A German company involved in Syrian chemical attacks has defied a warning from the United States and continues trading with Iran, Ben Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
A Syrian photographer had found parts made by German company Krempel in Iranian-produced chemical rockets that were used in chemical warfare against Syrian civilians in January and February, resulting in the death of 21 children and adults.
“There continue to be ongoing risks with doing business there because the Iranians have not reformed their system,” the U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, said on Tuesday. She warned that Iran was using money to support its terror proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Krempel in a statement to the Post conceded that it continues trading with Iran, but maintained “Krempel GmbH complies strictly with legal guidelines. In unclear situations, we seek legal advice and apply corresponding measures in order to remain in compliance.”
The company added that it was now delivering “a different Pressspan [also not a dual-use good] exclusively to an original equipment manufacturer in Iran because we can know the end usage.”
Krempel’s decision to do business with Iran drew sharp condemnation from Julie Lenarz, a Senior Fellow at the Israel Project.
“On Saturday, harrowing footage of children foaming at the mouth, dying in agony from exposure to chemical weapons, flashed across our television screens again,” she said, adding that “If our politicians want to move beyond empty mantras of condemnation, they can start by punishing the protectors of the murderous Assad regime.”
Lenarz told the Post that “Since the nuclear accord was signed with Iran in 2015, European countries and companies have flocked to Tehran for lucrative business deal,” with devastating consequences.
“No company with a robust ethical code, nor any country with a moral compass intact could possibly regard Iran as a legitimate business partner,” she stated. “The Islamic Republic is the number one state sponsor of terror. The greatest threat to stability in the Middle East, a brutal occupier abroad, and a repressive theocracy at home.”
German Green Party politician Volker Beck added that “the victims of the Assad regime are paying the price for this mistake.”
German exports to Iran increased by 19% in 2017, amounting to just under €2.4 billion ($2.96 billion) in export volume. In 2016 German intelligence reports revealed that the Islamic Republic sought chemical and biological weapon technology in Germany. Germany intelligence last year reported that Iran continued seeking illicit nuclear and missile technology throughout 2016.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this week that she was “shocked’ about Saturday’s chemical attack in Syria.
[Photo: Guardian News / YouTube ]