Austria / Press
Friday, March 23, 2018

Monday, February 14th 2011

Rally against the Chamber of Commerce's Iran Seminar in Vienna

STOP THE BOMB protest against WKO's promotion of trade with Iran

On Tuesday, 15 February, the STOP THE BOMB coalition is holding a rally with the slogan "No deals with the Iranian regime" at the Hotel Ananas, Rechte Wienzeile 93, at 8 a.m. The rally takes a stand against a seminar on Iran held by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO), which is a follow-up of a similar event in December 2010. At this first Vienna seminar, the WKO had openly advocated continuation of trade with Iran and its increase in volume. According to participants, the speakers - Gerta Mlejnek of the Chamber of Commerce, Helmut Krehlik of the Federal Ministry of Economy, and Michael Tockuss of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce - had given advice on how to continue doing good business with the Iranian regime in spite of all sanctions. Gerta Mlejnek is giving another lecture at the upcoming Iran seminar. At the last event, representatives of Austrian business, for example of LMF (Leobersdorfer Maschinenfabrik), thanked the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Economy for their active support of trade with Iran.

STOP THE BOMB spokeswoman, Simone Dinah Hartmann, demands new harsh measures against the Iranian regime and warns against softening or bypassing existing resolutions: "We assume that once again, participants of the seminar will be shown how they can handle their payment transactions - which have become increasingly difficult to process - for example with the help of Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank in Hamburg, which is owned by the Iranian regime. EIH has developed into playing a central role for global trade with Iran, and needs to be closed down immediately." The Iran seminar is in the tradition of the overall policy adopted so far by the Chamber of Commerce, the STOP THE BOMB spokeswoman says: "For years, WKO president Christoph Leitl has been demanding and promoting closer business relations with the anti-Semitic regime in Tehran - a regime that continues to work on its nuclear weapons and missile program, that suppresses the Iranian freedom movement with brutal force, that executed 64 persons in January alone, that hosts conferences dedicated to Holocaust denial, and that funds the global jihadist terror with its foreign trade revenues."

Hartmann also opposes a revocation of existing sanctions at the EU level: "The current deliberations on abolishing the travel restrictions imposed on the Iranian foreign minister, Salehi, give a disastrous signal to the regime. The EU member states should rather take the Netherlands as an example, which just have revoked their ambassador from Iran."


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