Blogs > HNN > Germany "Confronts" Ahmadinejad ? No, They Cooperate on Security for World Cup

Apr 17, 2006 11:39 pm

Germany "Confronts" Ahmadinejad ? No, They Cooperate on Security for World Cup

Not by a long shot argues Matthias Küntzel this despite of the fact that its special relationship with Iran puts her in a unique position to do so:

If there is a western nation today that has the means to confront such madness with effective sanctions, it is Germany. For the last 25 years, the German government has offered its good offices to the anti-Semitic Mullahs in Tehran with a shamelessness unrivalled by any other western government. In 1984, Hans-Dietrich Genscher was the first western Foreign Minister to pay his respects to the Mullah regime. Ten years later, Germany’s federal intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), trained Iranian intelligence agents in Munich. (See Arthur Heinrich, “Zur Kritik des ‘kritischen Dialogs’”, Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, May 1996.) And whereas since 1995 American firms are prohibited from trading with Iran, Germany will, in the words of Werner Schoeltzke of the German Near and Middle East Association, , “remain the preferred technology partner of Iran also in the years to come” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 December 2003).

Germany is today by far the most important supplier of goods to Iran and its exports are increasing at a steady 20% per year. In 2004, German exports to Iran were worth some €3.6 billion. At the same time, Germany is the most important purchaser of Iranian goods apart from oil and Iran’s most important creditor.

What does Germany do? As Kuntzel argues, it pretends to stand up to Iran but cooperates with it in the security arrangements at the World Cup. The Persian Football website declares happily:

"German and Iranian security officials will exchange information during the World Cup, if there are any indications about a possible endangering of security," Interior Ministry Spokesman Stefan Kaller announced during a government briefing.

In fact, the Iranian Federation in alliance will make accommodation, travel arrangements and match tickets available free of charge to Iranian fans if the Iranian team makes it to the second round.

What Germans fear most is that Ahmadinejad may wish to come to Germany to see the Iranian team play. He is a holocaust denier and holocaust denial is a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment in Germany. Hence, they are calls by German politicians urging the government to let the Iranian president know that he is a persona non Grata in Germany. They know he may not pass the chance to put Germany in a tough spot.

In the meantime, German officials profess to face their past. German neo Nazis prepare to demonstrate their solidarity with the Iranian anti-Semites and Iranian exile plan to demonstrate against the theocracy.

Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

comments powered by Disqus