The 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution has just been celebrated by Iranian officials. This is an anniversary that the people of Iran have been hoping that the regime would never be in a position to celebrate. It marks the 40th year of severe repression, the denial of human rights and the denial of freedom and democracy.

Not many people took to the streets in celebration. However, what many have been surprised about is the participation of German officials in the celebrations. Especially considering the delicate German history that brought so much shame to the nation.

In 1994, the Buenos Aires bombing was planned by the Iranian regime. The targets were Jews and 29 civilians lost their lives. The Iranian regime has also been supporting Hamas and is intentionally disrupting the balance of power in the region. The regime’s claims that its terrorism is just resistance is a claim that cannot stand. It cannot claim that it presents a legitimate opposition to the West Bank occupation by Israel. Civilian targets prove otherwise.

It was reported that Foreign Ministry State Minister Niels Annen participated in 40th anniversary celebrations. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also messaged his congratulations to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

The Iranian regime has denied the Holocaust on a number of occasions. Instead of keeping quiet about controversial subjects like this, the Iranian regime – as it always does – takes a very public stance no matter what the consequences. Iran has also repeatedly called for the destruction of the Jewish state so the fact that the German government has participated and associated with such celebrations undermines its position on human rights.

Germany is not the only European country that seems to value human rights when it suits them. When commercial benefit is on the cards, it seems like many EU officials will push the Iranian people’s human rights to the side.

Often there is a token gesture, like a comment or clause about the respect of human rights – but nothing that will break a deal. Especially if the human rights issues isn’t brought up again.

In 1992, Klaus Kinkel took office as the German foreign minister. He make a big deal about human rights. He also made a big deal about expanding trade relations with Iran. He said that he would ensure human rights are tied into trade with Iran. The EU praised Germany on its dialogue but it soon became clear that trade between the two countries was increasing while the respect of human rights declined. And it has been the same ever since.