The German Linde Group continues to do business in Iran's energy sector and is supported by Federal export credit guarantees known as Hermes Cover. This was Linde's board of director's answer to critical questions of shareholders at the annual shareholders meeting on 15 May in Munich. Members of the coalition STOP THE BOMB that is calling for effective sanctions against the Iranian regime protested in front of the International Congress Centre where the shareholders meeting took place.
Board member Dr. Belloni confirmed that Linde is involved in Iran's national gas liquefaction project (LNG) with the state owned National Iranian Oil Company. Belloni stated that the annual sales volume for Linde's business in Iran amounts to 91 Mio in 2008. The Linde Group endeavours to attract new deals in Iran's energy sector: A pre-investment study for an ethylene plant is transferred to the Iranian state-owned National Petrochemical Company (NPC).
Belloni rejected the accusation of working in close cooperation with Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). However, the webpage of Iran's LNG project mentions Linde AG as well as Sahel Consulting (Rah Sahel) to be parties involved in the project. Sahel Consulting belongs to the IRGC and has been included in the US list of banned terrorist groups. (1) Iran's Revolutionary Guards form the ideological and organizational core of the Islamic Republic and are backing the nuclear and ballistic programme. The IRGC are in control of up to 70% of Iran’s industry. It is therefore hardly possible to be involved in Iran's energy sector without direct or indirect cooperation with the IRGC.
Linde's projects in Iran were covered by Federal export credit guarantees, the volume in 2008 amounts to 16,5 Mio. Euro. "This policy of the Federal Government is noncredible and scandalous", said Ulrike Becker of STOP THE BOMB. While the German Government on the one hand time and again calls upon German companies to voluntarily abstain from business in Iran and chancellor Angela Merkel 2008 at the Israeli parliament spoke out for "further stricter sanctions" against the Iranian regime, the Government on the other hand supports business in Iran's energy sector through the cover of the so called Hermes guarantees. These deals directly support the Iranian government. "The huge revenues in the gas- and oil business are the basis of the Islamic Republic of Iran without which the dictatorial religious government could not survive", stated Ulrike Becker. STOP THE BOMB therefore calls upon the Federal Government to impose clear sanctions against business with Iran's military or energy sector that are distinctively regulated by law.
(1) See fact sheet: http://de.stopthebomb.net/en/start/germany/linde.html