The following is from an AP article that appeared today on the prospect of UN-imposed sanctions on Iran.
Russia and China, which have traditional economic and strategic ties with Tehran, seem likely to resist U.S.-led efforts for a quick response, which means sanctions do not loom immediately.
And the following is a translated extract from an interview with Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema that appeared last Saturday (26 August) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
In the question of policy toward Iran, one always talks of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Does Italy want also to have a voice in these discussions?
Along with Germany, we are the most important trading partner of Iran, and we are among the first to be engaged in Lebanon with respect to Hezbollah. Therefore, we have a right to be involved in the questions with respect to Iran. The aim is not a new conflict, but negotiations that avoid Iran’s disposing of an atom bomb.
But don’t you have a conflict of interest in light of your oil company Eni, which has a substantial presence in Iran.
I can gladly provide you a list of the German firms that are present in Iran.
For some pertinent background on German and, more generally, European economic ties to Iran, see the earlier Trans-Int articles "Are They ‘Willing’? (Germany, the EU and Iranian Trade Sanctions)" and "Are 500,000 Keys to Paradise Enough?: Germany ‘Confronts’ Ahmadinejad" by Matthias Küntzel.
- August 31st, 2006