Risky Business: Germany Suspends Economic Policies Supporting Iranian Regime

Supporting Iranian People Requires Further Action 

(New York, N.Y.) – In late December, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development announced the suspension of economic instruments protecting German businesses that are engaged in the Iranian market. Berlin has helped facilitate more than $1.5 billion in bilateral trade in each of the past two years through export credit and investment guarantees (ECG) that limited the risk of economic losses by German businesses.  

UANI wrote to Euler Hermes (EH), Germany’s export credit provider, in 2016, to protest its decision to provide ECGs for Iran trade as “short-sighted, ill-advised, and fraught with risk to its shareholders, employees, agents, and contractors.” Germany’s suspension of ECGs has proven UANI’s warning to be prescient, and just days prior to the announcement, the Jerusalem Post reported “Germany's non-transparent export regulations do not permit disclosure of the nature of the goods and material sold to Iran - some of which has been used for dual-use purposes (military and civilian aims) over the decades.”  

“The decision by successive German governments to maintain channels for non-humantarian trade with Tehran has steadily increased the likelihood of serious military confrontation with the Iranian regime, which has used these resources to maintain and expand its malign behavior,” said UANI Research Director Daniel Roth.

The suspension is a step in the right direction but the German government should now go further in its efforts to support the Iranian people, designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, shuttering entities providing a permissive environment for terror recruitment such as the Hamburg Islamic Center, reducing Iran’s diplomatic presence in Berlin, and ordering the immediate closure of Iranian banks operating in Germany including Bank Melli, Bank Sepah, and Bank Saderat, among other actions.