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Friday, December 05, 2008

German trade with Iran increases to over $5.5bn this year

From Iran's IRNA:
Total German-Iranian trade volume rose 7.8 percent between January and September of this year compared to same the corresponding period in 2007, the Federal Statistical Office based in the south German city of Wiesbaden reported Tuesday.

The overall bilateral trade volume until the end of September stood at 3.233865 billion euros, compared to 2.980734 billion euros last year.

German exports to Iran increased 8.9 percent and comprised 84.7 percent of the total German-Iranian trade volume.

The expanding bilateral economic ties come amid fierce political pressure by the German Zionist lobby to force Berlin to cut its business relations with Tehran over the impasse in the Iranian nuclear dispute.

German companies have stepped up their criticism of the German government for backing UN financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying their business interests have been severely affected by the controversial political move.

The Managing Director of the Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) Jens Nagel has repeatedly lambasted "unilateral sanctions on Iran as totally incomprehensible."

Several renowned German companies are involved in major Iranian infrastructure projects, especially in the petrochemical sector, like Linde, BASF, Lurgi, Krupp, Siemens, ZF Friedrichshafen, Mercedes, Volkswagen and MAN.

Around 50 German firms have their own branch offices in Iran and more than 12,000 firms have their own trade representatives in the country.

Extrapolating the numbers through September to the end of the year shows that the trade between Iran and Germany is now at $5.5 billion annually.

Practically all of the companies mentioned are part of the Forced/Slave Labor Compensation Fund, set up by the German government to help pay Holocaust survivors and others for the labor they were forced to do during World War II. It also includes a foundation for human rights - and immunity from lawsuits from during the Nazi era.

While some of these companies didn't exist during the Holocaust, it is more than a little unsettling that the German industries that enthusiastically participated in atrocities are now just as enthusiastically bankrolling another genocidal regime, and justifying it in a similar manner.