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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Both Hitler And The German Nazis Courted Iran

Both Hitler And The German Nazis Courted Iran

October 12, 2015


On November 4, 1937, Nazi leader and German "Reich Chancellor" Adolf Hitler had a very friendly conversation with Rader Arashteh, the new Iranian ambassador to Germany. The ambassador emphasized that there existed "sincere friendship" between Germany and Iran. Hitler, in turn, praised the Iranian government. A brief account of that meeeting was published in the official Nazi Party newspaper "Völkischer Beobachter" of November 5, 1937. I found this article in German historical archives in Berlin.

Max Domarus, an anti-Nazi German writer and historian, published Hitler's most important speeches and proclamations (with many critical observations from Domarus himself). He describes how Hitler sent a congratulatory telegram to Iranian Shah Reza (or Reza Shah) on the occasion of the latter's birthday on March 5, 1941. And on March 20, 1941, Hitler sent another congratulatory telegram to the Shah on the occasion of the Iranian Nauruz Spring festival.

It was obvious that Hitler and the Nazis courted Iran and the Iranians. Iran in turn was interested in German economic and technical assistance.

Back in 1953 Richard N. Frye, Harvard Professor of Iranian studies, wrote an interesting study on Iran. He points out that "Reza Shah was suspicious of the Russians and the British, so it was only natural that he would turn to (Nazi) Germany for technical advisors. With the advent of Hitler, Germany showed a new interest in Iran, and technicians, doctors, and various advisors were sent on terms usually favorable to Iran. Trade between the two countries developed apace so that Germany was receiving 4 per cent of Iran's foreign trade at the outbreak of war."

Things changed in September 1941 when the Russians and the British occupied Iran and forced the pro German Shah Reza to abdicate in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who sided with the allies during World War II.

It was on June 3, 1943, that a very highranking Nazi official, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, wrote a letter on "impending parliamentary elections in Iran" to Joachim von Ribbertrop, Hitler's Foreign Minister. Kaltenbrunner was the Chief of the notorious Security Police and Security Service or SIPO/SD. He was also the deputy of Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS. SS and SIPO played a leading role in the Holocaust, mass executions and other war crimes in the occupied parts Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, Ukraine, White Russia and Russia between 1941 and 1945.

Kaltenbrunner's letter was published as Document Number 178-USSR by the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1949. Kaltenbrunner wrote about "Germany's chances of influencing the elections (in Iran) in competition with England and Russia; money for bribes needed from the German Foreign Office for this purpose."

Kaltenbrunner pointed out that "the mood of the (Iranian) people is in our favor." ("Unsere Voraussichten seien sehr gut, da die Stimmung des Volkes für uns sei.") It is not very well-known, but Ribbentrop was also a high ranking SS-officer – a so-called SS-Obergruppenführer – since July 1940, that is. (See Ribbentrop's letter to Heinrich Himmler, dated July 12, 1940.)

Gerhard Höpp, a notable German Orientalist who died in December 2003, wrote an important essay on Nazi policies vis à vis Islam. He quotes Erwin Ettel, the Nazi ambassador in Iran between October 1939 and August 1941 and a personal friend of Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the anti-Semitic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. In February 1941 Ettel reported from Tehran that Islamic clerics in Iran believed that Hitler was the long expected "Twelfth Imam sent by God into the world."

The Shiite version of Islam claims that the so-called Twelth Imam or twelfth descendant of Mohammed or "Mahdi" or "Hidden Imam," disappeared or went into hiding in 874, but will return at the end of time as the redeemer of Islam and mankind.

Ettel quoted from Hitler's book Mein Kampf: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in occordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jews, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." The Nazi ambassador to Tehran then recommended to link this quote propagandistically to suitable verses from the Koran, to Sura 5 verse 85, for example. ("So Allah rewarded them for what they said, with Gardens wherein rivers flow to abide in them. And that is the reward of the doers of good.")

Iran's anti-Semitic leadership committed to the destruction of Israel

After the fall of the pro Western Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979, a religious fanatic called Ayatolla Ruhollah Khomeini became Iran's new ruler. He claimed to be "the supreme religious leader." Hitler was also addressed as "the leader." Khomeini was an anti-Semitic and totalitarian hate cleric who wanted to restore Iran's glory and power. In October 1988 Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chairman of the Iranian parliament, said: "We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, bateriological, and radiological weapons." Khomeini died in 1989. Khomeini and his successor Ayatolla Ali Khamenei repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. Jews and Israelis abroad were also targeted by Iranian agents and terrorists, for example in Argentina (in 1992 and 1994) and Bulgaria (in 2012). On July 18, 1994, the building of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires was targeted by a suicide bomber linked to Iran and Hezbollah and 85 people were killed. Rafsanjani was president of Iran at the time.

Major perpetrators of the Holocaust such as Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele fled to Argentina after the war. Iran's genocidal incitement against Israel and the Israelis reminds me of the Nazis and Hitler. On October 25, 1941, Hitler addressed his inner circle and said: "It's not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews." "The attempt to create a Jewish state will be a failure." Among those present were Heinrich Himmler and his deputy Reinhard Heydrich, the architects of the Holocaust.

It was under the guidance of Iran's current "supreme leader" Ali Khamenei that Iran began to enrich uranium on a massive scale, employing centrifuge enrichment technology. There is no doubt about the purpose of this nuclear enrichment program: Iran wants to make a nuclear bomb. The "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA) signed in July 2015 by the P5+1 world powers and Iran will only serve to delay Iran's efforts to do so. As Gary C. Gambill rightly observes: "More worrisome is the prospect that Iran's nuclear policy after the agreement goes into effect will be much the same as it was before – comply with the letter and spirit of its obligations only to the degree necessary to ward off unacceptably costly consequences. This will likely take the form of what I call nuclear creepout – activities, both open and covert, legal and illicit, designed to negate JCPOA restrictions without triggering costly multilateral reprisals." "It is important to bear in mind that the JCPOA bars signatories from re-imposing any sanctions or their equivalents on Iran, except by way of a United Nations Security Council Resolution restoring sanctions." (Such a resolution will then be vetoed by Russia and China.) "The language demanded by the Iranian negotiators, and accepted by the Obama administation, makes small-scale cheating virtually unpunishable."

Hassan Rohani, Iran's current president, addressed the Iranian nation on July 14, 2015, saying that "the superpowers have recognized a nuclear Iran." "Today, the agreement is carried out under conditions that state that (Iran) will retain over 6,000 centrifuges, over 5,000 of which will be at Natanz and over 1,000 at Fordo. All centrifuges at Natanz will continue to enrich (uranium)."

Shortly after this nuclear deal had been concluded, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel flew to Tehran with a view to normalizing economic ties. Other western politicians followed suit. Such ill-timed visits will only encourage the Iranians to be even more assertive in pursuing their foreign policy objectives.None of those smiling politicians protested against Iran's extensive and dangerous ballistic missile program or against the fact that Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been held in a prison in Tehran since July 22, 2014.

Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands.

Website: www.emersonvermaat.com.


Völkischer Beobachter (Nazi newspaper), November 5, 1937, p. 2, Empfänge beim Führer.

Max Domarus, Hitler, Reden und Proklamationen 1932-1945, Vol. 4 (Wiesbaden: R. Löwit, 1973), pp. 1673, 1675.

Richard N. Frye, Iran (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954), p. 80.

International Military Tribunal (IMT, Nuremberg: 1949), Vol. 39 pp. 449, 450 (Kaltenbrunner's letter), p. 553, 554 (Ribbentrop appointed as Obergruppenführer of the SS by Himmler).

Gerhard Höpp, Der Koran als "Geheime Reichssache". Brückstücke deutscher Islam-Politik zwischen 1938 und 1945 (Nachlass Höpp), pp. 15, 16 (Iranian clerics praising Hitler),


World Religions/Islam, Imam Mahdi…The 12th Imam,


Mark D. Skootsky, U.S. Nuclear Policy Toward Iran (June 1, 1995, quote from Rafsanjani),


Elihu D. Richter and Alex Barnea, Tehran's Genocidal Incitement against Israel, The Middle East Quaterly, Summer 2009, pp. 45-51,


Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944 (New York: Enigma Books, 2008), p. 69.

Gary C. Gambill, Nuclear Creepout: Iran's Third Path to the Bomb, The National Interest/MEF,


Iranian President Rohani in Address to the Iranian Nation Following the Announcement of the Iran-P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, July 15, 2015,


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