The German government is considering prosecuting the Siemens corporation for selling two pieces of technology to Iran that could have been used for missile launches and nuclear power, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. The two instances are currently being discussed by the government's export commission.
One of the cases under investigation concerns a shipment of turbo-compressors seized by customs authorities in the port of Hamburg, which investigators believe could have been used in Iran's rocket programme. The high-tech components, valued at €16 million, are part of a package worth €80 million. The delivery was apparently on its way from a Siemens base in Sweden to Iran.
In the other case, the British navy stopped a ship near Dubai, on its way to Iran from China, containing computers used for control engineering. The computers, which can be used for operating nuclear power stations, had apparently been delivered by Siemens to a Chinese address and had been ordered by an Iranian firm.
A Siemens spokesman denied the company had broken export restrictions. "Our business activities in Iran serve exclusively civilian purposes and follow international regulations," he told the magazine. But the spokesman refused to answer questions on the specific cases.