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Friday, March 24, 2023

Press statement: Panel discussion with the Iranian Ambassador has been cancelled

The campaign “STOP THE BOMB – No deals with the Iranian regime“ welcomes and appreciates the cancellation of the panel discussion „The German-Iranian relationship“, to which the Iranian ambassador in Germany, Ali Reza Sheikh Attar, was invited as speaker. The event was announced to take place in Leipzig on June 16 2009.(1) STOP THE BOMB criticizes that the organizers of the event, the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation (associated with the Green Party in Germany) and Eurient e.V., are still intending to “seek talks with representatives of the Iranian government”, as they wrote in a press release.(2) 

As STOP THE BOMB-supporter Prof. Micha Brumlik wrote in the German daily „taz“, the  long lasting dialogue-policy of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation has „achieved nothing, while the leaders of the theocracy have resolutely continued their march towards a nuclear Iran“. The cancelled event „would only have enhanced the status of the representative of a totalitarian regime“.(3)

In his time as governor of the Kurdish areas in Iran between 1980 and1985, the Iranian ambassador was involved in numerous murders and severe human rights violations, as several sources from Iranians in exile report.

Additionally problematic was the fact that the ambassador's dialog partner should have been Johannes Reissner, Iran-expert of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). No critical position on the current state of Iran could have been expected from him, e.g. in a recently published strategy paper for the German Iran-policy he demanded a guarantee for Iran´s „regime security“.(4) 

„The notion to achieve something from a ‘critical dialogue’ with representatives of a murderous regime is at best naive. The panel discussion would have been a prestige success for the regime and a slap in the face of Iranian refugees and dissidents“, says Michael Spaney, spokesperson for the STOP THE BOMB campaign. The protests announced by STOP THE BOMB and the Coalition Against Antisemitism Leipzig have contributed to the cancellation of the event.(5)

STOP THE BOMB will continue to protest against all kinds of support for the Iranian regime, whether on the political, economic or cultural field.

STOP THE BOMB June 3rd, 2009