On Wednesday, a German company that supplied parts for chemical rockets to Iran that were used in gassing Syrians in January and February rejected U.S. warnings about conducting business with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker warned the German company Krempel, among others, “There continue to be ongoing risks with doing business there because the Iranians have not reformed their system,” pointing out Iran is supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Mandelker noted that the Iranian banking system was not transparent, asserting, “The onus of responsibility lies in Iran and we’re going to continue to highlight the risks of doing business there because they haven’t taken the actions that they have promised they would take.”
Krempel, which sold electronic press boards used in the production of Iranian rockets, told The Jerusalem Post that despite the American warning, it is still doing business with Iran, protesting, “Krempel GmbH complies strictly with legal guidelines. In unclear situations, we seek legal advice and apply corresponding measures in order to remain in compliance.”
The Krempel material was reportedly used in the gassing of 21 adults and children.
Krempel said it now "delivers a different Pressspan [also not a dual-use good] exclusively to an original equipment manufacturer in Iran because we can know the end usage,” adding that the company terminated doing business with the two buyers in Tehran who aided delivering the Krempel material for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
German Green Party politician Volker Beck told The Jerusalem Post that “Germany has apparently in the past allowed the delivery of dual-use goods to Iran. That is completely unacceptable. One cannot stress the ‘special relations’ to Israel and at the same time deliver material for Iranian rockets that threaten Israel’s existence … the victims of the Assad regime are paying the price for this mistake.”
Julie Lenarz, a Senior Fellow at the Israel Project, slammed Kremopel for continuing to do business with Iran. She stated:
On Saturday, harrowing footage of children foaming at the mouth, dying in agony from exposure to chemical weapons, flashed across our television screens again. If our politicians want to move beyond empty mantras of condemnation, they can start by punishing the protectors of the murderous Assad regime. Since the nuclear accord was signed with Iran in 2015, European countries and companies have flocked to Tehran for lucrative business deals. The consequences have been grim. Material sold by Krempel was caught in Iranian chemical rockets deployed against Syrians civilians. And yet the company refuses to stop trading with Iran, hiding behind smug legal truisms. No company with a robust ethical code, nor any country with a moral compass intact could possibly regard Iran as a legitimate business partner. The Islamic Republic is the number one state sponsor of terror. The greatest threat to stability in the Middle East, a brutal occupier abroad, and a repressive theocracy at home."
Beate Baron, a spokeswoman for Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which oversees the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export, Control (BAFA), would not answer questions from the Post.
As the Post noted, “German exports to Iran increased in 2017 by 19%, amounting to just under €2.4 billion in export volume. The Jerusalem Post reported in 2017 that numerous German intelligence reports revealed that Iran sought chemical and biological weapon technology in the federal republic.”