Austria’s Deputy Parliament Speaker cozying up to Iran’s regime

Austria’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Karlheinz Kopf (Austrian People’s Party, ÖVP) visited the Iranian regime in Tehran 22-25 October. Kopf met with Holocaust denier Ali Larijani and was received with an anti-Israel tirade by the head of the Expediency Discernment Council and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Kopf downplayed Iran’s disastrous human rights situation and sad execution record during his trip. To Austria’s Press Agency APA Kopf said he did not come to Iran to ‘moralize’ and instead criticized the United States and still existing sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Said Stephan Grigat, STOP THE BOMB’s Research Director: “Bad enough that Kopf pays his respect to the anti-Semitic ayatollahs and does not even say a word against the Iranian regime’s threats to wipe out Israel, which are also repeated under Rouhani. But when Kopf now demands the removal of all still existing sanctions against the Iranian regime for human rights abuses and the financing of terrorism – well, this really can only be understood as the ultimate cozying up to Iran’s brutal Islamist regime.”

The Austrian politician’s courtship of the Iranian regime and STOP THE BOMB’s criticism made some international headlines. “Kopf’s statements during his visit might have been drafted by his Iranian hosts,” wrote Ben Cohen for the JNS. In the Commentary Magazine, Michael Rubin argued that Kopf’s remarks “may have taken European cynicism and its cowardly approach toward human rights and moral clarity to a new level.”