Judging by the German-language media lately, Tehran has moved from a charm offensive to a trade offensive in Germany. The heart of business people there just doesn’t seem to be with sanctions compliance. Sigh.
First up: As we like to remind our readers, sanctions against Iran also have a moral objective. Apropos, this report contends that German companies selling surveillance technology to the mullah regime (for use against dissidents) rarely need export permission. Really.
Meanwhile, four Germans– three of them of Iranian origin- have been accused in a Hamburg court of supplying special valves to Iran for the construction of the internationally sanctioned Arak heavy water reactor. The deliveries were part of a total order from Tehran worth several million euros, and the immediate customer: a 48-year-old Iranian national who operated through companies established in third countries.
Not all Germany-Iran trade activities are in the shadows. Indeed, the Hamburg-Iran Chamber of Commerce last month hosted Mohammad Nahavandian, president of the Iranian Chamber of Industry, Commerce, Mines and Agriculture. He encouraged about 100 business representatives and diplomats who attended his lecture to prepare for a time after the sanctions- just around the corner.
Well, perhaps that’s merely wishful thinking.
No less intriguing, in this media interview Nahavandian admitted that much of the trade with Iran is being conducted through third countries. Just like the Hamburg case. Wonder who those countries are.
Related or not, in the last week or so a seminar on trade with Iran was held in Warsaw. Learning from their German business counterparts?
We’ve long taken it upon ourselves to keep tabs on sanctions compliance in Germany and other countries. Rest assured, we’ll be keeping an eye on Poland as well.