German export credit restrictions anger business, Iran and Israel

(Tehran Times, Tehran, 21 December 2008) Trade restrictions against Iran have disappointed the Israelis, angered the German business community and made the Iranians even more defiant... Berlin has been trying for some time to shed the reputation of being a boycotter of sanctions. One step taken by the government was to dramatically reduce the Hermes export credit guarantees for business with Iran. Chancellor Merkel has had her staff calculate that the sum of new guarantees declined by 90 percent between 2004 and 2008. In 2004, Iran, the recipient of €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion) in German exports, was in second place on the Hermes list. Today the country is roughly in 25th place.