Germany Major Iran Trade Partner

On the eve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Germany, embarrassing figures show that Germany is Iran's largest trade partner.

Yechezkel Laing ,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Israel news photo: Flash 90

On the eve of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Germany, embarrassing figures have emerged about Germany and Iran. While German chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken out against economic ties with Iran, statistics show that Germany has become Iran's largest trading partner.

Germany's Federal Statistical Office has released data showing exports to Iran increased 10 percent in 2008. Germany's exports to Iran reached $6 billion in 2008, close to the record it set in 2004 and 2005.

On November 27, 2008, German and Iranian business leaders began a conference in Hamburg called “Iran Sanctions: Practical Consequence for German Firms.” The purpose of the conference was to improve German business relations in Iran as well as the German and Iranian political relationship. Angela Merkel's own administration has subsidized investments in Iran by providing German firms with $400 million in credit guarantees.

Meanwhile, on June 8, 2009, German petrochemical company Basell Polyolefine signed a $1.3 billion trade deal with Iran to supply technology to build three plants involving synthetic and plastic material.

New reports also suggest that the Iranian regime is using technology obtained from Siemens, the German energy and engineering giant, and its partner, the Finnish communications firm Nokia, to crack down on internet access, cell phone use, and Twitter accounts of protesters and dissidents.