Austria / Press
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday, July 6th 2010

Protest against Voest’s Iran business at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting

STOP THE BOMB to ask questions, holds rally in Linz and criticizes Austria's chamber of commerce

STOP THE BOMB, a coalition calling for tight sanctions on the Iranian regime, is going to voice its protest at the annual shareholders’ meeting of Voest at the Linz Design Center at Europaplatz on Wednesday, July 7th. From 9am, coalition activists will inform the shareholders about the character of the Iranian regime and the business ties of this well-known Austrian company with Iran. Simone Dinah Hartmann, spokesperson of STOP THE BOMB, announces to ask critical questions during the meeting about the size and scale of Voest’s business with Iran: "We would like to know how an Austrian company justifies its ties with a regime that denies the Holocaust, runs an illegal nuclear program, threatens Israel with annihilation and brutally oppresses its own population. We will ask if Voest intends to continue its business operations in Iran in spite of new UN and US sanctions and the planned tightening of EU sanctions."

It was back in the 1980s, when Voest - by the way successor of the former Hermann-Göring-Werke - hit the headlines after shipping Noricum cannons to Iran. In 2008/2009, the company’s turnover in Iran was about 45 mil. Euro. Böhler-Uddeholm, under the name of Böhler AG a central actor in the National Socialist arms industry during the Third Reich and now owned by Voestalpine, is also active in Iran today with its subsidiary Böhler International. It supplies the country with special steel via its proxy Khaneh Foulad Co.

Despite massive international criticism and efforts for tougher sanctions, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce also continues to promote further business with Iran. On July 6th and 7th the Chamber will hold events in Vienna and Graz to inform about business oportunities in Iran's construction industry.

On July 14th, Günther Schabhuettl, a representative of the Chamber’s Tehran office, will travel to Eisenstadt to hold an "Iran information day" in order to help Austrian companies to advance their Iran business.

STOP THE BOMB activist Barbad Farahani points to the fact that every company active in Iran has to answer the question of how they can be sure not to finance the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: "The elite troops of the regime, which are responsible for the nuclear and missile programs as well as for the brutal oppression of the freedom movement, today control large parts of the country’s foreign trade: from the border traffic, to the container harbour Bandar Abbas, to the airport in Tehran."



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