German-Austrian company helps develop Iran pipeline
The company's involvement may violate US and EU sanctions barring the supply of technology to the Islamic Republic.
Gas pipeline along Iranian border [illustrative] Photo: Reuters
BERLIN – ILF Consulting Engineers, a German-Austrian company, confirmed on
Monday that it is providing “advice and planning” work in the technological
development of an Iranian-Pakistan pipeline project.
involvement may violate US and EU sanctions barring the supply of technology to
the Islamic Republic.
“Advisory and planning engineers” are working on
the project, Rüdiger Ophoven, a spokesman for ILF’s gas and oil department, told
The Jerusalem Post on Monday. He stressed that ILF is only involved in the
Pakistani side of the project.
The Pakistan paper The Nation reported on
Sunday that “according to the secretary of petroleum, Pakistan has offered $250
million to a German company, ILF Engineering, for laying the gas pipeline inside
The gas pipeline would be completed till 2014, the
Iran’s Persian- and English-language press reported
extensively on the pipeline project and Germany’s role in its
When asked about the value of ILF’s contract, Ophoven told
the Post that such a project is “less than 10 million euros.”
He said he
did not know if ILF’s legal department had examined whether the deal violated
US, UN or EU sanctions.
The United States pressed Pakistan in 2009 to
refrain from entering into a pipeline agreement with Iran. However, the
Pakistani government moved forward with its Iranian partners.
Germany are considered by experts in Europe to be the weakest links in the
enforcement of the sanctions regime targeting Iran. Germany remains Iran’s most
important EU trade partner, with an annual bilateral trade of roughly 4 billion
Ophoven could not confirm or deny whether German regulators had
approved the deal with Pakistan.
Nasrin Amirsedghi, a leading
German-Iranian intellectual and a close follower of trade relations with Tehran,
told the Post on Monday that chief executive officers of companies look “for a
way to circumvent” the sanctions.
She criticized ILF’s explanation that
it has a contract only with Pakistan.
“Do we want to prevent an atomic
catastrophe in the Middle East? Do we want to support Israel and the Iranian
people? Then all European and Western governments should end their diplomatic,
cultural and scientific relations with Iran — the cancer of terrorism and war in
the region,” Amirsedghi said.
She added that by severing relations with
the Islamic Republic, the “sanctions will have an effect.”
the Post that the project entails a “1.5- to 2-year phase,” and there may be
additional phases. ILF is providing the Pakistanis with “state-of-the-art
technology” that deals with the know-how to build the pipeline project, he said.