Thursday, September 28, 2023
Embarrassing revelation for Baerbock? Mullah's ghostwriter is said to have been a partner of the Foreign Office
Berlin newspaper Embarrassing revelation for Baerbock? Mullah's ghostwriter is said to have been a partner of the Foreign Office Article by Maximilian Both • 1 day) For Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the controversy surrounding Adnan Tabatabai is extremely unpleasant. There is a suspicion that the Foreign Office has supported a think tank that is close to the Iranian government. An Iran expert who is known throughout Germany is said to have served as a ghostwriter for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, according to a report by the US news platform Semafor. Specifically, it's about Adnan Tabatabai, the managing director and co-founder of the Bonn think tank Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (Carpo). Semafor reports on a batch of leaked emails from the Iranian Foreign Ministry from the time of the nuclear negotiations that took place in Vienna in July and November 2014. The emails were obtained and translated by Iran International, a Persian-language television network based in London. Explosive: In the past, Tabatabai has appeared publicly with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens). His think tank has also received extensive funding from the Foreign Office in the past. In the past, over 1 million euros in tax money went to Carpo as a partner of the Foreign Office for various dialogue projects. Tabatabai has been interviewed as an Iran expert in numerous German-language media in the past. Carpo's website also states that Tabatabai advises European politics and business on Iran matters. Semafor reports that Tabatabai has been in direct communication with the Iranian Foreign Ministry to promote the Iranian government's position as part of the Iran Expert Initiative (IEI). A kick-off conference for the Iranian initiative is said to have taken place on May 14, 2014 at the Hotel Palais Coburg in Vienna, the location of the international nuclear talks. Then-Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was listed as a participant, according to a leaked email, as were members of his nuclear negotiating team and eight representatives of Western think tanks. Tabatabai is said to have been among the western representatives. According to Semafor, Tabatabai later exchanged emails with the Iranian Foreign Ministry and suggested working as a ghostwriter for the Foreign Ministry in order to report on the progress of the nuclear negotiations between the West and Iran that were ongoing at the time. “Our suggestion could be that we as a group write an essay (2,000 words) on the ongoing talks,” Tabatabai reportedly wrote in an email to then-Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The posts would then be published under the names of former government officials after they were approved by Iran's Foreign Ministry, according to Semafor. Zarif is said to have accepted the proposal and recommended publishing “these articles or op-eds” under the names of various Iranians and non-Iranians abroad as well as former officials. However, it is unclear whether and how many articles were actually published in this way. Adnan Tabatabai is said to have written this email to the then Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Carpo and Tabatabai deny the authenticity of the email At the request of the Berliner Zeitung, Carpo denied the authenticity of the leaked emails and classified the facts differently. “The Iran Experts Initiative was a loose network of analysts in Europe and the USA. However, contrary to what is stated in the article, the IEI was neither controlled nor financed by the Iranian Foreign Ministry,” says Jan Hanrath from Carpo. “Our employee Adnan Tabatabai never offered to work as a ghostwriter to the Iranian Foreign Ministry. We and Mr. Tabatabai resolutely reject any allegations to the contrary, as do the authenticity of the email correspondence on this issue listed in the article.” Tabatabai had previously come under criticism for his possible closeness to the Iranian government. The media magazine Übermedien reported on an “Iran expert who is close to the system”. In the article, anonymously interviewed Iranian exiles confirm Tabatabai's close proximity to Tehran. “You don’t have to interview him, you can just watch Iranian state television,” says an interviewee for the media magazine. In fact, Tabatabai's family background is also critically assessed by numerous exiled Iranians. Tabatabai's father Sadegh (d. February 21, 2015 in Düsseldorf) was a confidante of the Iranian revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini (also known as Ayatollah Khomeini), who fought against the Shah of Iran in 1979 Persia staged a coup.