Skip to main content


   •  SHARE

Germany: Iran Trade and Dolphin Discount

JINSA Report #: 

July 19, 2011

According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, Germany will provide Israel with its sixth Dolphin-class nuclear-capable submarine and subsidize the deal with 135 million Euros. The magazine notes that Germany "donated" the first two submarines after the first Gulf War and split the cost of the third. Sort of.

One theory is that Germany "donated" the first two after it was discovered in Israel that the Scud missiles launched by Saddam at Israel had German parts that helped extend the range. It certainly is true that Israel quickly hid the remains of the Scuds after initially asking Americans to look at the foreign technology involved.

Does it mean anything that the deal for the sixth subsidized Dolphin was announced after a group of Israeli parliamentarians narrowly missed colliding with a group of Iranian parliamentarians in the Bundestag last month? The delegation of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee sent an angry letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle protesting the Iranian visit.

They did not note - but we will - that that the Iranians, accompanied by Iran's representative to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh and Iran's ambassador in Germany Alireza Sheikh Attar, spoke at a conference in the German Foreign Office and went to visit the German city of Weimar - sister city of Iran's Shiraz. While in Weimar, the delegation declined to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp, prompting the only saving grace of the whole debacle - the city fathers of Weimar refused to meet with the Iranians.

It begs the question: why are Iranian government officials hosted and feted by the German government? Germany is aware of Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities and long-range missiles, and multi-year deception of the IAEA. Why is Soltanieh, the chief deceiver, invited to speak by the German Foreign Ministry? Germany certainly is aware of the record number of executions this year in Iran, including public hangings and the execution of two minors. Why is Attar invited to speak instead of being called in for a demarche or a PNG?

Reasonable people should ask how the mullahs remain able to do what they do. There are international banking and trade sanctions that should have stifled Iran's ability to pay for its nuclear and missile programs and to pay for funding Hezbollah and Hamas - those things are not cheap. Yet Iran never seems to come to the end of its financial rope, never seems to be short. The United States is in the midst of a debt crisis and is planning to slash the defense budget, but Iran is testing new and better missiles.

Germany's $4 billion-plus trade with Iran (2010) must help. And while the Germans insist their trade meets EU standards, there were 16 government-approved, civilian-military, dual-use transactions which, according a government spokesman, included "replacement parts for rescue helicopters, and valves for a steel work, a liquid jet vacuum pump for water treatment in connection with desalinization and protective clothing for medical production." Or military helicopters, missiles, centrifuges and chemical weapons production.

A spokesman for the German Economics Ministry wrote to The Jerusalem Post about trade with Iran, "Israel's security for the Federal German government is non-negotiable." But Iran is not just Israel's security problem; it is Germany's and ours as well. Dolphin submarines at a discount are not compensation - to Israel or the rest of us - for Germany's cozy trade and political relations with Iran.

Jewish Institute for National Security of America
1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1030

Washington, D.C. 20005

(202) 667-3900 Office •