German firm cancels deal with Iran port due to Israeli pressure
Israel envoy to Berlin tells German officials Israel would see contract as aiding terrorist arms deal.
After heavy diplomatic pressures from the Israeli government, a German construction company on Monday canceled its end of a contract to renovate the Bander Abbas Port in Iran.
Israel's ambassador to Berlin told Chancellor Angela Merkels' top aides, as well as foreign ministry officials, that Iran has been exporting weapons from that port bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Ambassador Yoram Ben Ze'ev stressed that the Gaza-bound weapons ship "Francop," which was recently apprehended by the Israel Defense Forces in the Mediterranean, had been dispatched from that Iranian port.
A political official said that the Israeli embassy received word just over a week ago of a deal in the works between the Hamburg Company, which is partly owned by the German government, and the Iranian agencies.
Ben Ze'ev stressed that Israel viewed the contract as German assistance to an Iranian arms deal with terror organizations, and a violation of United Nations resolutions.
At Israel's request, German officials contacted the company owners and hinted that ir preferred the deal be terminated. Several days later, the company announced that it would withdraw from the contract.
President Shimon Peres arrived in Berlin on Monday ahead of international Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday, during which he is scheduled to address the German parliament in Hebrew.
The president will also speak to Merkel regarding Germany's financial ties with the Islamic country.