Report: Iran owns 5% of shares of the German firm building subs for Israel


(JTA) — An Iranian state-owned firm has substantial shares in the German shipping giant that is supplying the Israeli Navy with submarines, a newspaper in Israel reported.

The Iranian investments in ThyssenKrupp began in the 1970s and were inherited by the Islamic regime when it took over Iran in the 1979 revolution, Yediot Acharonot reported Friday.

The Iran Foreign Investments Company currently owns just under 5 percent of the German shipbuilding company’s shares, the report said.

An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman told the paper that the ministry was not aware of the Iranian involvement with ThyssenKrupp.

The discovery, according to Yediot, raises concerns of potential leaks of classified information to Iran on one of Israel’s most advanced weapons platforms.

The revelation comes amid scrutiny in Israel of other aspects of the country’s contract with ThyssenKrupp in 2011.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit last week ordered the police to look into allegations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer, David Shimron, used his close relationship with Netanyahu to push for purchasing several submarines from ThyssenKrupp, award the company a contract for naval vessels to defend Israel’s gas fields and allow it to build a shipyard in Israel.

Shimron was a representative of the company in Israel.

Netanyahu said last month that he did not know of Shimron’s ties to ThyssenKrupp. Several Israeli journalists alleged Netanyahu pushed for buying the submarines from ThyssenKrupp despite opposition from the defense establishment, though the Israel Defense Forces made a statement contradicting these claims.

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