German Ambassador Sends Defense Attache to Attend Iranian Anti-Israel Parade

One would think that Germany would be careful about having its ambassadors events that threaten Jews with annihilation. Not so when it comes to Iran, reports The Wall Street Journal. The German ambassador attended Teheran’s annual military parade, whcih featured the usual litany of stomping Israel off the map. When one recalls the deep trade relationship that Germany maintains with Iran, the ambassador’s presence is less jarring.

It’s been a while since German military officers attended rallies that feature threats to Jews. Last month Berlin’s defense attaché in Tehran resumed that tradition at Iran’s annual military parade.

The German envoy had the privilege of hearing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promise to “break the hands” of invaders amid banners that read “Israel should be eradicated from the universe” and shouts of “Down with Israel” and “We will crush America under our feet.”

Iran’s parades are notorious for their “Death to Israel and America” slogans, which is why the European Union shuns these hate-filled spectacles. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was “very annoyed” about the attaché’s faux pas, according to a report in Der Spiegel, and summoned Herbert Honsowitz, the ambassador to the Islamic Republic, to Berlin. Mr. Honsowitz, who is known for pushing trade between the two nations, has since returned to his post and is expected to serve out his term.

This episode illustrates the fundamental problem with Germany’s attitude toward Iran: the disconnect between what Berlin says is its official policy goal — stopping the mullahs’ quest for nuclear arms — and what Berlin actually does. Germany remains Iran’s key Western trading partner. The German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Trade counts about 2,000 members, including such big names as Siemens and BASF. In the first seven months of this year, Germany’s Federal Office of Economics and Export Control approved 1,926 business deals with Iran — an increase of 63% over last year. During that same period, German exports to Iran rose 14.1%.

For the record, French exports went up 21% during the first six months of the year, but they are still worth less than half of Germany’s €2.2 billion of exports. Britain’s exports to Tehran, only a fraction of Germany’s trade with Iran, fell 20%. And while France and the U.K. are both pushing for tougher EU sanctions against Iran, Germany is reluctant to join their cause.

Given this reality, it’s not surprising that Berlin’s ambassador in Tehran apparently thought nothing of sending a military envoy to Iran’s “Down with Israel” rally. He simply put Germany’s mouth where its money already is.

5 Responses to German Ambassador Sends Defense Attache to Attend Iranian Anti-Israel Parade

  1. E.G. says:

    More here:
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1222017532585

    Matthias Küntzel immediately comes to mind. But let’s not get carried away by irritation. Germany and Israel have numerous ties in different domains, including miitary (for ex., Dolphin submarines).

  2. Rich Rostrom says:

    There seems to be a general assumption among the bien-pensant that they don’t really mean it. Iran has been shouting “Death to Israel”, “Death to America”, for almost 30 years, without daring to do very much – so it must be just a pose, right?

    It’s like the way “world opinion” takes no notice of the continual mortar attacks on Israel from Gaza – as trivial and harmless as a child’s tantrum.

  3. E.G. says:

    Rich Rostrom,

    In Europe and the US, I’m afraid that in the present context “public opinion” vis-a-vis Iran can better be characterised as rien-pensant.

  4. Jbez says:

    Part of a military attache’s job is to observe the host nations military. His presence at a MILITARY parade might be nothing more than him getting a look at Iran’s new toys.

  5. Israel needs to attack now…Barack Obama will not defend Israel…Iran is a crazy nation where mullahs hang people for looking cross-eyed…Israel has the right to denuke these fundamentalists and crazies in Teheran…NOW!

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