Thursday, March 19, 2015

Germany: Are booming German-Iran business relations hurting Israel?

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Fresh trade data show Germany’s industry secured a windfall in revenue due to the easing of Iran sanctions. According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, German exports to the Islamic Republic in 2014 climbed by 30 percent to reach €2.4 billion.

The strong revival of German-Iranian relations comes at a sensitive time for Israel. Germany and Israel are immersed in a series of celebratory events to remember the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The boost in German-Iran trade – and a late-February pro-Iran business event sponsored by the Hannover chamber of industry and commerce – triggered a public rebuke from Israel.

“Obviously the organizing body aims to enhance trade relations with Iran, but now is not the time for such initiatives – both because of the fact that the international sanctions are still in place and because of the sensitive stage of the current negotiations between the E3+3 [China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States] and Iran,” a spokeswoman for Israel’s embassy told The Jerusalem Post.

“In addition one should not forget that Iran was and remains a country which supports, finances and executes murderous terrorism around the globe, including its military support of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah,” she added. “Iran is a country where human rights are trampled (more than 8 people were executed in the past days) and where currently an International Holocaust Cartoon competition is held, and provides an opportunity for Holocaust deniers to present their vicious and outrageous ‘art,’ distorting the memory of one of the most tragic events in human history,” she continued.

Dr. Kazem Moussavi, an Iranian dissident in Berlin, called the Hannover business breakfast parley with Iran a “cynical event.” He is outraged over the German government’s role at the event in light of the “dramatic intensification of hangings in Iran.”  More.

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