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Germany’s Hostages in Iran, and “Critical Dialogue” with the Mullahs

8:30 AM, Dec 16, 2010 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
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In October, five German lawmakers—including members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition parties—traveled to Iran to meet with a motley crew of leading human rights violators, misogynists, and anti-Semites. The five MPs sought to promote "cultural cooperation" between the two parliaments and countries. Ironically, the five legislators went from a closed society in Iran to a closed-door parliamentary session in Germany to report on their journey.

The taxpayer sponsored political junket with some of Iran’s leading Holocaust deniers raised hardly any attention within the German media at a time when the U.S. is trying to isolate Iran.

Twenty-six-years of German “critical dialogue” and political appeasement toward the Iranian regime is finding its mirror image among many German news outlets and Germany's democracy (and pro-Iranian democrats) is taking the hard hits. The time is ripe for Germany to implement human rights sanctions against Iran’s regime. The first step would be to recall the German ambassador to Iran, Bernd Erbel, as a sign of formal protest.

Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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