SWC Urges Hungarian Government and EU to Investigate Reports of Links Between Iran and Hungarian Far Right

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Budapest March 7, 2013

"European Parliament must prevent Tehran from establishing foothold in Europe through Jobbik Party"

Officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights NGO, are urging the Hungarian government and the European Parliament to investigate reports of a growing relationship between Iran and Hungary’s anti-Semitic and anti-Roma Jobbik political party. The Center officials have just concluded a three-day mission to Budapest to meet with government officials, opposition figures and members of the Jewish community.

In these meetings, Center officials raised the issue of these reported links between Jobbik members and Iran. The Jewish Telegraph Agency released a long report outlining these activities which include: the twinning of Hungarian and Iranian cities arranged by Jobbik and their leader, Gabor Vona; the hosting of an Iranian delegation; and Jobbik activists participating in a trade delegation to Tehran. The JTA also identified an Iranian-born businessman in Budapest as an advisor to Jobbik's Foreign Affairs spokesman. 

“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,” reported Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean and Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Center’s Director of International Relations. They added that a Socialist Party MP told them that, “Jobbik's increasingly anti-Semitic 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,” said Samuels, adding that, “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.”

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 00(33)609770158, or Rabbi Cooper +1-310-210-9750, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).