National Union MK Aryeh Eldad
National Union MK Aryeh Eldad Photo by Tess Scheflan
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MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union ) asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein yesterday to investigate the Ofer Brothers Group's sale of a tanker to Iran.

"Israel's citizens deserve to know whether the Ofer family, which for peculiar reasons was allowed to buy huge state assets for a pittance, gave precedence in the Iranian affair to personal interests rather than the state's welfare," Eldad wrote.

"It looks ridiculous when Israel demands that the world impose sanctions on Iran when its own economic giants make deals with a country that is making a determined, fanatical effort to destroy it. Though they are rich, the Ofer brothers are not above the law."

MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor ) called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to review the non-intervention policy regarding the Ofer group's dealings with Iran.

"As new, problematic information arises, evidence mounts that the whole affair has been mismanaged, with confused, contradictory responses [by the government]," Yachimovich said. She called on the Ofer brothers to apologize and take responsibility for the affair.

"The Ofer family's direct and indirect control of many Israeli companies makes this everyone's problem. There is reason to fear that sanctions will expand and impinge on many plants in Israel that provide work to thousands of people; these factories are liable to be hurt by the owners' greed," she said.

"The prime minister must protect Israel's economy against such an occurrence and pursue justice against the companies' owners, and make clear to the Americans and Europeans that there is no reason to harm Israel's entire economy due to the failed management of one company."

MK Nachman Shai (Kadima ) demanded that the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee review the possible infraction of anti-Iranian sanctions by Ofer Brothers companies and other Israeli firms. The Ofer brothers have reportedly had dealings in Iran since 2004. It is also known that around 200 Israeli firms have indirect dealings with Iran.

Shai said that "this subject should be discussed publicly. Israel is leading the international campaign for sanctions against Iran, and it is inconceivable that Israeli companies would act at variance with such sanctions."