By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
Two-thirds of Iran's industry, including its energy sector, is dependent on German equipment, and that is where the Islamic Republic is vulnerable to sanctions, the spokesman for a German pro-Israel group said earlier this week.
Michael Spaney, who represents the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB), pointed this out in a speech to a Berlin conference titled "Time to Act," which took place Saturday and Sunday and was organized by the MFFB.
The conference, a Who's Who of academics and policy makers, urged Europe to embrace a tougher approach to modify the jingoistic behavior of the Iranian regime. The panel speakers also sought intensified support for the Iranian democracy movement.
Scholars and think-tank experts from the United States, Europe and Israel pushed for the European Union to reinvigorate the sanctions strategy against Iran.
Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi , head of the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, termed the current diplomacy track with Iran a "dead end" because deadlines are being ignored by the parties.
Ottolenghi advocated a potent mix of crippling economic sanctions on the Iranian energy sector, and a global human rights campaign championing the pro-democracy and free trade union movement in Iran.
He cited the imprisonment of the Teheran bus union leader Mansour Osanloo as a pressing human rights cause. The regime incarcerated Osanloo in 2007 for his efforts to organize an independent labor union.
Daniel Schwammenthal, an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe, said at the session on Israel's security that "a fanatical religious regime and one of the world's biggest sponsors of terror is threatening to wipe Israel off the map while it is racing toward acquiring the means to carry out this apocalyptic vision. While denying the Holocaust, it is simultaneously threatening another genocide, and yet Germany and much of the rest of the West is idly standing by."