World Economic Forum Invites Iranian Foreign Minister to Elite Confab

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian a ‘card-carrying member’ of IRGC terror group

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
January 15, 2024

The World Economic Forum, one of the globe’s most elite business collectives, has invited Iran’s foreign minister to participate in its high-profile confab this week, eliciting calls for host country Switzerland to deny the official a visa.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister and an "active card-carrying member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)," a U.S.-sanctioned terror group, will reportedly attend the annual gathering that attracts some of the world’s top businessmen and government officials, according to a watchdog group. The conference started on Monday and will run through the week.

United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), an international advocacy group opposed to the hardline regime, recently petitioned the Swiss government to deny Amir-Abdollahian a visa, citing his connection to the IRGC and the hardline regime’s "beatings, torture, rape, and mass executions" of the Iranian people. A similar letter was sent to the World Economic Forum’s leaders, urging them to rescind the invitation.

Amir-Abdollahian is slated to give a speech at the forum, leading critics like UANI to accuse the organization of providing a platform to one of the world’s leading terror sponsors and a chief supporter of the Hamas terror group’s unprecedented attack last year on Israel. By inviting Iran’s top diplomat to hobnob with the global elite, the World Economic Forum is signaling that Iran’s regime is legitimate, even as its terror proxies wreak havoc across the Middle East, the watchdog group says.

"We urge you to deny him a visa," UANI wrote in the letter sent last week to the Swiss government. "Switzerland and the World Economic Forum would not dream of inviting Hamas leadership to travel to Davos. By the same token, they should similarly deny a visa and invitation to its major Iranian sponsor, which finances the Gaza-based group by as much as $350 million annually."

The Swiss government did not respond to UANI’s petition, and Amir-Abdollahian appears to be cleared to enter the country and attend the event. The World Economic Forum did not immediately respond to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment on its decision to host the diplomat.

"Apparently cheerleading, arming, funding, and resourcing the largest massacre against the Jewish people since the Holocaust on October 7 and threatening vital global maritime chokepoints will earn Iran's foreign minister an invitation to speak at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos this week," Jason Brodsky, UANI’s policy director, told the Free Beacon. "Sadly there appear to be no WEF standards. Did WEF leaders invite Hamas? Of course not. Why would they invite Iran's foreign minister, who represents Hamas' sponsor?"

The World Economic Forum’s corporate sponsors, which include some of the biggest global businesses and financial institutions, "are lending their brands to a meeting which is platforming Hossein Amir-Abdollahian," Brodsky said. "It's irresponsible and scandalous."

In addition to his role in violently suppressing a wave of anti-regime protests across Iran, Amir-Abdollahian is an active IRGC member.

"To allow Abdollahian into Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum would be a slap in the face to the brave Iranian people who have been fighting for an end to the totalitarian Islamic Republic in the name of ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ since at least September 2022, following the murder of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iranian security authorities," UANI wrote. "Abdollahian has repeatedly lied to the world about the crimes against humanity the regime has committed against its people."

Last year, the World Economic Forum chose not to host any Iranian leaders, apparently as a reaction to its violent suppression of popular protests across the country. Since that time, the hardline regime has continued to abuse its citizens and foment terrorism across the Middle East, including providing Hamas with the resources to wage its ongoing war against Israel.

"By inviting Abdollahian, Bern and the World Economic Forum are signaling that it is now back to a ‘business as usual’ paradigm with Iran," UANI wrote. "To the contrary, the world should be isolating the regime rather than emboldening and legitimizing it."