Monday, October 01, 2018

Merkel's monstrous dealings with Iran

A writer for Tablet tells what's wrong with the conduct of Germany's premier, Angela Merkel:
In a remarkable comment that was ignored by the German media last month, the president of the country’s roughly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews suggested that Germany has failed to internalize the lessons of the Holocaust. According to Dr. Josef Schuster, Angela Merkel’s flourishing trade with a regime in Tehran that is both the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world and also the world’s top sponsor of lethal anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, is incompatible with the spirit of the Federal Republic’s own foundational commitments, and with the laws of a country where Holocaust denial is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

To understand Schuster’s frustration and disappointment with German society, it is worth citing his critique: “It seems paradoxical that Germany—as a country that is said to have learned from its horrendous past and which has a strong commitment to fight anti-Semitism—is one of the strongest economic partners of a regime [Tehran] that is blatantly denying the Holocaust and abusing human rights on a daily basis. Besides, Germany has included Israel’s security as a part of its raison d’être. As a matter of course this should exclude doing business with a fanatic dictatorship that is calling for Israel’s destruction, pursuing nuclear weapons and financing terror organizations around the world.”

Schuster called for “an immediate halt to any economic relations with Iran. Any trade with Iran means a benefit for radical and terrorist forces, and a hazard and destabilization for the region.”

Yet Merkel, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, and her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, of the Social Democratic Party, rejected Schuster’s plea, and are now working overtime to circumvent U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Maas, who claimed earlier this year that he entered politics “because of Auschwitz,” argued for an alternative method to facilitate financial transfers to the radical clerical regime in Tehran, to bypass a United States plan to re-institute the ban on Iran’s use of the SWIFT system.

The moral and economic danger represented by Merkel’s emergence as Iran’s major champion in Europe has been a kind of secret that dare not speak its name in the media and among the chattering classes in the Federal Republic. A rare exception in a country that does not have the Anglo-American tradition of aggressive investigative reporting was the BILD newspaper’s exposé on a German company that sold material to merchants based in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. The components were later found in Iranian-produced rockets that contained chemicals used to gas Syrian civilians in January and February of 2018.

The rockets caused 21 Syrian children and adults to be poisoned. Germany’s export control agency told this writer that it will not bar the sale of such material in the future as a “dual-use” good that can be used for military and civilian purposes. The Krempel company that sold the material continues to do business with Iran and has a distribution center in the United States.

So what animates Germany’s devotion to Iran’s murderous regime, and its lack of solidarity—in both words and practice—with Israel? Economic interests are certainly front and center. Germany exported $3.42 billion in merchandise to Iran in 2017. Economic analysts said shortly after the 2015 nuclear deal was reached that German-Iranian trade could soon surpass $10 billion per year. Approximately 120 German companies operate inside the Islamic Republic, and 10,000 German businesses conduct trade with Iran. It should be noted that the German government not only rejects U.S. sanctions but also provides state credit guarantees to German companies that do business in the Islamic Republic, as means of facilitating German trade with Iran.
At this point, I think it'd be a good idea if sanctions were imposed upon Germany, if that helps send Merkel a message their conduct is unacceptable. And those companies still operating in the US should be given an eviction notice or have heavy fines imposed for violating laws against dealing with terror regimes. For now, we could certainly try to boycott companies like Krempel and not bankroll their products. Read more of the article to see just how Germany's failed to seriously improve themselves for nearly a century already.

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