Austria / Press
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sunday, October 26th 2008

Protest against Khatami in Vienna

Nobel laureate Jelinek and STOP THE BOMB criticize the meeting of the Austrian president Fischer with the former Iranian president

On October 25th, President Heinz Fischer and Minister of Science Johannes Hahn will participate in the ceremonial act “35 Years Dialogue Initiative Saint Gabriel”, to which also the former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami will attend. Again and again during the last years, conferences were organized within the scope of this initiative, which provided a stage for representatives of the Iranian dictatorship.

The bipartisan alliance STOP THE BOMB, which is committed to prevent deals with the Iranian regime, announces protests against this courting of the Iranian ex-president. Simone Dinah Hartmann, spokesperson of STOP THE BOMB, points out that Khatami does not, as often claimed, represent the Iranian opposition, but a wing of the Islamic Republic’s establishment: “The Iranian regime’s secret nuclear program has been pursued as well under Khatami’s presidency. The Iranian student’s movement has been massively repressed. Khatami defends the capital punishment for homosexuality, and during his complete eight years in office continued Iran’s support of the Hisbullah in Lebanon, which strives to obliterate Israel.”

Nobel laureate in literature Elfriede Jelinek, a supporter of STOP THE BOMB, excoriates the Austrian readiness to talk to the Iranian regime: “A dialogue with political powers striving for nuclear armament at all costs, aiming for “wiping” another state “off the map”, cannot be called a dialogue.” Alternatively, she calls for endorsement of Iran’s opposition forces: “It would rather befit the government of Austria to welcome representatives of the Iranian opposition, but most of them have already been imprisoned, are being tortured and murdered. Thus, a fake oppositionist is welcomed who has never been actively opposed to the Iranian threats to Israel, nor has he dissociated himself from this policy.”

Hiwa Bahrami, from the Democratic Party of Kurdistan Iran, also demands to back Iran’s secular opposition: “The regime executed ten thousands of its opponents, and assassinated numerous members of the opposition abroad. A dialogue with representatives of this regime stabs Iran’s secular opposition in the back.”

STOP THE BOMB will hold a protest meeting on Saturday, 25th October, starting on 9.30 a.m. in front of Vienna’s Academy of Sciences in the Wollzeile.

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