A view from Iran’s oil and gas expo in Tehran

German, Austrian Firms 'Violate' US Sanctions At Iran Oil Show

Friday, 09/15/2023

Exclusively reported by Iran International, German and Austrian firms reportedly joined the Iran Oil Show in May, run by the US-sanctioned National Iranian Oil Company.

According to the US government, the NIOC finances Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force—an entity classified as a foreign terrorist organization by America.

Fox News Digital first reported in an article titled “Skirting US sanctions, Iran earning billions from oil exports while Russia, China cash in” on the Iran Oil Show in Tehran.

Iran International has obtained the highly guarded handbook for the Iran Oil Show that lists the names of hundreds of companies allegedly present.

A sample page of a booklet featuring the participants of Iran’s oil and gas expo in Tehran

A source who attended the 27th Iran Oil Show in Tehran told Iran International that “Mainly Russian and Chinese companies” and “very few European companies, three or four,” were present at the Oil Show.

While manufacturing and engineering companies from Russia, Belarus, and China frequently violate US sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, the source listed names of Western companies who had stands at the show. 

European engineering companies have shied away from conducting business with Iran since the US re-imposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018.

According to the source, the German manufacturer of turbomachines, JCL plant solutions, also had a stand at the Oil Show. Iran International spoke to a representative from JCL, who said on the phone that the firm was present for a “form of interview” at the Oil Show. Iran International written media queries to JCL went unanswered.

United Against a Nuclear Iran also sent a letter to JCL but did not receive a response about the company’s alleged presence at the Iran Oil Show.

The source said he heard people at the Oil Show speaking German. He said “There was more security than in the past” and “You could see security people with ear pieces.” The source termed the situation an “uneasy feeling” and noted that security guards were present “when the head of the atomic energy agency came in.” The source believes IRGC officials were present at the Oil Show.

The source’s information was further confirmed by the oil exhibition’s 22-page handbook obtained by the US-based organization United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI). UANI provided Iran International with the handbook that lists Iran and foreign companies as attendees at the event.

The Austrian company Rotorise also had a physical presence at the Oil Show, the source said. Rotorise provides “parts and equipment for rotary machines,” according to its website. Rotorise did not respond to numerous written to an Iran International press query.

A view from Iran’s oil and gas expo in Tehran

Iran International spoke to a representative from StockWerk Coworking GmbH, which handles telephone and written inquiries for Rotorise. StockWerk wrote by email, “we passed forward your mail to Rotorise yesterday, despite (sic) that they didn’t respond to us.” Stockwerk declined to provide a direct number for Rotorise to Iran International.

Daniel Roth the Research Director for United Against Nuclear Iran, told Iran international “It’s astounding that European companies like JCL and (reportedly) Rotorise are still willing to take these risks. Providing assistance - and not even ‘significant assistance’ - to NIOC, the Show organizer, is a sanctionable offense. Washington has the mandate to penalize companies even outside the US through ‘secondary sanctions’ and should be closely monitoring all participants and any deals that transpire. Chinese and Russian exhibitors, the most likely to actually sign contracts, should certainly not be excluded from scrutiny.”

Roth added “Almost five years after sanctions were rightly reimposed on Iran's IRGC-dominated oil industry, there is no earthly reason for foreign companies to still be supporting this sector. To actually go to the effort of sending your own co-workers to exhibit at the Iran Oil Show beggars belief. Beyond the legal and moral hazards, it's incredibly irresponsible with respect to employees' physical safety as they man their stalls in this Lion's Den staffed and enforced by trigger-happy terrorists.”

The emblem for the German manufacturing company Heggel also appears at the end of each page of the 22-page Iran Oil Show handbook, with the company’s website and motto “You build. We Protect!”

Iran International spoke on the telephone numerous times to a representative from Heggel who said she could not answer questions about Heggel and Iran.

Iran International sent multiple email queries to Heggel, which produces industrial protective coating systems, about its logo appearing in the handbook. The Tehran-based company Kasra states it is the “Exclusive Agent of Heggel GmbH” on its website.

Roth told Iran International that the “Dusseldorf-based Heggel's pointed refusal to comment on the fact that its logo appears on almost every page of the Show Handbook - for two years running - is a major red flag. It seems unlikely that Heggel's prominence is just another case of Iran appropriating a foreign company's name to boost its legitimacy. As ever, it's hard to square with Germany's pledge last year that there would be "no more business as usual" with the Islamic Republic. “

The Iranian regime-controlled media has dubbed the “Iran Oil Show 2023,” the “biggest oil exhibition in West Asia.” There were no American companies at the Oil Show. 

Iran’s Oil Show listed a Swedish participant as a presenter at the event. However, the Swedish company Atlas Copco denied its presence at the Oil Show in a letter sent to UANI.

Atlas Copco, a multinational industrial company, wrote UANI “We have banned sales to and have no operational sites or employees in Iran. Previous to May 2018, certain limited sales were made in accordance with international agreements and sanctions. We will look into why our company name was listed as a participant at the fair which we had not authorized.”

A representative from Atlas Copco confirmed to Iran International by email that it did not attend the Iran Oil Show. Iran’s regime and Iranian conventions have over the years falsely listed European countries as participants at events. When confronted by news organizations, a number of the manufactured listed denied their presence.

A view from Iran’s oil and gas expo in Tehran

The Spanish company Resistencias Tope, S.A, which designs and manufactures customized industrial electric heaters, had a stand at the event, according to the source, and was listed in the Iran Oil Show handbook. Alex Lopez, a representative for Resistencias Tope, S.A, said on the telephone that the company did not send representatives to this year’s Iran Oil Show.

Iran International sent written press queries to Resistencias Tope, S.A. The Spanish company did not respond by email.

Turkish and Japanese companies were listed as participants in the handbook but denied their attendance. The Turkish company KFT Makine sent an email that it was not in attendance. The KFT spokesperson, Volkan Kaya, wrote “Most probably someone is misusing our name and using it illegally.” He added that “KFT is an international trading company that works globally and respects and obey all international trade regulations and norms. We also follow all US and EU sanctions against Iran…”

The Japanese company Yaskawa also appeared in the handbook. In a letter obtained by Iran International to UANI, Yaskawa denied that it participated at the Oil Show.

When asked if the US government will crack down on the alleged sanction busters, a US State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital that “The United States is closely monitoring transactions involving Iran in the global oil market and has taken numerous actions against sanctions evaders around the world under the Biden Administration. Of course, we do not preview potential sanctions or enforcement actions.”

The State Department spokesperson added, “US sanctions on Iran's petroleum and petrochemical sectors remain in place and will continue unless and until Iran’s nuclear program returns to compliance with prior commitments.”

Iran International contacted Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) regarding whether BAFA approved the presence of German companies such as JCL plant solutions at the Oil Show.

The spokespeople for BAFA, Nikolai Hoberg and Ms. S. Schlemmer, did not provide clarification. Schlemmer did not reveal her first name in her email.

The Russian engineering company Alfa Horizon boasted about its appearance at the Oil Show, noting on its website “Bypassing geopolitical issues, the exhibition is gaining traction from year to year and attaining a key-event status in the Middle East. This year, more than 30 thousand guests a day visited the exhibition. 200 companies from 13 countries of the world presented their products.”

The reference to “Bypassing geopolitical issues” from Alfa Horizon is probably directed at efforts by the West to punish Tehran and Moscow for the war in Ukraine.

Iran’s regime is one of Russia’s strongest allies in its invasion of Ukraine, supplying Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces with lethal drones.

Chinese companies, who, according to UANI, have business dealings in the US, did not immediately respond to Iran International press queries. UANI’s Roth said the Chinese companies also refused to respond to UANI letters.

The following Chinese companies have US sales, according to UANI, and were listed as attendees at the Iran Oil Show, SNY VALVE - Yancheng, Jiangsu China; Lishui Ouyi Valve Co., Ltd.; Anping County Guangming Metal Products Co., Ltd; Yangzhou Lontrin Steel Tube Co., Ltd.; and Hangzhou Fortune Gas Cryogeni Group Co., Ltd. 

More News

Special Coverage
Special Coverage
Sports News
News (26')

The Truth is in Your Voice

Send your Videos and Photos to us