ThyssenKrupp halts all business in Iran
Frankfurt, September 23, 2010
ThyssenKrupp said it would freeze all new business with Iran with immediate effect and terminate existing contracts there as soon as possible in response to ever-harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
"By halting business with Iran we are supporting the sanctions policies of the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Union and the US," Ekkehard Schulz, chief executive of Germany's biggest steelmaker, said on Thursday.
ThyssenKrupp is the latest in a series of German companies reducing business ties with Iran.
Carmaker Daimler said earlier this year it would sell its stake in an Iranian engine manufacturer and freeze planned exports to Iran, following similar moves by Siemens, Munich Re and Allianz.
A spokesman for ThyssenKrupp said Iran accounted for less than 0.5 per cent of group revenues of 40.6 billion euros ($54.42 billion) in its fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2009.
Most of ThyssenKrupp's existing business in Iran comprised engineering projects for cement factories, he said.
"The latest executive board decision prohibits all new business with Iran and thus goes beyond the current sanctions measures, which relate primarily to the petroleum sector (oil and gas0," ThyssenKrupp said in a statement.
ThyssenKrupp announced it decision a day after foreign ministers of major powers told Iran they hoped for an early negotiated solution to the stand-off over its nuclear programme.
Western countries have urged Iran to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear programme, which they fear is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Tehran says the programme is purely for peaceful purposes.
ThyssenKrupp was part owned by Iran for many years from the shah's era in 1970s until the company bought enough of its remaining shares in 2003 to avoid being put on a US government blacklist. – Reuters