What’s Happening in German-Speaking Europe?

Scanning the globe (in several languages), it appears that something’s up in German-speaking Europe – and we believe the media has missed it.

This blog prides itself in helping the avid follower of Iran-related issues to understand the bigger picture.  For try as it may, day-to-day coverage has its limitations – that’s why the media needs our help.

Consider these:

Tehran is allegedly exploiting Austrian banks to bypass sanctions.  Deutsche Bank is under investigation for breaking sanctions. German-Iranian trade is booming.  An Austrian and German (who called sanctions “stupid,” as was reported in the German-language press) were among a mere five European Parliament  members who insisted on visiting Iran two weeks ago – before Tehran cancelled on them.  A Der Spiegel report has highlighted Germany as a “focal point of procurement” for Iran’s nuclear program.  According to The Washington Post, the vast majority of the 20,000 tourists who visit Iran for non-religious reasons come from Germany (or China).   And Switzerland (admittedly not an EU member state) is reportedly pushing back on sanctions.

Of course, none of these are ostensibly “government” activities – and to be fair, both the German and Austrian governments have been clear on their support for strengthening sanctions. Nevertheless, is it possible they are conveying mixed signals?

Consider this: A German parliamentary delegation that refused to take its cue from the EP delegation and went ahead with its plans to visit Iran, met inter alia with Mohammad Javad Larijani (head of Iran’s so-called High Council for Human Rights) – the same Larijani who seemingly minutes after the departure of the UN secretary general from Iran called his special  rapporteur for human rights in Iran “irrelevant“.

And what did Larijani tell the Bundestag members? He countered their human rights message by criticizing Europe for using it as “a political tool“.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle found time on the margins of the UN General Assembly to meet with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akhbar Salehi.  This same EU-sanctioned Salehi – who a week  before embraced Assad the butcher in Damascus – then chose Germany as his stop-over choice en route back to Tehran.

Reasonable to assume that Westerwelle was in the know about this.

Now, unlike in Iran, it doesn’t matter to this blog whether he’s heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, metro-sexual, or asexual.   This blog however does find it incredibly hypocritical of those Germans – particularly an openly gay minister – who think that gay rights are something that should be embraced at home, while ignored abroad.

Dan Littauer’s superb article about homosexuality and homosexuals in Iran is worth a read in its entirety. He opens with this:

“The Iranian speaker of parliament equated gays with barbarism and questioned if the UN is seeking the legalization of homosexuality in his country.”

He goes on to note that:

According to a report by Mehr News Agency, Mr. Larijani shared with the audience the story of a meeting with one of the European foreign ministers, saying that, ‘one of the foreign ministers that we met with was a faggot. Now what should have we done?

‘Should we have refused to meet with them [because of their homosexuality]?
‘In the international arena, we have to pursue our national interests.’

Larijani’s comment was probably a reference to February 2011 visit by openly-gay German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, to Tehran, in which he met with Iran’s President, Ahmadinejad.

Westerwelle was widely criticized, at the time, for having not raising the plight of LGBT people in Iran in his meetings, and deliberately leaving his partner in Germany as to avoid any potential conflicts. 

Despite this downright disgusting attitude towards one of Europe’s most respected leaders, Westerwelle and other politicians continue their dead-end dialoguing. As the private sector picks up this subtext from the political echelon, no wonder it’s causing an apparent spillover into Europe’s wider German-speaking sphere.

This is what the media missed.  A pleasure to help!

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Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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11 comments on “What’s Happening in German-Speaking Europe?
  1. Wilhelm Ogle says:

    German Foreign Policy is decided in Berlin. It is no longer dictated by Washington, DC.
    Now that the USA is abandoning Europe to suck up to its bankers in Beijing, Germany needs to assert its independence. Besides, it is high time that Germany takes its rightful place on the world stage. World War II ended a long time ago.

    • Well, Finland did not ask help from USA when fighting against Soviet Union in WWII, first for independence and later for some compensation when the war was proceeding well from our perspective with USSR army busy around other fronts.The result being that Helsinki was the only losing capital, never invaded.

      With some 900 miles of northeastern border, helping us would be have been more appreciated than helping the enemy in the latest strife at early forties.

      Lucky you, I am not negotiating prices for the latest missiles for our Hornets.

      A Finnish officer in reserve,

      Markku Kastinen

  2. Per Berlin says:

    Well I do find it incredibly hypocritical – or is it just ignorant and stupid ? – of this blog to single out Iran for its homophobia, when the even more pronounced homophobia as well as misogyny and racism of Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait and other American allies gets next to no notice. Why don’t you criticize Obama and Hillary Clinton because they talk to them?

    “This blog however does find it incredibly hypocritical of those Germans – particularly an openly gay minister – who think that gay rights are something that should be embraced at home, while ignored abroad.”

    • Jos. Berg says:

      @Per Berlin: Read the title: this is a blog addressing “issues related to Iran;” and epecially here “German-speaking Europe.” Does it have to address homosexuality world-wide, as your post seems to demand? Westerweller is one example of German politiclal hypocrisy relating to Iran;: one could add many further examples relating to other issues and other countries, but those are other blogs.

    • Will says:

      You do realize this blog is specifically about Iran, don’t you?

    • In civilized countries it for each one to decide whether to prefer the same or the other sex. The doctrines for making heterosexual behavior preferable are from the times when our planet was not yet overcrowded, I am a hetero but so what, I mean at my age?

  3. Mary says:

    thanks for posting

  4. aristeon says:

    “Now, unlike in Iran, it doesn’t matter to this blog whether he’s heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, metro-sexual, or asexual. This blog however does find it incredibly hypocritical of those Germans – particularly an openly gay minister – who think that gay rights are something that should be embraced at home, while ignored abroad.”

    What is the alternative? Legal systems as well as systems of values exist within a country and cannot be imposed by one country to others, either by force or in any other way. In order to maintain peace and stability it is necessary for sovereign states to respect each other and cooperate. Mr Westerwelle or Chancellor Merkel are not elected by the Iranian people. Different systems must co-exist peacefully. The only chance for democratic countries to change other people’s system is to be a good example, to be admired by and inspire other nations. Confrontation and ideologization are no solution for the future.

  5. […] already written a number of posts about the healthy nature of German-Iranian trade and FM Westerwelle’s hypocrisy when it comes to human rights in […]

  6. […] towards Iran warrant sustained monitoring, we continue to spill ink on the subject – here, again. Berlin is just too important to the crisis with Tehran for the usual hit-and-run […]

  7. […] in Germany, (perhaps on the basis of our critical blog posts?) the planned takeover of German Wind Turbine Manufacturer FUHRLÄNDER by Iranian MAPNA GROUP has […]

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