Israeli Forum Task Force (IFTF)

Israeli Forum Task Force (IFTF)

October 15, 2014 08:58 ET

Organisations Ask Speakers to Withdraw from Iran Trade Conference

WPP boss Sorrell urged to rethink participation

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Oct. 15, 2014) - Several grassroots and communal organisations have urged prominent business people to withdraw from the first ever conference in London to encourage post-sanctions trade with Iran.

Iran and the P5+1 powers reached an interim deal last year to reduce sanctions, in exchange for Iran curbing its uranium enrichment, but now a more comprehensive agreement may be enforced. The meeting to agree sanctions-lifting is scheduled to take place on November 24.

Some 200 business leaders are set to attend the two-day 1st Europe Iran Forum on 15-16th October at London's Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel, with former British foreign secretary Jack Straw, France's former foreign minister Hubert Vedrine and WPP advertising chief Sir Martin Sorrell among the keynote speakers.

In a letter to Sir Martin Sorrell, the organisations called on him to reconsider his attendance.

"We struggle to understand why you would speak of trade with one of the world's most violent and theocratic regimes, with a long history of anti-Semitism," reads the letter.

The letter is endorsed by the Zionist Federation (ZF), grass roots umbrella organisation NILI14, the Israeli Forum Task Force (IFTF) and UK Friends of Israel.

The organisations have also written to other conference speakers urging them to pull out of the event.

"For the past nine years, Iran has consistently denied access to weapons inspectors wishing to examine its nuclear facilities," said Zionist Federation chairman Paul Charney. "Although some sanctions may be lifted on November 24th, it is far too premature to discuss business with Iran, let alone attend a conference sponsored by a state which also sponsors global terror."

Since entering office in June 2013, President Rouhani has declared his intention to expand relations with the West but the coalition believes that trade with Iran is a dangerous precedent.

Although Iran claims that its nuclear capabilities are for domestic use only, there have been widespread reports that the state is building a nuclear bomb.

Iran is also reportedly responsible for scores of terror attacks in 24 countries; Iranian-manufactured IEDs by Iran have killed hundreds of western troops in Afghanistan.

Terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, off shoots of Al Qua'ida in Syria, Houthi in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan have all been sponsored by Iran.

"Public executions, hangings using a crane as gallows, mass floggings and stonings are all rife in Iran," said Tamir Milo, Israeli Forum Task Force. "It's abuse of human rights against gays, women, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, other "dissidents" and "spies" is truly shocking. It's inconceivable that any civilised nation would even think of doing business with such a state."

This week, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini accused the US, "wicked" Britain and the 'Zionists' of forming al Qa'ida and ISIS to create divisions and fight against the Islamic Republic.

The US Embassy in London warned delegates this week that "anyone violating the sanctions against Iran will face severe penalties."

"2014 will be remembered as the year in which Iran became a nuclear power." said Sharon Klaff of NILI14. "Everybody is talking about how to make business with Iran and nobody is talking about the imminent existential threat Iran poses to mankind.

"Iran supports terrorism and it's not entirely unimaginable that future 7/7 terrorists will carry nuclear explosives in their knapsacks."

The organisations have pledged to expose companies willing to do trade with Iran.

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