Pro-Israel groups demonstrated in Siegen, Germany to protest a major business deal between a local firm and Iran.
Under the slogan, “No Business with the Mullahs! Stop the Steiner Deal with Iran,” participants on Saturday protested the deal, which is reportedly worth $156 million to the SPG Steiner-Prematechnik-Gastec company. The firm is to provide its expertise in turning gas into liquid fuel at three plants in the Islamic Republic.
Israeli officials have questioned the deal and German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that while the business does not officially contradict European and United Nations sanctions against Iran, it is morally and ethically unsupportable.
Protesters said in a statement that “there must be no support for a regime that aims for nuclear weapons, denies the Holocaust and threatens Israel with destruction.”
Citing numerous human rights abuses in Iran, the groups, who also held a panel discussion in conjunction with the protest, lauded the French company TOTAL and the Norwegian company Statoil for pulling out of projects in Iran.
“Putting economic and political pressure on the Iranian regime must be part of any serious attempt to stop its dangerous nuclear program by non-military means,” their statement read.
According to the organizers, supporting groups included the local pro-Israel-Initiative “neveragain;” the Berlin-based Green Party of Iran; “Stop the Bomb” association; the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin; Honestly Concerned, a German-based pro-Israel Web site; the left-wing youth organization BAK Shalom; the Zionist Organization of Germany; B’nai B’rith Europe and others.