October 2, 2018 | The Jerusalem Post

Germany’s best-selling paper calls for end of Iran trade to protect Israel

“It is high time to ask oneself where the money that Iran is earning by this trade is going," Dr. Schuster said.

In an eye-popping commentary on Monday, Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper urged businesses to stop trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran because of its terrorism and the regime’s goal of obliterating the Jewish state.

Bild’s foreign policy editor Julian Röpcke wrote, “This Iran cannot at this time be an ally, neither in the fight against terrorism, nor as an oil supplier or trade partner.” Röpcke, who reports on the Syrian war, wrote that Iran’s missile launches into Syria were a “message of terror. Because they carry the meter-long inscriptions ‘Death to Israel and ‘Death to the USA’ – and that is deadly serious for the mullahs.”

Röpcke noted that “Iran’s rockets were not fired against the Islamic State, rather against those who stand in the way of the corrupt regime in Tehran; against those who do not want to stand inactively by when Iran’s leader again and again propagates the ‘extermination’ of Israel.” The Bild has a daily circulation of approximately 1,581,000.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Monday that it launched six missiles at paramilitary groups located close to the Euphrates River. Iran’s clerical regime claims the missile attack was in response to a terrorist attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz last month. The attack killed 25 people in Ahvaz and injured an additional 60.

The Bild commentary is believed to be first instance in the best-selling paper of a call for the complete end of business deals with the Islamic Republic of Iran. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, support the European Union’s “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) to permit financial transactions with Iran. The SPV is designed to thwart robust US sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial systems. Germany’s federal government provides credit insurance guarantees to companies that want to conduct business with Iran.

On Saturday, the US Embassy in Berlin tweeted a quote from the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, who said: “I endorse an immediate stop of any economic relations with Iran. Any trade with Iran means a benefit for radical and terrorist forces, and a hazard and destabilization for the region.”

Merkel and Maas, who said he entered politics “because of Auschwitz,” have ignored Schuster’s plea.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post, “Courageous honest leadership by Dr. Schuster. Chancellor Merkel continues business with Jew-hating Ayatollah who bankrolls terrorism around the world and threatens six million-plus Jews in Israel.”

Merkel arrives in Israel this week for a joint-cabinet consultation with Israeli leaders. She has defended the Iran nuclear deal that Israel vehemently rejects because it allows Tehran a pathway to a nuclear weapon.

Schuster, who represents nearly 100,000 Jews in Germany, told the Post in August: “The Central Council of Jews in Germany has been criticizing German-Iranian trade relations for a long time. It seems paradoxical that Germany – as a country that is said to have learned from its horrendous past and which has a strong commitment to fight antisemitism –  is one of the strongest economic partners of a regime that is blatantly denying the Holocaust and abusing human rights on a daily basis.

“Besides, Germany has included Israel’s security as a part of its raison d’etre. As a matter of course this should exclude doing business with a fanatic dictatorship that is calling for Israel’s destruction, pursuing nuclear weapons and financing terror organizations around the world.

“It is high time to ask oneself where the money that Iran is earning by this trade is going. Furthermore, we witness demonstrations in Iran of people who are yearning for freedom and equality. We should stand up for these people who are risking their lives because they are asking for rights that we here can, fortunately, take for granted.”

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