November 19, 2019

German MPs Met with Iranian Who Called Holocaust ‘An Open Question’

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, formerly Tehran's envoy in nuclear talks, attends the first day of the Munich conference on security policy on February 06, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy is running from February 8 to 10, 2009. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)

Two members of the German Bundestag (parliament) met with the former head of the Iranian parliament on Oct. 16 who has defended former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denialism, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The two German members of parliament (MP) who met Ali Larijani were Green Party Vice President Claudia Roth and Christian Democratic Union MP Peter Beyer, who is in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party. Roth could be seen “euphorically” greeting Larijani, per the Post.

Then-Foundation for Defense Democracies Fellow James Kirchick noted in a 2013 Haaretz column that Larijani said the Holocaust was “an open question” at the 2007 Munich Security Conference. At the 2009 Munich Security Conference, Larijani said, “In Iran, we don’t have the same sensitivities” when he was told that it’s illegal to engage in Holocaust denialism in France. He also said, “It is an honor to support Hamas.”

Additionally, Larijani “has urged the destruction of the Jewish state,” per the Post.

Roth’s spokesman told the German publication Bild that she had condemned Iran’s “anti-Semitic threats” against Israel.

London’s Human Security Centre Director Julie Lenarz tweeted, “Days after the synagogue attack in Halle, vice president of the Bundestag Claudia Roth met Iranian Holocaust denier Ali [Larijani]. You can’t have it both, fight anti-Semitism and embrace notorious Jew haters.”

Roth had previously met with Larijani in 2010 and 2013, according to the Post. German Ambassador to Iran Michael Klor-Berchtold also met with Larijani in 2018, tweeting that he had a “good discussion with” Larijani.

On Oct. 15, Michael Blume, the Commissioner Against Anti-Semitism in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, liked a Facebook post that read, “Zionists, Nazis and radicals should quickly remove themselves from my friend’s list.” Additionally, the German Foreign Ministry announced on July 18 that they are investigating German diplomat Christian Clages for liking an April 10 tweet from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke that accused “Jewish supremacists” of massacring “innocent Palestinians” at Deir Yassin village during the 1948 War of Independence.