BERLIN, 10 Dec. (IPS) The Islamic Republic of Iran suffered Thursday another humiliating blow at the hands of the United States when the German heavy industry giant Thyssen Krupp accepted to drop the representative of the Iranian government from its supervisory board, informed sources confirmed.
The company decided to lower the stakes of the Islamic Republic at under 4.5 per cent due to pressures from Pentagon, threatening that otherwise it would be placed on the Washington’s black list and stop doing business in the United States, the sources told Iran Press Service.
The name of Mr. Mohammad-Mehdi Navab-Motlagh, the deputy minister for international Affairs at the Economy and Finance Ministry does not figure up in the list of supervisory board members proposed for re-election at Thyssen Krupp's upcoming annual shareholders meeting on 21 January 2005.
The former regime of Iran bought 25.01 pct of the shares of the then-steel giant Krupp in 1976 when the company was in its worst shape, facing a possible bankruptcy.
The name of Mr. Mohammad-Mehdi Navab-Motlagh, Iran's Representative does not figure up in the list of supervisory board of the Group.
However, the Islamic Republic sold the majority of the Iranian shares after the victory of the Islamic revolution of 1979, reducing Tehran’s parts at the newly formed Thyssen Krup to a mere 7.8 pct, hold by the Iranian public holding company Ific for 406 million Euros in May 2003 and in order to compel the Iranian government, it agreed to pay the shares at four times the real value and cutting Tehran's stake from 7.8 pct to 4.5 pct, as demanded by the United States.
The move resulted in the redundancy of an undisclosed numbers of bleu collars employed by the group in its office in Tehran, a source close to the Iranian delegation told IPS, adding that Iran is now trying to preserve its remaining shares at the Thyssen Krupp concern.
A number of German newspapers suggested that the Pentagon is increasing its pressure for ousting the Islamic Republic from the condition to allow the German steel and engineering giant in public contracts in the US worth some eight billions a year.
So far, there was no comment from the Iranian government. Contacted by telephone, a female voice at the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Information Department who refused to be identified said the Spokesman, Mr. Hamid Reza Asefi could not speak because he is praying. On orders from the authorities, main Iranian newspapers also ignored the news. ENDS IRAN THYSSEN KRUPP 101204