Iranian dissidents blast Austrian head of state for congratulating President Raisi

“Shame on you, president of Austria, congratulating a mass murderer who through massive fraud has muscled his way to the presidency of Iran,” said Kaveh Moussavi.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Iranian dissidents strongly criticized Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen after he congratulated “mass murderer” and incoming Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“Austria has a long history of siding with Nazis and Hitler. This shocking recognition of henchman Raisi is another stain on Austria’s history,” Iranian-American human rights activist Lawdan Bazargan told the Post.

“I think it is disgusting that a European president from a democratic country congratulates a man who has been directly involved in the execution of thousands of political prisoners,” said Iranian-Norwegian columnist Mina Bai.

“It is not the first time Austria embarrasses itself. This month the police prevented Iranian dissidents from demonstrating in front of Grand Hotel in Vienna where JCPOA negotiations are going on. This is against free speech,” she said.

Kaveh Moussavi, an Iranian human rights lawyer based in the UK, tweeted, “Shame on you, president of Austria, congratulating a mass murderer who through massive fraud has muscled his way to the presidency of Iran.”

“We are going to remember this abject cowardice when we rid Iran of this murderous kleptocracy! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” he said.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Thursday that Van der Bellen “wished success for president-elect Raisi and said that his country, as the host of multinational negotiations over Iran nuclear deal, is ready to make any cooperation.”

He also expressed hope that the Vienna talks will “yield fruit in the near future.”

Iranian Ambassador to Austria Abbas Bagherpour tweeted, “President @vanderbellen in an official message cordially congratulated President-elect Dr. Ebrahim Raisi @raisi_com, wishing him every success, referring to 7 centuries of friendly relations, re-assuring him of continuation of multi-faceted bilateral relations in every fields.”

Johannes Aigner, a spokesman for Austria’s Foreign Ministry, told the Post: “It shouldn’t be overrated. Congratulatory notes are customary in international relations between countries that have diplomatic relations. It shouldn’t be taken as anything more than that.”