Wednesday 07 December 2016

Iranian hand in German firm building subs for Israel was known

The Defense Ministry on Tuesday acknowledged that they have known since 2004 of an Iranian state-owned firm's involvement in a German shipping company that supplies the Israeli Navy with submarines.

The military explained that the German ThyssenKrupp corporation was accordingly granted the "required security coverage" to carry out its operations for Israel.

Last week, the issue of the Iranian investments in the Germany conglomerate came to light in a Yedioth Acharonoth report.

The announcement contradicted initial remarks by the ministry denying any knowledge of Iranian involvement in the German giant. The comments were released after what the Defense Ministry said was a "thorough examination" conducted in recent days.

The Iranian investments in ThyssenKrupp began in the 1970s, and were inherited by the Islamic regime when it took over Iran in the 1979 revolution, Yedioth Acharonoth reported Friday.

Currently, the the Iran Foreign Investments Company owns just under five percent of the German shipbuilding company’s shares, the report said.

The discovery according to Yedioth raises concerns of potential leaks of classified information to Iran on one of Israel’s most advanced weapons platforms.

This revelation comes amid scrutiny in Israel of other aspects of the Israeli defense ministry’s contract with ThyssenKrupp in 2011.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit last week ordered the police to look into allegations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer, David Shimron, used his close relationship with the premier to push for purchasing several submarines from ThyssenKrupp, award the company a contract for naval vessels to defend Israel’s gas fields and allow it to build a shipyard in Israel.

Shimron was a representative of the company in Israel.

Netanyahu said last month he did not know of Shimron’s ties to ThyssenKrupp. Several Israeli journalists alleged Netanyahu pushed for buying the submarines from ThyssenKrupp despite opposition from the defense establishment, though the Israel Defense Forces made a statement contradicting these claims.


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