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W. German Salesmen, Engineers Enjoy Strong Ties With Iran

October 14, 1987|Klaus Bering | Deutsche Presse-Agentur

TEHRAN, Iran — In the eighth year of the Iraq-Iran war, West German salesmen and engineers still enjoy strong business ties with Iran.

German business travelers are ubiquitous in hotels and the offices of state industries and ministries in Tehran, the transfer point to the steel mill in Ahwas, the chemical plant in Isfahan or the arms factory in Saveh.

Iraq's newly intensified air strikes against Iranian cities as near as 60 miles to Tehran evoke only mild interest to the travelers.

"What's much worse is that inefficiency continues and corruption is always sprouting a new leaf," said a representative of a Ruhr region steel company.

A German salesman complained that his Iranian customers were demanding a one year's delay in payment of a $27,500 bill for oil drilling equipment.

But despite Tehran's growing war expenditures and a shortage of foreign currency, there is a great deal of money to be made in Iran. In the first half of 1987, West German exports to the country totaled $775 million.

Since July, when Bonn Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher called Iraq the aggressor in the Persian Gulf War, relations between West Germany and Iran have been better than ever.

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