German lawmakers have criticized the country’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for sending a congratulatory message to the Iranian regime on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
“In the name of my fellow countrymen, I send you my heartiest greetings on the national holiday of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” President Steinmeier wrote in a telegram uncovered by the German newspaper Bild on Thursday. On February 11, 1979, Shi’a Islamist followers of Ayatollah Khomeini toppled the Iranian monarchy in a bloody coup, turning the country into a Sharia-run theocracy.

“Furthermore, Germany will do everything in its power to guarantee the maintenance and continued implementation of the JCPOA [nuclear deal],” German President promised his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. “The bilateral relations between countries are traditionally close,” he added, calling for an “intensive nurturing” of “dialogue between Iran and Germany, as well as European partners.”

Nikolas Löbel, a member of parliament from Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), called President’s move “totally inappropriate” and condemning him for sending the “message of congratulation to Israel’s mortal enemy.”

“I was surprised by the congratulatory [message], specially when one takes note of the fact how the country has devolved since this revolution,” said Alexander Radwan, member of parliament for the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). “Shall we now assume that countries like Saudi Arabia and North Korea will also receive such greetings in our name?”

Frank Müller-Rosentritt, a foreign policy expert for the center-right Free Democrats (FDP), criticized President’s congratulatory note to a regime, adding that: “For our friends in Israel, who are subject to Iran’s permanent threats of annihilation, this must feel like a slap in the face.”

The Bild disclosed the content of the telegram sent by the German president on Thursday:

On the 40th anniversary of that day, friendly greetings from Berlin arrived in Tehran by telegram: the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (63), sends “Congratulations” on the occasion of the national holiday, “also in the name of my compatriots”.

Germany will continue to do “everything in its power to guarantee the maintenance and continued implementation of the JCPOA,” the German President promised Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani (70).

Not a word of criticism concerning Tehran’s murderous attacks in Europe or its billions for financing terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Instead, the telegram praises the bilateral relations and promises to “intensely maintain” the dialogue. Only together, is it possible to “overcome the crises and conflicts”, wrote the President.

To conclude, he encouraged the regime “to also listen to the critical voices in your country”. A suggestion that seems absurd given the thousands of political detainees in torture prisons, including human rights lawyers, journalists, and environmental activists.

“It’s a bad state of affairs if the President of a democratic country like Germany congratulates a regime that disenfranchises women and has killed so many people,” exiled Iranian dissident Mina Ahadi told. the Bild. “This ‘dialogue’ that Steinmeier talks about has existed for 40 years, but what has it achieved? What does Steinmeier want to tell the relatives of the young homosexual man who was executed in January? Or the people who are being persecuted because of their protest against the regime?” she added.

“President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has congratulated the Iranian regime in the name of “his people” on 40 years of prosecution of dissidents, oppression of women and minorities, hatred against the Jews and Israel? Not in our name!” the youth wing of the German-Israeli Society (DIG) wrote on Twitter.

German President’s message to Tehran is very much in line with the diplomatic stance taken by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. German Chancellor is spearheading a European campaign to defy US sanctions on Iran. With active support from France and Germany, the European Union has unveiled a non-dollar trading mechanism, also known as the Special Purpose Vehicle, to protect European companies and financial institutions engaged in sanctions-busting with Tehran.

Unswayed by diplomatic pressure from Berlin and Brussels, Washington stands by its policy to isolate and weaken the regime in Tehran. “I think Iran is a threat. I think I did a great thing when I terminated the ridiculous Iran nuclear deal. It was a horrible one-sided deal,” President Donald Trump reiterated recently.

German president’s congratulatory telegram comes to light at a time when the country’s military and intelligence services are uncovering an elaborate network of Iranian spy. Last month, the German army caught a spy working in its ranks working for Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. “The Federal Prosecutor is presently investigating several espionage cases involving Iranian spy service, the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt disclosed recently, citing official German sources. According to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, around 950 members of the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah Islamist militia are operating in the country.

Despite unconditional diplomatic support from Germany and the EU in wake of the nuclear deal, Tehran made no efforts to hide its hostile intents towards Europe and the West in general. According to the Dutch intelligence services, the Iranian regime has carried at least four terror plots on European soil since signing the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Ignoring the pleas of the freedom-loving people of Iran, the German government is busy shielding the regime from U.S. sanction and appeasing the Mullahs in Tehran.


[Cover image: Screenshot from the Bild Zeitung] [Excerpt from the German president’s telegram and local newspapers reports translated by the author]