Europeans protest Austria-Iran deal


European activists are protesting a planned deal between an Austrian energy company and Iran.

The Vienna-based organization Stop the Bomb has started a petition that among other things calls for an immediate halt to any negotiations between Austrian Mineral Oil Management, or OMV, and Tehran, in keeping with U.N. sanctions, and the removal of Austrian bank credit support for business with Iran.

Among the petition’s nearly 2,000 signatories thus far are Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, Paris-based Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld and Dutch writer Leon de Winter.

Spurring the protest, by Jews and non-Jews, is the impending $31.7 billion deal between Tehran and OMV, which is partly owned by the Austrian government. Protesters say the deal would turn Austria and Europe into “strategic partners and accomplices with a political regime that practices massive terrorism tactics at home and abroad, while working simultaneously on the development of nuclear weapons, which could also reach Europe.”

According to a report in Ha’aretz, it would be the largest energy deal in E.U. history. An Austrian government spokesman told the newspaper that the government “will not actively intervene” in the economic activities of “a private company.” The government owns the biggest share of OMV, 31.5 percent, Ha’aretz reported.

Meanwhile, the Green Party of Iran is organizing a demonstration against the deal to be held Dec. 30 in front of the Austria Consulate in Los Angeles.





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