14th Oil Show in Tehran: Business as Usual

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14th Oil Show in
Tehran: Business as Usual



Yesterday, on April 22, 2009, Iran opened the 14th International Exhibition of Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals, also called Oil Show. It is taking place until April 25. [1] As in 2008, Germany’s Siemens AG will again participate in this year’s Oil Show. [2]

The US and other Western nations suspect Iran is developing atomic weapons under the cover of a peaceful, civilian nuclear program and urged the Islamic Republic to halt its uranium enrichment. However, Iran rejects the allegation and announced it will not bow to pressure. [3]

The UN Security Council has issued three resolutions against Iran for the Islamic Republic’s refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program. [4]

Siemens and Iran


  • Siemens is Europe’s largest engineering company and a world leader in telecommunications. Siemens has a long history of conducting lucrative business with countries that nourish and promote terrorism, including Iran, Syria and Sudan. [5] As one of the at least 1700 German companies active in Iran, Siemens might be the most entrenched. [6]
  • According to Siemens‘ Iran-website, 350 employees are presently active in Iran. [7]
  • In 2008, Nokia Siemens Network (NSN), a joint venture between the Finnish cell-phone company Nokia and Germany’s Siemens, installed a monitoring center to Irantelecom (Iran’s state-owned telephone company): an electronic surveillance system, that – according to human rights advocates and intelligence experts – can help Iran target dissidents. [8]
  • In Iran, a country that imprisons dissidents and „where regime opponents rely heavily on web-based communication with the outside world,“ a monitoring center capable of archiving intercepts presents a „valuable tool to intensify repression.“ [9]
  • Siemens and Iran have close business relations based on nearly 140 years of cooperation dating back to the earliest years of the company’s history. According to 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 and Siemens. [10]
  • In 1974, Siemens played a vital role in building Busher’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.“ [11]


Economic relations between Germany and Iran


  • Germany is Iran’s biggest source of imported products. Between January and October 2008, exports from Germany to Iran grew of 10,5 percent compared to the same period in 2007. According to Siemens spokesman Wolfram Trost Siemens has delivered products to Iran worth 438 million Euros. [12]
  • The deal between NSN and Iran shows a „rift“ between Germany’s government, „which has endorsed diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program, and German corporations that continue to export sensitive technology to Iran.“ [13]
  • In January 2009, Aerzener Maschinenfabrik, a German company building technical equipment and machines, signed a deal worth 21 million Euros with an Iranian steel plant in Isfahan. [14]
  • As estimated, two thirds of Iran’s industry, particularly the high tech and energy sector, are dependant on German supplies. [15]
  • The largest trade volume with Iran is earned by German engineers. Every third machine that the country imports comes from Germany. In 2006, medium-sized businesses sold machinery to Iran for approximately 1.6 billion euros. In the first half of 2007, export of machinery only reached approximately 500 million Euros. [16]




[1] http://www.iranoilshow.com/exhibition.html

[2] http://www.industry.siemens.com/oil-gas/EN/news/fairs_events/index.htm
[3] Hafezi, Parisa: „Iran says ready for talks, won’t halt nuclear work,“ Reuters, April 22, 2009,

[4] Fathi, Nazila: „Iran Officially Welcomes Nuclear Talks,“ The New York Times, April 22, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/world/middleeast/23iran.html

[5] „Iran signs 450 million dollar deal with Germany’s Siemens,“ IRNA, November 14, 2006, http://www.irna.com/en/news/view/line-22/0611140737181052.htm

[6] Landler, Mark: „Germany’s Commercial Ties With Iran Prove Hard to Cut,“ The New York Times, September 21, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/21/world/europe/21germany.html?_r=2&oref=slogin

[7] Weinthal, Benjamin: „Activists demand Siemens halt Iran trade,“ The Jerusalem Post, January 27, 2009, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233050189910&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

[8] Lake, Eli: „Fed contractor, cell phone maker sold spy system to Iran,“ Washington Times, April 13, 2009, http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/13/europe39s-telecoms-aid-with-spy-tech/

[9] Ibid.

[11] Weinthal, Benjamin: „Germany’s Iranian secret,“ Haaretz, November 12, 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/912104.html

[12] Schmid, Ulrich: „Blühende Geschäfte Deutschlands mit Iran,“ Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Feburary 25, 2009, http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/international/bluehende_geschaefte_deutschlands_mit_iran_1.2087809.html?printview=true

[13] Lake, Eli: „Fed contractor, cell phone maker sold spy system to Iran,“ Washington Times, April 13, 2009, http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/13/europe39s-telecoms-aid-with-spy-tech/

[14] Fiedler, Cornelia: „Siemens sensibel,“ Jungle World, February 5, 2009, http://jungle-world.com/artikel/2009/06/32600.html

[15] Ibid.

[16] „Wirtschaft warnt vor deutschen Iran-Sanktionen,“ Welt Online, November 13, 2007, http://www.welt.de/die-welt/article1357631/Wirtschaft_warnt_vor_deutschen_Iran_Sanktionen.html





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