A delegation of Iranian parliamentarians led by a man accused of playing a key role in the crushing of recent nationwide anti-regime demonstrations received a frosty welcome at the European Parliament on Tuesday.
The delegation — led by Alaeddin Bouroujerdi, who chairs the Iranian parliament’s Committee on Foreign Policy and National Security — had been the subject of angry protests over the last two days, following an invitation from the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee to participate in talks on security and counter-terrorism policy.
But when Bouroujerdi arrived at the parliament on Tuesday — for what was billed as an “Exchange of Views” with the “Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran” — he found himself on the end of disconcertingly direct questions from the German chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“I’m from Germany,” Christian-Democrat MEP David McAllister told the Iranians, going onto cite last week’s raids by German police on suspected Iranian terrorist operatives.
“The media reported that the suspects are accused of spying on possible Israeli and/or Jewish terror attack targets, including Jewish kindergartens,” McAllister said. “This would be highly disturbing,”
In a letter to President of the European Parliamnt Antonio Tajani, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt highlighted Bouroujerdi’s role in promoting the Iranian government’s policy of Holocaust denial.
“Just one day before you commemorate the victims of the Holocaust at the parliament, your institution will host a man who participated in a conference in Tehran in 2014 to promote Holocaust deniers,” Greenblatt wrote.
Greenblatt pointed out that Bouroujerdi had recently paid his respects at the Beirut grave of Imad Mughniyeh, a senior Hezbollah commander who died in 2008. “At Mughniyeh’s grave, Mr. Boroujerdi praised ‘the lives of these fighters and Mujahideen and heroes,’” Greenblatt said.
He continued: “Mughniyeh was implicated in the 1983 bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, the bombings in Buenos Aires of the Israeli embassy in 1992 and the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.”
In a separate letter to Tajani, Shimon Samuels – international relations director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center – said that the invitation to the Iranians sent “a horrific message to all Iranian exiles, political prisoners in Iran, Jews and peace-lovers everywhere.”
(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner . Ben Cohen