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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Despite arrest wave and Holocaust denial: "Antifascist" Viennese mayor Michael Häupl visits Iran

Trip comes amid Holocaust denial exhibition, floggings, mass arrests and execution spree

Vienna’s mayor Michael Häupl, a Social Democrat (SPÖ), travelled to Iran to meet with high-ranking regime officials like Tehran’s mayor, although a Holocaust denial event is currently taking place in Tehran and despite the persecution of labor activists. The Iranian regime on a regular basis threatens Israel and Vienna’s sister city Tel Aviv with annihilation. Iranian regime media reported about a memorandum of understanding that was signed on the cooperation in public services between Vienna and Tehran. Accordingly Häupl also welcomed increased banking cooperation despite Iran’s financing of terrorism and the risk of money laundering.

Stephan Grigat, STOP THE BOMB’s Research Director, condemned Häupl’s courtship of the Iranian regime: "According to human rights activists, Tehran’s mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf was involved in massive human rights abuses as a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and took part in the crackdown on students. The organizer of the state-sponsored Holocaust denial exhibition, Massoud Shojai-Tabatabai, is a deputy Director for culture and arts at Tehran municipality. Although Häupl regularly swears 'Never Again!' at Holocaust memorial ceremonies, he now seems to be keen on getting into business with Iran’s anti-Semitic ayatollahs. We clearly call upon Vienna’s governing municipal coalition of Social Democrats and Greens to immediately stop the collaboration with the Iranian regime."