Germans Oddly Quiet About Protests In Iran

I wonder why?

Iran

I know, let’s ask the Tasnim News Agency: The head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce said Germany sold 2.358 billion euros ($2.846 billion) worth of goods to Iran, and imported just $328 million worth of goods from Iran in nine months from January through October 2017.

“Germany’s trade surplus with Iran is massive. But that’s nothing new. The Iranians complain about it from time to time, and we try to find ways to encourage more Iranian exports into Europe and Germany, but we’ve been running big trade surpluses with Iran for forty years.”

Advertisements

The Spy Who PowerPointed Me

Just like the way Russia doesn’t spy on US-Amerika, Iran doesn’t spy on Germany, either.

Spy

And when not doing so, Iranian spies don’t send PowerPoint presentations that incorrectly communicate biographical details about the target they are not targeting, either.

The exact motive for carrying out a possible attack on Robbe is still unclear. However, security agencies speculate that the Iranian government could have been preparing a retaliatory move against people closely linked to Israel should Israel carry out airstrikes against Iranian nuclear power plants.

Kissing Up To Iran 101

I find it strange how such a super-smart (self-proclaimed, but still) German politician like German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), somebody so hot to do business with Iran that his pants are always wet, doesn’t seem to know the first thing about the finer points of diplomacy when it comes to dealing with the mullah state.

Gabriel

Sure, you can always get plus points by promising the Iranians to “remind the United States of the commitment to get to an effective dismantling of sanctions,” but every third grader knows that you can’t give interviews before your visit in which you say that you believe Tehran should recognize the right of Israel to exist. Pretty outrageous Scheiße, huh?

So that is why he is now getting snuffed big time during his current visit. There will be no meeting with Iran’s President Ruhani nor with foreign minister Sarif. The visit planned with parliament president Laridschani has now suddenly been cancelled, Laridschani’s brother commenting to the press “If I had been in the place of the government or foreign office I would never have allowed such a person to enter the country in the first place.”

Other than that, though, German business prospects with Iran are looking really promising.

“Ein normales, freundschaftliches Verhältnis zu Deutschland wird erst dann möglich sein.”

A Deal Is A Deal

And boy oh boy what a great deal did Iran ever make.

Deal

Iran continued trying to illegally procure nuclear equipment from Germany after forging last year’s landmark nuclear agreement with world powers, German intelligence officials said, even as the Foreign Ministry in Berlin and the White House played down the reports…

Germany’s intelligence agency said in its annual report Iran’s persistent efforts to illegally acquire nuclear technology in Germany continued at a “high level” during 2015.

A separate report from the intelligence agency in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia this week said it had registered 141 attempts to acquire technology for proliferation purposes last year, and that two-thirds of these attempts were linked to Iran.

Thanks El Presidente! They couldn’t have done it without you.

“We have no information to indicate Iran has procured any materials in violation of the” deal, a senior Obama administration official said.

Germans Arrive In Tehran For Piece Talks

Piece of the pie talks, that is.

Roughly four minutes after a deal with world powers over Iran’s nuclear program was reached, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel flew down to Tehran (and boy are his arms tired) in another selfless attempt to bring more love and understanding to the troubled  region and make tons and tons of money selling German stuff to the moolah-mullahs again in the process.

Iran

German exports to Iran hit 4.4 billion euros in 2005 but then slumped to 1.8 billion by 2013 as the West tightened the sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme. However, the agreement between Iran and six world powers including Germany has opened the prospect that the sanctions will be removed.

And That Little Girl’s Not Wearing Her Head-Thingy, Either

Officially banned from filmmaking in Iran since 2010, Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s third film since then, Taxi, just won the Golden Bear at the 65th Berlin Film Festival.

Taxi

Iranian creative folks still officially allowed to work in Iran are now petitioning their government to officially ban their work, too. Unfortunately, however, the head Islamically-correct-artistic-expression-mullah-what’s-in-charge said nichts da (nothing doing) when reached for comment, as “official bans like ours don’t just grow on trees, you know. And besides, if we officially banned everything then our official bans would not be nearly as effective as they have been up until now. And that’s official,” the official said.

“Limitations often inspire filmmakers to storytellers to make better work.”

From Russia To Iran With Love

From Germany, I mean. It’s complicated.

German businesses are cooling on Russian investments amid anger over Russia’s role in the Ukrainian conflict, while simultaneously warming on another big country hit by Western sanctions: Iran.

Iran

According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as “war criminals” because of Hitler.

And The Losers Are…

This year’s Berlinale Golden Bear goes to the Rumanian film “Child’s Pose,” a heart-warming family drama about a domineering upper class Rumanian mother’s attempt to bribe freedom for her ungrateful creep of a loser son after he kills a child from a poor family in a traffic accident.

Berlinale

The Jury Grand Prize Silver Bear goes to the uplifting and inspirational Bosnian docudrama “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” which re-creates the institutional abuse and neglect of a Roma family that has to collect scrap metal to survive (but at least now they’ve got the Silver Bear).

And the Gay/Lesbian Teddy went to several films (they were all that good this year, I guess), the most interesting sounding one being a flick called “Undress Me,” this being an allegory or metaphor for, uh, I dunno, something.

Actually, the only film I would have really been interested in seeing was the one that got the the Silver Bear for best script. It was an Iranian movie called “Pardé” (Closed Curtain). However the filmmaker, Jafar Panahi, could not take part in the intoxicating Berlin celebrations because he lives behind said closed curtain and has been prohibited by Iranian authorities from travelling, for some strange reason.

“It’s never been possible to stop a thinker and a poet.”

High Five Claudia

Or high, anyway.

Claudia

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.