CARPO think-tank CEO Adnan Tabatabai

Germany Criticized For €900k Contract With Iran-Linked Firm

Friday, 01/06/2023

The German foreign ministry has been criticized for its continued funding of a consultation firm - which is said to be linked to the Islamic Republic - under a two-year contract worth €900,000.

German MP Norbert Röttgen, who previously served as a Chair of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a tweet that the German Federal Foreign Office is still financing the Carpo thinktank, an institute led by Adnan Tabatabai who allegedly lobbies for the Islamic Republic, under the two-year contract.

Adnan Tabatabai is co-founder and CEO of the Berlin-based Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO), and is the son of Sadeq Tabatabaei, the brother-in-law of the Islamic Republic’s founder Rouhollah Khomeini who served as Iran’s deputy prime minister from 1979 to 1980. Adnan is known in international media as an Iran expert who supports the regime. 

He has on several occasions talked about normalizing relations between the West and the Islamic Republic and is in favor of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal or the JCPOA. He is consulted by the German Federal Foreign Office, members of the German Bundestag, political foundations as well as journalists and authors.

The move seems contradictory to Berlin’s policies of pressuring the Islamic Republic over its human rights violations. Debate still rages in Germany over listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as ‘terrorists,’ with Röttgen tweeting “You have to Decide Now.” 

Rottgen, a member of the Christian Democratic Union, has been at loggerheads with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, a Green, since Baerbock announced October 31 that the European Union was considering sanctioning the Guards (IRGC).

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