Officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a leading Jewish human rights NGO, at the end of their 3–day mission to Budapest are urging the Hungarian government and the European Parliament to investigate reports of a growing relationship between Iran and the antisemitic and anti-Roma Jobbik Hungarian political party.
During the Wiesenthal Centre officials' meetings in Budapest with government and opposition figures, the issue of reported links between the Jobbik Party and Iran was discussed. The Jewish Telegraph Agency released a long reportoutlining these activities which include twinning of Hungarian and Iranian cities arranged by Jobbik and the group's leader, Gabor Vona, hosting of an Iranian delegation, while party activists participated in a trade delegation to Tehran and an Iranian-born businessman in Budapest who is an advisor to Jobbik's Foreign Affairs spokesman. ( http://www.jta.org/news/article/2013/03/04/3121106/iran-and-jobbik-love-affair-or-marriage-of-convenience?utm_source=Newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=6be14dabec-JTA_Daily_Briefing_03_06_2013&utm_medium=email)
"Hungarian leaders we met confirmed that Jobbik party and the Iranian regime share a hatred for Jews, Israel, the European Union and the United States," Rabbi Abraham Cooper associate Dean and Dr. Shimon Samuels Director of International Relations of the Centre reported, adding that "a Socialist Party MP told them that Jobbik's increasingly antisemitic and anti-Israel attacks can be linked in part to the growing connection".
Dr. Samuels added that the Wiesenthal Center is urging Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament to launch his own investigation into these ties to ascertain "if Jobbik serves as a facilitator for Iranian penetration into Central Europe". There are currently three members of the Jobbik party who serve as MEPs in the European Parliament. "It would be a mockery of the EU's sanctions regime against Tehran if these allies of the Iranian regime would be voting on whether steps should be taken against Tehran's terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah".
"Tehran has used similar tactics to establish a presence in Latin America and Africa. It must be prevented from establishing such a foothold in Europe", Dr. Samuels concluded.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.
For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58