Iranian-German Trade Up 7.8%

TEHRAN (FNA)- Total Iranian-German trade volume rose 7.8 percent between January and September of this year compared to same period in 2007, the Federal Statistical Office based in the south German city of Wiesbaden reported.

The overall bilateral trade volume until the end of September stood at 3.233865 billion euros, compared to 2.980734 billion euros last year. German exports to Iran increased 8.9 percent and comprised 84.7 percent of the total German-Iranian trade volume.

The expanding bilateral economic ties come amid fierce political pressure by the German Zionist lobby to force Berlin to cut its business relations with Tehran over the impasse in the Iranian nuclear dispute.

According to a report by the Islamic republic news agency, German companies have stepped up their criticism of the German government for backing UN financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying their business interests have been severely affected by the controversial political move.

The Managing Director of the Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) Jens Nagel has repeatedly lambasted “unilateral sanctions on Iran as totally incomprehensible”.

Nagel expressed also mounting concern that German firms were gradually losing the lucrative Iranian market to Asian competitors.

The BGA official’s assessment was echoed by the Managing Director of the German Near And Middle East Association (Numov) Helene Rang who made clear that a further tightening of sanctions against Iran would “not solve the problem”.

“The sanctions are backfiring,” she stressed.

The head of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Juergen Thumann warned earlier that German companies are to lose their good business contacts with Iran which they have developed over decades as a result of the continuing political pressure.

Several renowned German companies are involved in major Iranian infrastructure projects, especially in the petrochemical sector, like Linde, BASF, Lurgi, Krupp, Siemens, ZF Friedrichshafen, Mercedes, Volkswagen and MAN.

Around 50 German firms have their own branch offices in Iran and more than 12,000 firms have their own trade representatives in the country.

The President of the Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) Anton F. Boerner has warned that Germany could be among the main losers of sanctions against Iran.

He emphasized sanctions would especially hurt medium-sized German companies, which depend heavily on trade with Iran.

Boerner made clear that the ongoing row over Tehran’s nuclear program should be resolved through “political and not economic means”.

“We should avoid everything which might aggravate the crisis,” he added.

Meanwhile, the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) pointed out that economic sanctions on Iran may cost more than 10,000 German jobs and have a negative impact on the economic growth of Germany.

“Economic sanctions against Iran would not solve political problems, as the example of Iraq has shown dramatically. The German economy would be severely hit in an important growth market. The loss of business in Iran could threaten more than 10,000 jobs in Germany,” the DIHK was quoted saying in a statement.

“If there were a real embargo, it would effectively kill off German trade with Iran,” DIHK’s Mideast expert Jochen Clausnitzer warned earlier.

More than 40,000 German jobs are indirectly affected by German- Iranian trade, a senior German official told the Islamic republic news agency recently, requesting anonymity.

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