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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08BERLIN41 2008-01-10 16:20:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Berlin
Cable title:  

GERMANY APPRECIATES INFORMATION ON U.S. FIRMS

Tags:   EFIN ETTC KNNP PARM PREL IR GM 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8923
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHRL #0041 0101620
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101620Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0177
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0573
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BERLIN 000041 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS, P, T, E, ISN, NEA/IR, EUR, EEB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/09/2018
TAGS: EFIN ETTC KNNP PARM PREL IR GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY APPRECIATES INFORMATION ON U.S. FIRMS
DOING BUSINESS WITH IRAN, ANALYZING 2007 IMPORT STATISTICS

REF: 07 STATE 169473

Classified By: EMIN Robert A. Pollard for reasons 1.4
(b) and (d).



1. (C) German officials tell us that the information
Washington provided in Reftel on U.S. enforcement of Iran
sanctions will support their ongoing efforts to discourage
German business ties with Iran. Nevertheless, German
business associations cite the National Intelligence Estimate
in continuing to argue against further cuts in trade.
Separately, we learned that petroleum products and
commodities comprised the bulk of the 40 percent projected
increase in German imports from Iran in 2007.



2. (C) As part of Embassy's ongoing advocacy efforts with the
German Government on the importance of curtailing business
ties with Iran, EMIN and EconOffs delivered Reftel points to
key German officials in the Chancellery, MFA, Economics
Ministry, and Finance Ministry. Our interlocutors include
MFA Director General for Economic Affairs Ruediger von
Fritsch, Federal Chancellery Director General for Economic
Affairs Jens Weidmann, Economics Ministry Director General
for International Economic Affairs Karl-Ernst Brauner, and
Finance Ministry Deputy Director General for International
Economic and Financial Policy Rolf Wentzel.



3. (C) On January 10, von Fritsch expressed appreciation for
the promptness of the U.S. response to German allegations
that the U.S. firm Data Card Group was engaging in
(presumably illicit) business with Iran. EMIN and EconOffs
continue to encourage German Government officials to share
any information they have regarding other U.S. firms
operating in Iran so that OFAC and other U.S. authorities can
investigate as appropriate.



4. (C) We raised with von Fritsch the January 9 article in
the German newspaper Handelsblatt that claimed imports from
Iran amounted to about 580 million euros ($853 million) in
2007, up almost 50 percent from the year before. Von Fritsch
said he understood the USG's sensitivity about the import
figures and noted he had already instructed his staff to
analyze the statistics. Von Fritsch speculated that the
increase was probably due to the sharp rise in prices of
petroleum and related products in 2007. A contact from the
German Federation of Industry (BDI) separately said the same
thing. Von Fritsch promised to let us know when he found out
more.



5. (U) While detailed German import statistics, broken down
by product category, only reflect the first 10 months of the
year, post's preliminary analysis indicates that the bulk of
the increase is primarily due to a rise in imports of oil and
natural gas and commodities. On an annualized basis, the
statistics indicate a 40 percent increase in imports from
Iran (164 million euro increase), up from 410 million euros
in 2006 to 574 million euros in 2007. The total value of
petroleum imports alone increased by 151 percent (97 million
euros), from 64 million euros to 161 million. The other top
product categories were partially processed raw materials (30
million euro increase), steel and other sheet metal (14.5
million euro increase), and pharmaceutical-related products
(11.7 million euro increase).
TIMKEN JR