UK Companies Undermine EU Sanctions against Iran’s Energy Sector
London, April 15, 2011
A coalition of human rights organisations has expressed outrage at the participation of UK companies in the Iran Oil Show 2011 on Saturday, April 16. The Oil Show is an industry exhibition for companies which are active in the energy sector. A large number of British companies will showcase their technology hoping to secure lucrative contracts to supply the Iranian energy sector  The campaign “Stop the Bomb – No Deals with the Iranian Regime!” condemns the participation of the British companies. Those companies are strongly suspected of violating EU sanctions. Stop the Bomb has compiled a list of these companies and has called upon the responsible authorities to investigate their role in propping up the Iranian regime.
The range of products on show from British companies include pumps, pipes, construction machines and specialised measuring instruments. Exporting these products to Iran violates the letter and spirit of the EU sanctions. The Iranian regime uses the Iran Oil Show to bolster its energy sector which makes up the lion’s share of the Iranian economy. The growing participation of European countries provides Iran with a propaganda coup and lends it a veneer of international prestige that a country with such an appalling human rights record simply does not deserve. .
Stop the Bomb Director Dan Coen has said, “Any deals with the Iranian energy sector directly support the regime itself, and the guilty Western companies are perpetuating the regime’s violations of human rights, its nuclear program and the export of terror against the will of the Iranian people and in spite of powerful popular protests against the Ahmadinejad’s government.”
Revenues from the energy sector made up nearly 50% of Iran’s state budget and 80% of its export income in 2009/2010. The biggest part of the Iranian energy sector is state owned. Business partners in Iran are mostly companies connected to the economic empire of the Revolutionary Guards, who run the majority of the projects in the energy sector. The Revolutionary Guards are on the US terror list and since July 2010 also on the EU sanctions list.
Similar outrage has been expressed elsewhere in Europe, especially in Germany. “The results of the German Iran policy are disastrous. Despite EU sanctions, Germany is the most important Western business partner of Iran, with an annual export volume of 3.8 billion Euros. Only China has more companies participating at the Iran Oil Show. Furthermore, the German government refuses to shut down the EIH bank. The bank is essential for the financing of Germany’s Iran business. There are no serious efforts to put effective pressure on the Iranian regime”, says German Stop the Bomb spokesperson Jonathan Weckerle.
Prof. Gert Weisskirchen, foreign policy spokesperson for the SPD in the Bundestag from 1999 till 2009, comments: “Whoever circumvents the EU sanctions not only violates international law. By supporting an oppressive regime against the will of the EU, one also threatens the hopes of many young people in Iran for democracy.”
 The energy sector is at the same time the Achilles’ heel of the regime, this is why this sector is in the center of the international sanction efforts. Additionally to UN sanctions the US, the EU, Canada, South Korea and Japan have issued sanctions against deals that benefit the Iranian energy sector. See an overview of the international sanctions:www.iranenergyproject.org/topics/1/sanctions
 Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Annual Review 1388 (2009 / 2010), p. 15 and 18. (http://www.cbi.ir/page/7575.aspx)
 List of companies belonging to the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum: http://www.iranoilgas.com/companies/whoiswho/
 RAND Corporation, The Rise of the Pasdaran, 2009, p. 59 ff. (http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG821.pdf)
 The Wall Street Journal reported on April 4, 2011, that the German government still refuses to take action against the European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH), which facilitates the bulk of the German and a big part of the international Iran business. Transactions via the Tehran dependence of the EIH cannot be controlled by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), and the claimed supervision of the deals via the EIH can be circumvented.
See also: http://de.stopthebomb.net/en/d-iran/eih.html