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Comrade Baerbock warns against double standards when dealing with Iran

For the Hamburg Social Democrat Danial Ilkhanipour, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock's (Greens) criticism of the Iranian leadership's handling of the protests by women in the country does not go far enough.

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Comrade Baerbock warns against double standards when dealing with Iran

For the Hamburg Social Democrat Danial Ilkhanipour, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock's (Greens) criticism of the Iranian leadership's handling of the protests by women in the country does not go far enough. "I wish for an even clearer stance from Europe and especially from Germany, precisely because of the traditionally good relations with Iran," says the citizen representative in an interview with WELT.

Accordingly, Baerbock's newly aligned foreign policy must stand with "volume, clarity and vehemence on the side of the people of Iran, just as it was previously in the debates in other countries". "Otherwise, a double standard emerges, which is a slap in the face for those affected - and counteracts any moral line of argumentation of the past and the future," says the Ilkhanipour. Then one would “expose oneself to the accusation of arbitrariness”.

The trigger for the unrest in radical Islamist-led Iran is the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who recently died in a hospital in Tehran. Amini had previously been arrested by the vice squad on charges of violating strict hijab regulations on women's clothing.

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Baerbock said on Tuesday: Women "must be heard, because these women are demanding rights that all people are entitled to - nothing other than their inalienable human rights." This message must finally reach all those responsible , said the Foreign Minister. She is repeatedly asked what feminist foreign policy means and why it is important. Baerbock's response: "The death of Mahsa Amini illustrates this in a terribly tragic way: if women are not safe, no one is safe in a society."

Videos can now be seen of protests in several Iranian cities, in which women demonstratively remove their headscarves and cut their hair. Several people are said to have died in the riots. Iranian authorities blamed an orchestrated campaign for the unsolved death protests.

Meanwhile, it was speculated on social media that Amini had been hit and died as a result of the injuries. Interior Minister Abdolresa Rahmani Fasli and the police rejected this account. Nevertheless, the authorities initiated investigations. The speech of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raissi, before the UN General Assembly in New York was expected on Wednesday.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, more than 180,000 Iranians live in Germany. People from the second generation are already excluded from the count. Like Danial Ilkhanipour: The son of Iranian immigrants was born in Schleswig-Holstein in 1981 and grew up in the Stellingen district of Hamburg. Since 2015, the lawyer for the SPD has been on the citizenship of the city-state on the Elbe.

In any case, Hamburg plays a formative role in the close German-Iranian economic relations. The friendship and trade agreement of 1859 made it possible for Iranian merchants to establish themselves in the Hanseatic city more than 160 years ago. Hamburg thus has one of the most traditional Iranian communities in Europe.

According to the Federal Foreign Office, around 30 percent of Iran's industrial infrastructure is made in Germany. However, the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) announced by former US President Donald Trump in 2018 and the reinstatement of lifted US secondary sanctions have had a significant impact on economic conditions since then. German-Iranian foreign trade fell by 45 percent to 1.7 million euros in 2019. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the value rose again slightly the following year to 1.8 million euros, which puts Iran in 57th place in the ranking of German foreign trade partners.

For parts of the Iranian community in Hamburg, which is said to be the second largest in Europe after London, the perspective of German foreign policy on the protests in Iran is crucial, since for Europe and the Federal Republic "nothing less than their integrity is at stake," emphasizes Ilkhanipour .

A more vehement stance on the part of the German Foreign Minister towards the Iranian leadership would therefore “not only be understood as an act of solidarity, but could also save lives.” get through Because as of now, based on past experience, they believe that Europe will exercise restraint out of economic calculation or fear.”

But "fear", according to Ilkhanipour, "is not a good advisor, not even in politics". The 40-year-old continues: "In this area, too, our politics can learn a lesson from the thousands of women on the streets of Iran." There is no other way "a feminist foreign policy can be read".

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