Germany Promises to Pressure U.S. to Roll Back Iran Sanctions

Iran says 10 economic agreements to be signed with Germany as economy minister says he wants to 'remind' U.S. to dismantle sanctions.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel boards a plane as he leaves for a visit to Iran, at the airport Tegel in Berlin, Germany, October 2, 2016.
Hannibal Hanschke, Reuters

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel promised on Monday to remind the United States of its commitment to reduce sanctions against Iran, as he courted business ties during a two-day trip to the Islamic State. 

Speaking at the opening of an economic forum, Gabriel said Germany wanted to "remind the United States of the commitment to get to an effective dismantling of sanctions."

Iran's Deputy Economy Minister Mohammad Khazaei said 10 economic agreements would be signed on the sidelines of Gabriel's visit. "I hope that this will smooth the way between both countries," he said. 

Gabriel has gone to Iran with a plane-load of industry executives. Remaining U.S. sanctions and political concerns have so far held back a hoped-for business boom between the two countries. 

The ministry said several German Mittelstand firms, the small-to-medium-sized companies that form the backbone of the economy, had signed deals with Iranian partners, including SMS group, a builder of steelmaking plants and INTRA industrial solutions. 

In addition, Mitsubishi Germany has signed a contract to modernise a gas-fired plant, while plant constructor Keller HCW wants to build a brickyard in Iran, it said. Both countries central banks have also agreed to a technical co-operation. 

There was no detail on the size of the agreed deals.