Siemens and Iran: Business as Usual

  • 0

Siemens and Iran: Business as Usual 

Of the at least 1,700 German companies active in Iran, Siemens AG [1], is perhaps the most entrenched.  Siemens is Europe’s largest engineering company as well as  a world leader in telecommunications. Siemens has a long history of conducting lucrative business with countries that nourish and promote terrorism including Iran, Sudan and Syria. [2]

Siemens has with „high likelihood“ delivered sophisticated data surveillance systems to Iran, Erich Moechel, an Austrian investigative journalist, disclosed on April 7, 2008. „Monitoring Centers,“ used to track mobile and land-line phone conversations, had been sent to Iran. These systems could enable the Iranian intelligence service to document conversations between Israel and Iran and „build a communication profile.“ Moechel, a specialist in the field of data protection and surveillance, said that he was highly certain that the Iranian regime had purchased German-designed „Intelligence Platform“ systems, which allow the Iranian secret service to monitor „financial transactions and traffic and airplane movements.“ [3]

Moechel wrote in his article that the integrated intelligence devices were used against persecuted minority groups and political dissidents in Iran. He cited German and Austrian privacy experts who noted that these types of machines would not be lawful within the EU. [4]

Currently the German company is undergoing numerous  investigations.  Siemens is involved in the biggest corruption and bribe scandal of German post-war history. The German newsmagazine „Der Spiegel“ covers the story in a recent issue, saying that Siemens-engineers have been traveling to places in Iran in order to help with the installation of telephone facilities – places that are even inaccessible for U.S. spy satellites. Heinrich von Pierer, longtime chairman of the company, president of the board of directors and referred to as „Mr. Siemens himself“ by „Der Spiegel“, was allegedly involved in the company’s biggest bribe affair ever: Apparently he has received 400 Million Deutsche Mark (204.5 million Euros) for the construction of the nuclear facility in Bushehr. Furthermore, Siemens allegedly has very close ties with the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), as an „emergency service in every possible border zone or grey area of the agency business“. And not only is Siemens involved in this case of bribery and corruption, but the company also is involved in antitrust suits in France, Japan, Poland, Norway and Turkey. [5]

The managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Company announced on March 10, 2008, that 25 percent (90 million euros) of the repayment of the $450-million deal with Siemens AG was paid. Hassan Ziari said in 2006 Iran has signed a 450-million-dollar deal with German electronic giant Siemens to build 150 locomotives. [6]

In 1974, Siemens played a vital role in building Bushehr’s nuclear reactor, which was destroyed during the Iran-Iraq war. Matthias Küntzel, a German political scientist and a leading observer of German-Iranian relations, wrote: „In August 2003, Siemens signed a contract for the delivery of 24 power stations. To make this deal, Siemens had to commit itself to ‚technology transfer with regard to small and medium-sized power stations.“[7]

Siemens and Iran have close business relations based on nearly 140 years of cooperation dating back to the company’s earliest history. According to the Siemens website, the close ties between German know-how and Iranian entrepreneurial spirit are an excellent basis for continuing to build a strong and lasting partnership between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Siemens. [8]


Landler, Mark: „Germany´s Commercial Ties With Iran Prove Hard to Cut,“ The New York Times, September 21, 2007,
[2] „Iran signs 450 million dollar deal with Germany´s Siemens,“ Islamic Republic News Agency, November 14, 2006,
] Weinthal, Benjamin: „German firm helps Iran monitor Israel,“ Jerusalem Post, April 8, 2008,
] Ibid.
Dahlkamp, Jürgen; Deckstein, Dinah; Schmitt, Jörg: „Die Firma,“ Der Spiegel, Nr. 16, April 14, 2008, page 76-90
Siemens to sell Iran 150 locomotives,“ Payvand´s Iran News, March 11, 2008,
[7] Weinthal, Benjamin: „Germany´s Iranian secret,“ Haaretz, November 12, 2007,





Hinterlasse eine Antwort