Austria / Press
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday, May 27th 2008

Protest against deals with Iran continues

STOP THE BOMB requests Austrian politics to abandon support for deals with Iran and starts a divestment campaign against OMV

The campaign STOP THE BOMB – Coalition against the Iranian extermination programme has been mobilizing against a contract with Iran which the Austrian Mineral Oil Company (OMV) is planning to conclude. The campaign started an international online petition, which has been undersigned – amongst other prominent personages – by Elfriede Jelinek, Elie Wiesel and Imre Kertész, Albert Steinnhauser and Maria Vassilakou of the Austrian Green Party, and more than 4.300 other people from more than 60 countries. Now STOP THE BOMB requests in an open letter to the Federal Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Austrian Republic to quit political support for deals with the Iranian regime. Considering statements given by Iranian opposition groups that at present a high-ranking delegation of OMV is staying in Iran to negotiate the concern’s planned 22 billion Euro deal with the Regime, STOP THE BOMB answers with an open letter referring to a writing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to our campaign. In this letter Thomas Mayr-Harting, political director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, describes the Austrian posoition regarding Iran and tries implicitly to legitimise deals of Austrian companies with Iran.

In the open letter STOP THE BOMB writes: “It is precisely Austria with her track record – having already once participated in antisemitic mass murder – which cannot make excuses by referring to and hiding behind the ‘international community’, the United Nations or EU decisions. On the contrary, she should take the lead and cooperate with those who forcefully and consistently embark on a course of action against Tehran, and not lend herself to the role of a pathfinder for such people who, while condemning the terror propagated by the Iranian ayatollahs, at the same time ensure that a flow of multi-billion sums is being pumped into the treasury of a regime which for nearly 30 years has been bullying and harassing its own population and has forced millions of Iranians into exile, a regime which strives for the annihilation of Israel.“ Political scientist Stephan Grigat, who is scientific advisor of STOP THE BOMB, stresses: “The Federal Government can’t escape responsibility by suggesting, that OMV were a private company: firstly because the Republic of Austria holds a share of more than 30% of OMV-stocks and secondly because every single state enforces the business environment in which external trade has to take place.”

Simultaneously with the open letter STOP THE BOMB is to start a divestment campaign against the planned deal between OMV and Iran. Several national and international investment houses are called upon selling their stock options of OMV as well as appealing to the company management to the effect of quitting negotiations with the Mullah’s regime in Tehran. Campaign speaker Simone Dinah Hartmann, who, as a smallholder, confronted the executive board with the common practice of the leadership of the Iranian Regime and was forced to stop her questions at OMV’s shareholders’ meeting on May 14, emphasizes: “The planned billion Euro deal is not just condemnable, but also connected to economic risks, that hardly can be estimated, taking into consideration the looming aggravation of the situiation regarding Iran.”. Hiwa Bahrami, who is the Austrian representative of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan Iran, states: “Even by now the planned deal has led to an enormous loss of image, due to the critics of Iranian opposition members, human rights organisations, Jewish organisations and Holocaust survivors, as well as the critics of the US-American and the Israeli Government.

The open letter by STOP THE BOMB can be found here.

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