Siemens High Tech for Tehran: German Government Probes Shipments to Iran
The German government is currently investigating whether engineering giant Siemens violated export control laws by shipping high tech equipment to companies in Iran. Siemens says its business in Iran is purely civilian, but some fear the equipment could be used for Tehran's missile or nuclear programs.
German authorities are currently considering the initiation of legal proceedings against engineering giant Siemens for violating export controls laws with two controversial deliveries of parts to Iran.
Customs officials at the port of Hamburg discovered a load of turbo compressors that investigators believe could potentially be used in Iran's missile program. The high-tech goods are valued at 16 million ($23 million) and are part of an 80 million shipment. The delivery had apparently been sent from a Siemens branch in Sweden and was destined for an Iranian company.
In a second case, British navy troops stopped a ship from China near Dubai that was carrying so-called Teleperm automation technology intended for the Iranian firm Kalaye Electric. The computers, which can be used, among other things, to help run nuclear power plants, had been delivered by Siemens to an address in China. The controversial shipments are currently being discussed by the German government's exports committee, where sources said the issue is highly contentious.
Siemens officials, however, do not believe they violated German export policies.
"Our business activities in Iran are exclusively for civil purposes and are in accordance with applicable international laws and regulations," a company spokesperson told SPIEGEL. The spokesperson, however, would not provide comment on the deliveries being probed.
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