Dump Iranian minister, German foundation urged


BERLIN (JTA) — Iran critics are calling on a German foundation to cut ties with a board of trustees member  Mostafa Dolatya, Iran’s acting vice minister, who has called for Israel’s destruction.

The Stop the Bomb campaign, which pushes for stronger sanctions against Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions, has called for the ouster of Dolyata from the board of the Schloss Neuhardenberg Foundation, a German banking group foundation.

According to the campaign, Dolatya told an Iranian news agency in June 2010, "We hope that the prophecy of the Imam [Khomeini] regarding the downfall of this regime [Israel] will occur very soon and that we will be witnesses of it."

Michael Spaney, a spokesman in Germany for Stop the Bomb, said in a news release that "An anti-Semite who welcomes the annihilation of Israel is simply out of place as a board member in a democratic foundation.

Spaney also said that no one who represents a regime that oppresses its own people should be acceptable for a German foundation whose founder was moved by "ethically grounded resistance against a dictatorial, unjust regime," according to the foundation’s website.

The American Jewish Committee in Berlin called for the removal of Dolatyar in October, while at the same time applauding the foundation’s decision to cancel an event featuring Iranian Ambassador Ali Reza Sheikkh Attar only days after the Iranian plot  to assassinate the Saudi envoy to the United States was unmasked.

Deidre Berger, director of the AJC office in Berlin, said in a statement that a foundation "that is committed to realizing and celebrating culture, the arts, and the sciences should not have a member of the board that represents a regime that is actively destroying this very aim."

A foundation spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that the foundation would examine whether its longstanding contacts with Iran would continue following the restructuring of the board. Jorg Kronsbein said Mostafa’s anti-Israel comment "was not known" to the foundation" and called it "entirely unacceptable."

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