BERLIN (JTA) — German companies are drawing criticism for their plans to take part in an oil industry trade show in Tehran.
Some 60 German companies will attend this weekend’s event in Tehran, which is dedicated to Iran’s energy sector, according to the Stop the Bomb nongovernmental organization in Germany. Only China is sending more firms to the show than Germany.
Stop the Bomb aims to expose and hinder Iran’s nuclear ambitions and anti-Zionist agenda, and considers any business related to Iran’s energy sector tantamount to support for a repressive regime.
Jonathan Weckerle, a spokesman for the group, said the German participation was further proof that there is "no serious efforts to put effective pressure on the Iranian regime.”
Despite European Union and United Nations sanctions against Iran, Germany exports to the country remain at nearly $5.5 billion annually, Weckerle noted.
Germany remains the West’s most important business partner with the Islamic state. Germany agreed recently to limit oil-related transactions between India and Iran via
the German Federal Bank and the European Iranian Trade Bank in Hamburg, but the deal still amounts to billions of dollars, Stop the Bomb said.
Though the German firms are free to visit Tehran, they may be flouting sanctions. And if they do, they "not only [violate] international law," but "also [threaten] the hopes of many young people in Iran for democracy,” Gert Weisskirchen, former foreign policy spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party in the Bundestag, said in a statement.