Stop the Bomb Asks: Who Will Stand Up for the German Journalists? + Update: United Against Nuclear Iran Threatens Boycott of Marriott


Last Monday, Stop the Bomb, a coalition of German activists and intellectuals who protest the German government’s and German corporations’ cooperation with the Iranian regime, held a protest outside a Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Hamburg where Iranian officials were meeting with German businesspeople. United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), a nonprofit that advocates preventing Iran from attaining nuclear capability, was also represented at the protest.

Given that Iran is holding two German journalists for the “crime” of trying to interview the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother of two who faces possible hanging and was initially condemned to death by stoning for adultery, this event speaks volumes about the German government’s continued path of appeasement.

The unknown fate of those two journalists, whose names are also unknown, “shows what Germany gets for its close relations with the Iranian regime,” according to a press release issued this week by members of the Stop the Bomb coalition. “Hardly one journalist in Germany dares to report on the case of the arrested journalists.”

Also according to Stop the Bomb, German Chancellor Angela Merkel still refuses to shut down the Hamburg-based European Iranian Trade Bank, which the U.S. Treasury Dept. blacklisted in September.

Update: UANI’s director, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (under George Bush Sr.) Mark D. Wallace, sent a blistering letter to the head of the Marriott hotel chain, J.W. Marriott Jr., threatening a peaceful protest and boycott of Marriott hotels worldwide due to Courtyard Marriott Hamburg’s hosting of the meeting. In addition to arguing that hosting Iran’s leaders undermines international cooperation designed to isolate the regime via sanctions, the letter pointed out that one of the event’s principal speakers is allegedly an egregious human rights abuser.

While, on a personal note, Marriott Hotels are among my favorite chains, this great American hotel chain should take this matter seriously. UANI’s board includes major international figures such as Wallace, former CIA director James Woolsey, Canadian Parliamentarian and former Canadian Attorney General Irwin Cotler, and Fouad Ajami, columnist and director of middle east studies at Johns Hopkins University. Pressure from Stop the Bomb, UANI, and others who are concerned that appeasement is undermining international cooperation to stop Iran has been effective in prompting many corporations to pull out of business deals with the Islamic Republic. 

Here is an excerpt from the letter from UANI’s Wallace to Marriott:

By this letter, UANI requests that the Marriot immediately clarify and reconsider its decision to host the Iran Business Forum and decline to host the Iranian Ambassador.  


Ambassador Attar represents a criminal regime that flouts international law in developing an illegal nuclear weapon, brutally represses its own people and is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism


Your decision to facilitate an event dedicated to increasing the level of economic cooperation between Germany and Iran runs directly counter to the efforts of the international community to isolate the Iranian regime. 




If the Marriot continues with its plans to serve as a host to the Iran Business Forum and Ambassador Attar, UANI will take action against the Marriot hotel chain worldwide.  UANI will call on its activists to peacefully protest your properties, and will call for a general public boycott of all Marriot properties.




Rest assured we do not seek to harm any business gratuitously, but understand that the danger that a nuclear-armed Iran poses to national and international security is too great to ignore.

More to come.

This entry was written by and posted on November 26, 2010 at 6:45 pm and filed under Blog. permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Keywords: , , . Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. */?>