by Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post Correspondent | JPost.com | November 28, 2011
BERLIN – Iran’s acting Deputy Foreign Minister Mostafa Dolatyar (Pictured) has called for the elimination of Israel while continuing to hold a board of trustees seat with an elite German cultural foundation.
“We hope that the prophecy of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] regarding the downfall of this regime [Israel] will occur very soon and that we will witness it,” Dolatyar was quoted as saying by the state-controlled Mahan News in 2010.
In a Jerusalem Post telephone interview on Sunday, German- Iranian expert Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh said he found Dolatyar’s quote in an article titled, “The measures of the Zionists are a sign for crisis situation,” in the Persian-language newspaper.
Dolatyar is a member of the Schloss NeuhardenbergFoundation’s board of directors. The foundationadministers a castle compound outside of Berlin in the state of Brandenburg, which hosts educational and cultural events.
Nasrin Amirsedghi, a leading German-Iranian intellectual who has written extensively about Iranian culture, wrote the Post by e-mail on Sunday that “on the website of the Schloss Neuhardenberg it states, ‘Historical space for new thoughts.’ With the Iranian Deputy Minister Mostafa Dolatyar as a board of trustees member the foundation proves that it is a historical place for old thoughts, namely, a place for anti-Jewish thinking, which now makes possible the work of the National Socialists with help from the Iranian regime to bring to an end, that is, the extermination of the Jews! It is, for me, beyond comprehension that Germany still has not learned from its atrocious acts, massacres, and terror against Jews. It is a disgrace for the world...”
In an e-mail issued to Bernd Neumann, the German federal commissioner for culture and the media who is on the foundation’s board of trustees, Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for international relations for the Wiesenthal Center, wrote, “Dolatyar represents the patron of international terrorism, homophobia, the stoning of women, the execution of Bahais, a state policy of Holocaust denial and genocidal threats against the State of Israel.”
Samuels continued, “With Dolatyar on the foundation’s board, there is an arguable conflict of interest. It is an unambiguous violation of German, EU and UN sanctions regimes on trade with Iran.
Furthermore, it challenges the impartiality of the international programs held on the Schloss Neuhardenberg’s premises.”
The Wiesenthal Center “calls for a federal investigation into the activities of the foundation and the divestiture of Dolatyar from its board and membership.
Pending these measures, we also urge you [Neumann] to immediately announce your personal resignation from the board.”
Samuels added that “cultural fraternization with a declared anti-Semite, who is a spokesman for a regime that threatens world peace, is not fitting for contemporary Germany.”
Post e-mails and telephone calls to Neumann were not immediately returned.
Jörg Kronsbein, a spokesman for Schloss Neuhardenberg, wrote the Post that there is a long-standing relationship to Iran dating back to 2001 and “the foundation will examine whether the contacts... will continue to be retained in the course of the new structure of the board... The statements of the acting vice minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mostafa Dolatyar, with respect to Israel, which was not known to the Stiftung Schloss Neuhardenberg, are entirely unacceptable.”