Austria / Press
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday, November 23rd 2010

Protest against the "Iran-Seminar" of the Austrian Chambers of Commerce

STOP THE BOMB criticizes the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, OMV and the Austrian Embassy in Teheran

The STOP THE BOMB coalition strongly opposes the "Iran Sanction Seminar", which is scheduled for December 2nd in Vienna and organized by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the International Chamber of Commerce Austria. STOP THE BOMB spokesperson Simone Dinah Hartmann criticizes the seminar "AWO-Forum Iran - Sanction regulations and their impact": "This seminar is designed to teach how to bypass the insufficient EU sanctions against the Iranian regime in order to sustain the excellent Austrian-Iranian economic partnership, while the Mullahs are working on their nuclear program and terrorize the Iranian population. Such an event clearly undermines the international efforts to exert pressure on Iran. If this Seminar takes place as scheduled, STOP THE BOMB will demonstrate in front of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce."

This is not just the policy of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Such steps are obviously supported by the Austrian Government: Officials of the Economic, Finance and Foreign Ministries will offer advice for Austrian companies on their Iran business. The Austrian Control Bank will inform about "Security in trade with Iran". Also, Michael Tockuss, the head of the German-Iranian Trade Chamber and one of the leading German lobbyists against Iran sanctions and for the promotion of extending business ties with the Iranian regime, will be present.

In accordance with the Iran-Seminar, the Austrian Embassy in Tehran still promotes the Iran business of Austrian companies. The tool manufacturer Leitz, industrial measuring specialist Anton Paar Ltd, the Viennese VADO Group, plant and machinery producer Wittmann Battenfeld, and the motor and generator producer Elin are all looking for trade partners hand in hand with the Austrian Embassy in Tehran. The Austrian Ambassador to Iran, Thomas Buchsbaum, recently announced Austria's interest in a deeper economic relationship with Iran, according to Iranian media reports.

Hiwa Bahrami of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan Iran denounces the Austrian Iran policy: "The full-bodied statements by Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger against the Iranian nuclear program and the regime's terror against its people, such as the commitments to contribute to the international efforts to put the regime under pressure, are nothing but a lip service in light of the ongoing support for business with Iran. Obviously, this kind of communication is an attempt to avoid international criticism rather than a serious attempt to act in accordance with the international community".

Also OMV continues to play an important role in Iran business and in the debate on sanctions. On the one hand, OMV is one of the few European companies left which refuel aircrafts of Iran Air. While major European companies such as BP and Shell already cancelled their contracts, OMV and Vienna International Airport gladly step in to help the regime's airline. On the other hand, OMV as the major supporter of the Nabucco Pipeline played a vital role when the European Union approved exemptions from the anyway insufficient EU sanctions with regard to the exploitaton of the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan, which should become the major source for Nabucco, but has Naftiran, a branch of the National Iranian Oil Company, involved in this project.



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