Scandal at the "Transatlantic Conference" in Berlin

Press statement on the anti-Semitic threats of the Iranian functionary Mohammad Larijani on the “Third Transatlantic Conference“ in Berlin

Berlin, July 3, 2008

The Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin severely protests against the anti-Semitic agitation by the Iranian top official Mohammad Larijani on the „Third Transatlantic Conference“ on June, 24-25, 2008 at the representation of the country Hesse in Berlin. According to the organizing „Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research“, the conference was politically and financially supported by the German Federal Government, the protestant church of Hesse and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.[1] This is the first conference that got the support of a German Government that called for the destruction of Israel.

Mohammad Larijani is the former Iranian vice State Secretary. As chairman of the “Human Rights Staff of Iranian Justice“ in 2007 he declared that stoning is neither inadequate nor torture: „Some think that we are ashamed, if westerners insult us because of the stoning, while we are only obeying the law. This is not the case at all. One does not need to be ashamed of the religious law.“ [2]

The invitation of such a ‘human rights commissioner’ alone is a scandal. It is a slap in the face of the members of the Iranian opposition, whose resistance against the Mullahs in Iran becomes stronger day by day.  The fact that Larijani could call unhindered for the destruction of Israel at the Berlin conference and declare that denying the Holocaust in the Muslim world has nothing to do with anti-Semitism[3] puts into question confirmations of the German Government that it supports Israel against Iranian threats.

There is only one good thing about the „Transatlantic Conference ": The inflammatory speech of Larijani in Berlin proved once and for all that German and European political, diplomatic and economic concessions make the Iranian regime only more aggressive. The war risk in the Middle East clearly emanates from the Iranian theocracy, which aims at the destruction of Israel. A last chance to turn down open military confrontation only exists if the Federal Government eventually gives up its support for the Iranian regime; a support for which the invitation of the Iranian hangman to Berlin is only one example under many.

The Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin demands from the German Government:

  • to lay open who financed the conference and how the Government was involved in the invitation of Mohammad Larijani to Berlin. We demand the resignation of the administration officials involved;
  • the end of the secret diplomacy with Teheran, which undermines the international sanctions against the Iranian regime. We demand the consistent implementation of the international sanction resolutions against Iran and the announcement of further unilateral sanctions by the Federal Government;
  • an end to harassments and monitoring measures against members of the Iranian opposition in Germany;
  • the exposure of activities of the Iranian secret service in Germany with regard to the persecution of exile Iranians and the smuggling of technology for the Iranian nuclear programme as well as the consistent prosecution of these activities.

[1] http://www.hsfk.de/index.php?id=131
Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, „Iran: Steinigung als Staatsgesetz“, Welt Debatte, 5.10.2008, http://debatte.welt.de/kolumnen/64/11011+berlin+geschichten+aus+dem+reichstag/41755/iran+steinigung+als+staatsgesetz
Benjamin Weinthal, „Berlin forum calls for Israel's destruction“, Jerusalem Post