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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Jan 2011: Protests against Swiss Iran-Deals: Cancel the multi-billion Swiss Franc deal of EGL!

STOP THE BOMB Germany supports the rally and information desk at EGL's annual shareholder meeting: No deals with the Iranian regime!

Monday, January, 24th 2011, 9:30 am, Kongresszentrum Trafo in Baden, Brown-Bovery-Platz

By doing business with Iran, companies like Holcim, Zeochem, Sulzer, ABB or Bühler contribute to keep the Iranian regime alive. In conjunction with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), AXPO-subsidiary EGL has signed a multi-billion Swiss Franc deal with the Iranian regime.  This deal was brought off with the support of Swiss Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey. The intended gas supplies from Iran will make Switzerland a strategic partner of the regime for many years to come. Even though the EGL is willing to refrain from Iranian gas in the "initial phase" of the TAP, still the supply contract with Iran remains unaffected. Moreover, the most recent sanctions adopted by the Swiss government do not afflict the multi-billion contract as they do not contain a ban on natural gas imports. 

Companies that continue doing business with Iran support a regime that that persecutes and murders dissidents, national and religious minorities, women and homosexuals. The Iranian nuclear and missile program is a direct threat to its neighboring states, Israel, the West and the Iranian population. The Iranian regime supports the international jihadist terrorism, denies the Holocaust and hunts down the freedom movement, whose proponents are risking their lives fighting for a secular and democratic Iran.  

We demand:

  • The complete and immediate cancellation of the multi-billion Swiss Franc deal with the Iranian regime!
  • A European ban on oil and natural gas imports from Iran!
  • No dialogue with the regime, but support of the secular opposition!

STOP THE BOMB will not only protest in front of the Kongresszentrum but ask critical questions about EGL’s Iran-business inside the annual meeting as well.

 

 

Protest rallies against Swiss Iran deals

No deals with the Iranian regime!
Cancellation of the billions euro deal of Swiss company EGL!
Supporting the opposition instead of dialogue with the authorities!

The European campaign STOP THE BOMB demonstrates simultaneously with rallies in Berlin, Zurich, Vienna, London and Düsseldorf on October 11th.

Zurich: Rally, Monday October 11th, 2010, 4 pm

in font of Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft SECO Zurich, Stauffacherstrasse 101, Zurich

Berlin: rally, Monday, October 11th 2010, 4 pm

Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee 4a, between the Swiss Embassy and the German Chancellery, 10557 Berlin

Düsseldorf: rally, Monday, October 11th 2010, 4 pm

near the EGL subsidiary in Düsseldorf, Hammerstraße 19, 40219 Düsseldorf

Vienna: rally, Monday, October 11th 2010, 4 pm

Prinz-Eugen-Straße in front of the Swiss Embassy, 1040 Wien

London: rally, Monday October 11th, 2010, 3 pm

Montagu Place,  London W1H 2BQ


Switzerland is one of the main Western partners of the inhuman regime in Iran, which oppresses, persecutes and murders dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities, women and homosexuals. Iran's nuclear and missile program is a threat to its neighbors, Israel, the West and the Iranian people; The Iranian regime supports the international jihadist terrorism, denies the Holocaust and brutally attacks the freedom movement in the country – people who risk their lives for secularism and the rule of democracy.

In 2008 the Swiss EGL, a subsidiary of Canton-owned AXPO Group, completed a deal with the Iranian regime on gas supplies in the tens of billions. This mega-business commits Switzerland for years as a strategic partner of the regime, even if the EGL would now like to abandon Iranian gas supplies in the starting phase of their Trans-Adriatic pipeline-project. With the support of Iran in its efforts to join the World Trade Organization, Switzerland becomes an advocate of the regime´s interests. Both the so-called "human rights dialogue” between Switzerland and Iran and the inconsistent actions of the German Federal Government provide cover to Tehran for the crimes of the regime.

Chancellor Angela Merkel supports sanctions against the Iranian regime only hesitantly. Despite a call from President Obama she refused to put the Hamburg-based European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH) on the EU sanctions list this summer. This bank, according to U.S. Treasury, is a loophole for the German trade with the Iranian regime. EIH provided transactions for deals directly associated with the Iranian nuclear weapons program. German trade with Iran was rapidly increasing by 14 percent despite EU sanctions in the first half of 2010.

STOP THE BOMB Germany demands:

  • Cancellation of the billion dollar business of EGL with the Iranian regime and the adoption of EU and U.S. sanctions against Iran from Switzerland!
  • No support of WTO access of Iran from Switzerland!
  • No dialogue with the regime by the German and Swiss governments, but the support of the secular opposition!
  • immediate closure of the European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH) in Hamburg
  • further sanctions, including the immense German exports to Iran in the engineering sector

For that purpose the European campaign STOP THE BOMB demonstrates simultaneously with rallies in Berlin, Zurich, Vienna, London and Düsseldorf October 11th.

 

Press statement: Swiss Iran policy under fire

STOP THE BOMB Campaign Protests Against Swiss Iran-business

 

Zurich: rally, Monday October 11th, 2010, 4 pm

in front of Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft SECO Zurich, Stauffacherstrasse 101, Zurich

Berlin: rally, Monday, October 11th 2010, 4 pm

Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee 4a, between the Swiss Embassy and the German Chancellery, 10557 Berlin

Düsseldorf: rally, Monday, October 11th 2010, 4 pm

near the EGL subsidiary in Düsseldorf, Hammerstraße 19, 40219 Düsseldorf

Vienna: rally, Monday, October 11th 2010, 4 pm

Prinz-Eugen-Straße in front of the Swiss Embassy, 1040 Wien

London: rally, Monday October 11th, 2010, 3 pm

Montagu Place, London W1H 2BQ

Monday, October 11th, the STOP THE BOMB campaign will demonstrate in several European cities against the Swiss-Iran policy. The Berlin rally, which takes place between the Swiss embassy and the German Chancellory, will coincide with actions in Duesseldorf, Zurich, London and Vienna.  In Dusseldorf the place of protest is in font of a branch of the Swiss company EGL, which has signed a billion-dollar deal with Iran. The protest in Berlin and Düsseldorf addresses both the Swiss business with Iran and the continuing German exports.

STOP THE BOMB Germany spokesman Michael Spaney criticizes the Swiss government in Bern: "If the Swiss government does not join the European regulations, it is a loophole for business with Iran, undermining the EU sanctions imposed in July. The Swiss assistance to Iran's application for membership to the WTO is as great a scandal as the billion euro deal of the Swiss company EGL."

EGL, a subsidiary of the Swiss-region-owned Axpo Group, has completed a deal with National Iranian Gas Export Company in 2008 with massive support from the Swiss Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey - a deal on gas supplies in the tens of billions euro [1].

Although EGL announced that they would not use Iranian gas in the initial phase of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline, the supply contract with Iran remains upright.

"Therefore STOP THE BOMB calls for the full cancellation of the billion dollar gas deal of EGL with Iran" said Michael Spaney

Calmy-Rey spoke against the recent EU sanctions. Switzerland´s position was "neutral and impartial" and should "open doors in Washington and Tehran" [2]. Since 2008, Switzerland is criticized by the U.S. The gas deliveries would violate the UN sanctions and undermine the sanction policy against Iran [3]. Furthermore, Switzerland supports the accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the World Trade Organization [4].

The so-called "human rights dialogue" between Switzerland and Iran as well as the inconsistent actions of the German Federal Government cover the crimes of the regime in Tehran, according to Spaney.

Despite EU sanctions, German trade with Iran was rapidly increasing by 14 percent in the first half of 2010 [5]. In many of these trade-relations the Hamburg-based European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH) is involved, which is owned by the Iranian regime.

For this reason the STOP THE BOMB campaign protested on September 23rd 2010 for the immediate closure of the EIH [6]. On September 8th it became public that the EIH was put on the sanctions list of the U.S. Treasury. The EIH is deeply involved into the nuclear weapons program in Iran, according to Stuart Levey of the U.S. financial authorities [7].

1] http://diepresse.com/home/meinung/gastkommentar/592947/index.do
[2] http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=188050
[3] http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/schweiz/calmy-rey_verteidigt_besuch_in_iran_1.691566.html
[4] http://www.sonntagonline.ch/index.php?show=news&id=796
[5] http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=184997
[6] http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=189087
[7] http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/tg847.htm