Germany supports covert Iran sanctions

Oct. 24, 2008 at 5:38 PM

BERLIN, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The German government is ready to support unofficial sanctions against Iran.

Giving in to pressure from its Western allies, Berlin plans to persuade its banks, insurance and energy companies to abstain from doing business in Iran, German newsmagazine Der Spiegel said in its latest issue.

A top-level meeting at the German Foreign Ministry agreed to authorize officials from the German Economy Ministry to "approach the corresponding industry associations" with such a request, Der Spiegel said.

The move was proposed by France, which feels the West should do everything in its power to punish Iran for keeping in business its controversial nuclear program until the international community can agree to official sanctions.

The respective governments are asked to specifically approach companies that sell technology to Iran that the Islamic Republic cannot easily buy elsewhere, such as in Russia or China.

Yet German companies are understandably not eager to close down their Iran business -- especially as the financial crisis continues to put pressure on the German industry.

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