Under-fire business consultant resigns from German Shiite Muslim umbrella group following Lawfare Project action
MUNICH — An under-fire German-Iranian business consultant has resigned from his position on the board of the umbrella organization for Shiite Muslims in Germany, it emerged yesterday. Mr. Dawood Nazirizadeh was on the board of the Islamic Association of Shiite Congregations in Germany (IGS) but resigned his position on October 1, he revealed in a Munich court.
The revelation came during a court hearing after Mr. Nazirizadeh sued Germany-based Iranian dissident, human rights activist, and blogger Dr. Kazem Moussavi, who is being defended by the legal think tank, The Lawfare Project.
The Lawfare Project’s client, Dr. Moussavi, has lived in Germany for thirty years. He fled Iran after suffering harassment, imprisonment, and torture at the hands of the regime due to his political stance. The German authorities recognize Dr. Moussavi as a victim of political persecution. Dr. Moussavi has continued to oppose the Iranian regime and its activities. He is the German spokesperson of the Green Party of Iran, founded in exile in 1999. As well as environmentalist policies, the Green Party of Iran champions universal human rights, equal rights for men and women, religious freedom, and LGBTQI rights. The party advocates for a secular and democratic Iran free of nuclear weapons and vehemently opposes the regime’s anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Mr. Nazirizadeh is suing Dr. Moussavi regarding allegations made in the dissident’s blog, which regularly exposes those alleged to have links to the Iranian regime. Mr. Nazirizadeh has led a number of high-level delegations of German business people to encourage German trade with Iran. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) plays a dominant role in the Iranian economy.
Mr. Nazirizadeh’s resignation from IGS suggests that he was wary of being associated with an organization described in a written assessment by the German Ministry of Interior as having been "influenced and infiltrated" by radical Islamists. Board members and supporters of IGS participate in the annual Al-Quds Day march, an Iranian regime-inspired event notorious in several countries for its displays of virulent anti-Semitism and support for the Iranian government and its terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah. Dr. Moussavi has regularly campaigned against the holding of the Al-Quds Day march in Berlin.
Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said:
"The Lawfare Project will continue to support the legal defense of those working to expose radicalization in the West. Libel suits are a common tactic and an act of lawfare, designed to silence and intimidate anyone brave enough to speak out about supporters of extremism and extremist regimes. The Lawfare Project's legal fund is proud to support the defense of Dr. Moussavi in the interest of upholding freedom of speech on issues of public concern and national security. We are pleased to see that our legal defense has seemingly played a role in Mr. Nazirizadeh’s resignation from a group that, according to the German Ministry of the Interior, is 'influenced and infiltrated' by extremists.”