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German industry group says Iran protests not hurting economic ties
BERLIN - Protests in Iran are currently having no impact on trade ties with Germany, German engineering association VDMA said on Thursday, adding that it remained unclear whether demand from Iran for German machinery would slow in the coming months.

Existing contracts from Iran were being completed, it said.

"At present, it is not possible to conclusively assess whether Iranian business is reducing or deferring its investments due to the domestic political situation," VDMA trade expert Ulrich Ackermann said.

The protests in Iran, which began last week over economic hardships suffered by the young and working class, have evolved into a rising against the powers and privileges of a remote elite, especially supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has urged the people of Iran to engage in civil disobedience and press on with nationwide protests that are posing the boldest challenge to its leaders since pro-reform unrest in 2009.
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