability of an entire state structure in both regional and international crisis situations,” the Hesse report noted on Wednesday. “In particular, states such as Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and Syria attempted to acquire and redistribute such weapons in the context of proliferation, for example by concealing transport routes via third countries.”

According to the intelligence agency, visiting professors from states such as Iran, North Korea and Pakistan are connected to “proliferation conduct” that is coordinated with intelligence services from those countries.

“An example of this is the field of electrical engineering combined with the use of centrifuges in the process of uranium enrichment,” the report said. “Here, again and again, there are suspicions that foreign intelligence services put pressure on their own visiting scientists to obtain the desired technical know-how.”


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