UANI Calls on Germany’s Aker Wirth & Putzmeister to Forgo Business in Iran

NEW YORK--()--On Thursday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) continued its Cranes, Construction, and Tunneling Campaign by calling on German tunneling and construction firms Aker Wirth GmbH and Putzmeister Holding GmbH to forgo business in Iran.

Tunneling work is of particular concern when it comes to Iran given that the Iranian regime develops and utilizes tunneling networks to obscure and shield its nuclear sites. There is therefore a high risk that any tunneling equipment provided to Iran could be misused.

Putzmeister appears to have a relationship with the Iranian company Sakht Abzar Pars Co. (SAP). Putzmeister’s website lists SAP as its Iran Representative, while SAP’s website includes a direct link to Putzmeister’s Website.

As for Aker Wirth, the company told UANI in November 2012 that it “had determined that it was inconsistent with the company’s values to pursue new business in Iran.” UANI has decided to contact Aker Wirth now however, to confirm that this remains the company’s position following the November interim deal between Iran and the P5+1.

In a letter to Putzmeister Chairman and CEO Norbert Scheuch, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace wrote:

… Given Putzmeister’s apparent existing connection to the Iranian market, UANI is concerned that you may be considering re-entering or expanding your Iran business activities. Such a move would be both premature and ill-advised. As clearly indicated in numerous statements issued by U.S. and EU officials, the JPA in no way gives a green light for companies to enter or re-enter the Iranian market. Simply put, Iran is not “open for business.”

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Any effort by Putzmeister to recommence or expand its business operations in Iran would be particularly concerning given Putzmeister’s provision of tunnel and mining equipment. … misuse could occur despite the best intentions of Putzmeister to ensure that its products are put exclusively to civilian uses. For example, a Jerusalem Post report states that “after [tunneling] projects are completed, it cannot be determined if Iran intends to or already has used the equipment for its nuclear facilities.” It is therefore doubtful whether a clear distinction between the civilian and military use of Putzmeister equipment is possible under the current circumstances in Iran. Surely the risk – no matter how small – that such equipment could be misused to advance Iran’s nuclear program or military apparatus is much too high for any responsible company.

Furthermore, UANI is cognizant of Putzmeister’s active U.S. presence, including through its U.S. subsidiary, Putzmeister America Inc., headquartered in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Putzmeister has also benefited from nearly $2 million in contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense. UANI strongly believes that no company should benefit from access to the world’s largest economy and consumer market while at the same time investing in Iran. …

In a separate letter to Aker Wirth General Counsel, Dr. Thomas Reuss, Ambassador Wallace wrote:

… In our letter of March 21, 2013, UANI also asked the following questions, which remain unanswered. We would be grateful for your response:

  • Please confirm whether any Aker Wirth tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) are still present in Iran and what action, if any, Aker Wirth has taken to ensure that its TBMs were removed from Iran upon the conclusion of Aker Wirth’s projects.
  • Please confirm that Aker Wirth no longer provides any Iranian entities with material or services, such as spare parts, maintenance, or consulting. …

UANI's "Cranes, Construction, and Tunneling Campaign" highlights the activities of international firms that provide the Iranian regime with construction equipment and heavy machinery, including sensitive tunneling technology that is used to shield and obscure Iran’s nuclear program and cranes used in public executions.

UANI's “Germany Campaign” highlights the extensive Iran business activities of German businesses, firms and entities. German businesses have provided vital goods and services for Iran’s industrial enterprise.

Click here to read UANI’s full letter to Putzmeister.
Click here to read UANI’s full letter to Aker Wirth.
Click here to send a message to Putzmeister.
Click here to send a message to Aker Wirth.
Click here to learn more about UANI’s Cranes, Construction, and Tunneling Campaign.
Click here to learn more about UANI’s Germany Campaign.

Contacts

United Against Nuclear Iran
Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296
press@uani.com

Release Summary

On Thursday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on German tunneling and construction firms Aker Wirth GmbH and Putzmeister Holding GmbH to forgo business in Iran.

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Contacts

United Against Nuclear Iran
Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296
press@uani.com