June 27th, 2008

Statement by the Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany on the anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements by Iran's former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Larijani

on the occasion of the Third Transatlantic Conference in Berlin on 24th and 25th June

"The anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli statements made by Iran's former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Ardashir Larijani, at the Third Transatlantic Conference of the Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Studies (HSFK), which took place in Berlin on 24th and 25th June 2008, are not just a scandal. Anti-Israeli statements and the renewed denial of the Holocaust at a conference supported by German tax money, by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the German Protestant Church (EKD) and held in Berlin in the 70th anniversary year of 'Kristallnacht' call into question the official expressions of solidarity with Israel. The fact that Larijani, an accomplice in the mullah regime, was invited at the suggestion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is bad enough," said Secretary General Stephan J. Kramer. "That neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier personally, strongly contradicted Larijani's crude comparisons demonstrates the double standards and complacency in dealing with the mullah regime," criticised Kramer.
Kramer emphasised "Just like in the case of Tibet , concrete economic interests obviously take precedence over human rights making the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some members of the German Bundestag take a soft line on the Iranian dictatorship. It is not primarily Israelis or Jews in general who suffer from this soft-line approach but the persecuted and oppressed students, women, and journalists in Iran itself."
"The German government is courting the mullah regime by providing it forums for spreading its inhumane propaganda and agitation thus reducing the credibility of German foreign policy," said the Secretary General.