Israel’s embassy in Berlin on Wednesday issued a stinging condemnation of German Green Party politicians and federal agencies for jeopardizing Middle East and European security because of their roles in promoting trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran at a business forum in Frankfurt.
The embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post by email: “Iran is the No.1 funder of terror in the world, including terror organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and is a destabilizing force in the region. Furthermore, Iran carries out missile tests that are not consistent with UN Security Council resolutions, and in doing so calls for the destruction of Israel. These missiles also have the capability of reaching Europe.”
The embassy added, “Iran should be the focus of severe nuclear monitoring given the international community’s lack of belief in its intentions. Iran is one of the primary abusers of human rights. The number of executions during the term of President [Hassan] Rouhani even surpassed previous leaders. Given this, it’s possible to understand our dissatisfaction from this forum and cooperation by European bodies.”
The 5th Banking and Business Forum Iran Europe, which runs from November 15-16 in Frankfurt, seeks to boost business with Iran and end financial restrictions against Tehran.
Tarek Al-Wazir, the Green Party economic minister for the state of Hesse where the forum is taking place, is slated to speak. The Green Party in the state of Hesse and the Economy Ministry declined to comment.
Green Party MP Omid Nouripour and the party’s foreign policy spokesman is listed as a speaker at the event on Thursday. The Post has learned that he has pulled out of the forum. A reason was not provided.
Sabine Reimer, a spokeswoman for the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, whose president, Felix Hufeld, will be speaking on Thursday, told the Post she can provide Hufeld’s speech after he delivers it. She declined to comment on Israel’s rebuke of the event.
Sarah Ott, a spokeswoman for the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, which is participating in the forum, told the Post that the agency would not comment on Israel’s criticism of its activity.
A panel titled “A short history of banking in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Land of Opportunities and Iranian business in Europe)” lists Siavosh Naghshineh as one of the speakers. Naghshineh was the former CEO of the European-Iranian trade bank (EIH).
The US and EU previously sanctioned the EIH for its role in Iran’s illicit nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions on the EIH were lifted as result of the Iran nuclear deal in 2016.
The Post reported in October that Iran conducted 40 proliferation attempts in Germany to obtain nuclear and missile goods in 2016. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Iran’s regime made “32 procurement attempts… that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs,” the state’s intelligence agency wrote in October. The agency also wrote that Iran uses front companies in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and China to bypass sanctions and restrictions on its atomic and missile programs.
Hamburg’s intelligence agency wrote: “There is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016 [after it signed the nuclear accord in 2015]. Iran sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program.” Germany’s domestic intelligence agencies in each state are the rough equivalent of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
An intelligence report from the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg in June said, “Regardless of the number of national and international sanctions and embargoes, countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are making efforts to optimize corresponding technology.”
According to the report, Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well missile technology.” German security officials told the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel in October that Iran is working to build nuclear-armed missiles.