Or high, anyway.
How did the high five and theocratic rule in Iran come to cross paths recently? Well, this past weekend at the Munich Security Conference, Claudia Roth, who heads the German Green Party, which represents 11% of the country, was photographed engaged in an enthusiastic high five with the Iranian Ambassador to Germany Ali Reza Sheikh Attar.
The story is beginning to make waves in Germany because Iran’s leaders routinely deny that the Holocaust ever happened, which is a crime in Germany. An example came soon after at a forum with the German Council on Foreign Relations on Monday when Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Selehi was invited to visit the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. Selehi ignored the invitation and then passed on answering a question about Holocaust denial in his country by simply saying “Any holocaust is a human tragedy.” When asked if there has been more than one Holocaust, Selehi told the packed audience that it was up to them to find out.
Claudia Roth’s Green Party arose from the German student movement of the 1960s, recalcitrant in thumbing their noses at the previous generation who had pro-Nazi tendencies. They championed human rights and cast themselves as the enlightened and progressive leaders of Germany’s bright future.
So why is the head of the Green Party so cozy with someone whose country’s fascism represents the complete opposite of the Green Party pillars? Roth has issued a statement downplaying the encounter, but unfortunately, not even German has a word for how this incident makes any sense.
Attar werde vorgeworfen, dass er in den “80ern als Gouverneur im Iran Oppositionelle aufhängen ließ”. Attar war nach der islamischen Revolution von 1979 Gouverneur der Provinzen Kurdistan und West-Aserbaidschan gewesen. Seit 2008 ist er Botschafter in Deutschland und nicht zuletzt damit beschäftigt, Kritik an Menschenrechtsverletzungen des Regimes in Teheran zurückzuweisen.