Haaretz: 200 Israeli companies have indirect investment ties in Iranian energy sector

Saleh Naami , Thursday 26 May 2011

The Israeli media reveals that numerous Israel companies have links to Iran's energy sector, which feeds its nuclear programme

At least 200 companies in Israel maintain extensive trade ties with Iran, in full knowledge of the Israeli government, Israel daily Haaretz reported.

The paper said in a special report today by Yossi Melman that the trade ties include investment in the Iranian energy industry, which is Iran's main source of income, and serves to funnel funds to develop its nuclear programme and weaponry.

The report added that in 2008 the Israeli Kneset approved a law prohibiting Israeli companies from investing in any international companies that have trade ties with Iran.

“Binyamin Netanyahu’s government has done nothing to enforce this law, even after the Israel Electric Corporation and the Israeli Airports Authority purchased hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment from Danish and German companies operating in Iran,” the report said.

The report added that the Prime Minister's Office said that taking action against these companies is not in its jurisdiction, referring to the Israel Finance Ministry.

Last week, the US administration listed the Israeli company Ofer Brothers Group as having trade ties with Iran. The group is subject to US sanctions for its role in providing a tanker valued at $8.65 million to an Iranian shipping company.

An Ofer Brothers spokesperson denied the US State Department charges. The spokesperson told the Israeli media that the company might have sold ships to Iran through a third company in Dubai.

"We believe that Tanker Pacific and Ofer Brothers Group failed to exercise due diligence and did not heed publicly available and easily obtainable information that would have indicated that they were dealing with [Iranian shipping lines]," a State Department statement declared.

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