Germany’s largest steel manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp, has a share of less than 100 million euros of trade volume with Iran, a spokesperson of this leading manufacturer said. According to information provided by the magazine Der Spiegel, the Iranian state still owns a large block of shares in ThyssenKrupp. The papers are kept at the depository of the holding company IFIC (Iran Foreign Investment Company). The Mullahs used this company to invest their petro-dollars around the world. Four years ago, Tehran had to give up its seat on the board of directors of ThyssenKrupp and reduce its holdings. At the time, Iran had shares of 7.8 percent in ThyssenKrupp, decreasing these shares in the years to follow. Yet until today, the Iranians have not opted out, the magazine states, referring to the business report of IFIC for the year 2006. In 2007, the Iranian State collected dividends in the amount of 18.5 million euros for their 4.5 percent share. Among other things, the money flows into credit transactions with companies that deal with Iran. This way, for example, in 2005, a German charter flight company received a loan in the amount of USD 55 million. The British finance company HSBC had part of its ThyssenKrupp shares mortgaged as securities, via its German subsidiary, Trinkaus&Burkhardt. In return, the Iranians may speculate in futures and options trading. “No comment,” was the reply at HSBC.
A large part of Iran’s atomic complex is being hidden in “networks of tunnels and bunkers across the country”. That way Iran has managed to secure its nuclear infrastructure from a military attack and has furthermore obscured the nature of the Iranian nuclear weapons development program. Therefore, many experts say, a crucial factor behind the call for peaceful solutions to the standoff with Iran is the Islamic Republic’s tunneling – what Tehran calls its strategy of “passive defense”. According to the US government, there are hundreds – maybe thousands – of big tunnels in Iran. Companies owned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are building civilian and military tunnels Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has played a major role in Iran’s tunnel system as he is an engineer and the founder of the Iranian Tunneling Association. Herrenknecht, a German company considered the market leader, has three offices in Tehran.